Water Gel Card Tutorial

How to Make a Water Scene Using Hair Gel


This cool water panel is very easy to make.

First, choose the card stock you wish to use for your card base and top panel.  This card gets a little heavy, so a good, heavy weight card stock works best.  (On my sample above, I used a light weight printed paper on top, so I did a double panel with heavy weight card stock underneath to give it support.)


In addition to the card stock, you will need hair gel (blue is my personal preference, although any gel will work) and a small plastic ziplock bag.  (The size of the bag depends on the size of the card stock you use on the front of your card and the size of the frame you cut out.  I’ll explain more on this in a moment.)

aDSCN6325  aDSCN6331

Next, decide what you wish to put behind the water/framed panel.  You may use printed paper, solid paper, or a background scene you create yourself.  (Place your bag of gel over the image to see how it looks!)

aDSCN6349   aDSCN6352

The following is the sample I used in my instructions (see below).


Decide if you wish to add any other images to your scene (either on the background panel or the top panel).

Cut a mat in the top panel.  I used a Spellbinders die, but you can use a paper trimmer, a punch, an electronic cutting machine, or you can cut it by hand.


The bag you choose to use needs to be bigger than your cut-out frame but smaller than the card stock panel.


Put gel in the bag so it just covers the entire inner surface of the bag when it is closed and flattened. Remove large air bubbles at this time by pushing them to the top before sealing the bag.  (Small bubbles are fine and desirable.) Make sure the gel stays in the bag when flattening or removing air bubbles!

aDSCN6327  aDSCN6343

You want the gel layer to be as thin as possible while covering the entire surface.  My bag was about as thick as a quarter when it was filled and closed. If you put too much gel in, it is harder to see through it to the background.


Next, put some adhesive on the back of the top panel around the edge of the frame opening.  I used Tombow monoadhesive, but any 2 sided flat tape will work well here.


Place the bag filled with gel over the frame opening and on the adhesive you just applied.  At this point, it is ok if the sealed side hangs over the edge of the card.  You will fix that in a moment.  All the other sides should have no overhanging parts of the bag.


Turn the sealed edge over and tape it so it no longer hangs over the edge, but make sure it doesn’t hang over the frame opening either.


aDSCN6377   aDSCN6375

Continue taping the bag to the back of the framed panel with masking tape.  I needed to cut my tape in half so it fit on the top and bottom parts without hanging over the edges or into the frame opening.


Next, use pop dots or foam tape around the outer edges of the frame panel.  I used a double layer of foam tape (one piece on top to the other) to make it thicker.  You want to raise the panel up off of the card base enough so it lies flat.  The thicker the bag with gel, the thicker the foam adhesive needs to be.  (Pictured is just one completed side.  Put foam adhesive on all 4 sides.)


Trim your background panel so it shows in the frame as desired.  (It should be large enough to be in the frame completely, but small enough so it fits behind the top panel without sticking out on the sides.)  (I added a stamped crab image to my background here.)  Position it as desired with respect to your frame, and adhere onto your card base.

aDSCN6383  aDSCN6385


Here is my card project using this technique.

Shore Grateful Thank You Card bbDSCN6307


Click HERE to see the post for this card.

Thanks for checking out my tutorial!

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3 thoughts on “Water Gel Card Tutorial

  1. Pingback: “Shore” Grateful Thank You Card | I Played With Paper Today!

  2. This is so cool! I love your card. Does the hair gel eventually dry up as one would hate for the baggie to break and let out all the goop? LOL


  3. Pingback: Fishing You The Best | I Played With Paper Today!

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