Try Something New | Faber-Castell Gelatos

I received tons of comments last week wondering about the Gelatos, so I thought I would devote a quick post to them. And not the ice cream variety (Italy has the best version of that gelato!). I’m talking about Faber-Castell/Design Memory Craft Gelatos or gel sticks.

Gelatos are pigmented color sticks with a soft texture. They come in a tube like chapstick and the consistency is harder than lipstick but softer than a crayon. You can use them like crayons to apply color to a surface or you can mix them with water Β and use them like water colors.

I picked up a set of 10 colors at Michaels (with a 50% off coupon) so the price per piece wasn’t bad. The set included a mini mister, a dropper, a mixed media swatch journal and a few other things that made it a very worthwhile purchase. My Joann’s is now stocking the packages of four colors so I’ve rounded out my collection with a few more. Again, I used a coupon so the price per piece came down a bit.

Here are a few ways I’ve been using my gelatos:

1. Color dry embossing lines

I’ve tried to color an embossed piece of cardstock with inks in various forms but it’s hard to be too precise with them without using Q-tips or foam tips. But gelato glides right over the raised, embossed surface. You can alter the pressure you use depending on how large the surface is. For the lines above, I didn’t apply much pressure and dabbed the centers with the side of the stick.

But for this surface where the green leaves are larger, I applied more pressure to get more pigment. Here in this example I didn’t blend the color at all, I just rubbed it on. I could still blend it to get the green to soften up a bit.

Another thing that is really cool is that the light colors show up really well on black cardstock.

2. Watercolor backgrounds

I am no painter so I wouldn’t presume to instruct anyone on how to create a true watercolor background. But I was able to achieve this look by adding some gelato pigment to my Ranger craft sheet and then adding a bit of water with a mister and dipping the tag directly into the color, a technique I learned with distress inks.

I moved my tag through the color and then zapped it dry with a heat gun. I repeated the proces several times until I felt there was enough color and contrast on the tag. I started out with three shades of blue but then added white and a bit of gold to the last two layers of color to get a bit more depth.

3. Color in a resist background

I wanted to see if the gelatos would work on Heidi Swapp’s color magic paper and they do. Lest you think that getting this much color would be using up half the gelato, rest assured, it does not. The texture of the gelato is very pliable and goes a long way.

After trying this, I really want to heat emboss some images into a background and use the gelatos in watercolor fashion to color over them. I think you’ll be seeing that in my next tags of inspiration post, if not in a layout sooner.

4. Stamping

You can apply gelatos directly to stamps then lightly mist with water to get a soft watercolor type image. This requires a bit of trial and error. I found I had more luck when I misted the stamp with water first. You aren’t going to get a crisp, sharp image the way you would with ink.

I also tried this with my favorite zigzag background stamp. I like the results better here, though again, the image is subtle and not sharp like you would get with ink. It all depends on what you are going for. If you want soft, this is a great way to go.

5. Foam stamps

Wilna mentioned in one of her videos that gelatos are perfect for foam stamps. I still happen to have a ton of foam stamps and never really liked how ink soaks into them. So I don’t use them. Ever. But Wilna urged me to get them out and she was so right. The gelatos just glide right over the foam surface and I really like the softness of the stamped image. They clean up so easily with a baby wipe and paper towel too. Totally worth the price of admission to have a reason to use my foam stamps now.

That is the extent that I’ve experimented, but I think they are a great edition to my stash.

Here are some other resources if you want more in depth tutorials:

Youtube is also full of videos with gelato videos. I’ve watched a few but most are no where near the quality of the videos above. Check out youtube though, if you need more convincing.

Have you added gelatos to your stash of tools yet?

Thanks for stopping by today!


  1. I didn’t realize you could use these in so many different ways. Thank you so much, Tammy!

  2. thanks for the info, hadn’t really seen gelatos in action!

  3. I was wondering about them so I really enjoyed this post!! You used them so many different ways – wow. I think the tag dipping is the first one I want to try πŸ™‚

  4. Very helpful post!
    Just bought my first pack of gelatos as well. They look fun, but still haven’t experimented with them yet πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for posting this. I am heading to Michaels so I may have to checkit out πŸ™‚

  6. I have the set of every color gelato (that Robbie got me, of course) and have enjoyed using them dry & wet. I want to try them with my stamps next. Thanks for the links!

  7. what a fabulous post full of ideas!!! Love it all!

  8. these look very fun- love all your techniques

  9. Wow, I had no idea! These are awesome! Thanks for the post!

  10. Thanks for the lesson πŸ™‚
    I have heard of these, but didn’t really look into them any further.
    Thank you for sharing this πŸ™‚

  11. I seriously may buy some because of this post. Thanks for showing all these different techniques!!!

  12. I just got the 10-colour set, and have looked at a bunch of videos, but one thing keeps coming up and you also mentioned it here: cleaning up (or even blending) with baby wipes. I’m having trouble finding ones that don’t have aloe or other additives in them – are just plain ‘wet ones’ okay to use? I’m not sure the additives in the wipes would be a good thing for stamps or artwork over time. Do you have any advice/experience on this?



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