Gocco Tips for Beginners

A Gocco is a small, compact printing system.  It looks like a child’s toy, but with a little practice the results can be stunning.  I ventured into the Gocco realm when I was planning my wedding.  I decided to make all 200 invites by hand and saved a pretty penny in the process.  The Paper Stylist designed my invites and provided me with color separated templates.  Here was the result:

There are various Gocco tutorials online, but I wanted to give you a list of tips that I either learned from friends, the internet, or through my own trial and error.  Hopefully I can help to preserve your sanity a bit.

Below are my tips for happy Goccoing:

1. Use a xerox machine to copy your design.  A Laser printer is supposed to work too, but I have never tried it and my friends have had varying results. Do NOT use an ink jet printer.

2. Buy extra bulbs and screens.  There is nothing worse than being in crafty mode and a bulb malfunctions and ruins your screen.  I had to run out to the store several times to pick up extra bulbs and screens and it was really frustrating.  It is even worse if you have to order online and wait for it to be shipped.

3.  Use the blue filter every time you burn a screen.  It makes the image much crisper, especially if your design is delicate.  The blue filter helps to even out the amount of carbon that is deposited onto the screen.

4. Do not remove the xerox from the screen until after you ink it.  This way you can see exactly where the ink needs to go, and you don’t waste.

5. Let the ink chill. I had trouble with the dark green seeping through the screen and leaving tiny dots all over my paper.  I remedied this by putting the screen in a ziplock and placing it in the fridge for a bit to make the ink less runny.

6. Scotch Magic Tape works wonders on areas of the screen that seep through in the wrong place.

7. A little embossing powder can add some depth to your design.  The ink it quite sticky when wet and you can emboss part of you design.  Make sure it is the LAST color you are applying to the paper and make sure you other ink colors have dried thoroughly.  I embossed the dark green on the main ceremony card and the light green on the cover so that it would stand out against the dark brown paper.

8. Don’t plan on scraping the ink off your screen and reusing it to print another color.  The screen cleaner doesn’t work at all and it is really time consuming with varying results.  If you really need to pinch pennies, try it out, but if you can burn another screen, do it.  It will save you loads of time and frustration.

9. Refresh the sticky pad.  If your paper stops adhering to the sticky pad, wet the pad and allow it to dry.  It will be magically sticky again.

10.  When you need a break, put your inked screens in ziplock baggies and place them in the fridge. They will last a couple days like this.

And lastly…When my friends and I did our first gocco projects we all freaked out and thought it looked ugly and horrible and first.  If you are getting disenchanted, put it down and come back in a day.  I guarantee you will see them with a fresh eye.  They are handmade, therefore they will never be perfect.  That is their charm.

Happy Goccoing!

3 thoughts on “Gocco Tips for Beginners

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for all this information! I just got my first Gocco from Ebay, it arrived yesterday… I am very excited!
    The only thing is that the instructions I got are on video tape, in Japanese. I see you have a CD and I guess it’s an English version. Do you know where I could get a copy by any chance? If it’s worth of course, does it bring more information than what you wrote?

    Thanks in advance,
    Best regard,

    Kathleen (from France)

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