24 October, 2017
Design Your Own Clothes with the Gel-A-Peel Fashion Maker (Gift Ideas)
We have previously used Gel-a-Peel before (see our review here) which worked well but this new studio makes it easy to design your own clothes as well. So when we were offered the chance to review it we jumped at the chance.
Included in the box are 5 pearly Gel-a-Peel pens including a glitter one ( Pearly Lilac, Pure Gold, Pearly Plum, Sparkle Light Pink, Pearly Black), a handful of tips, 2 gel trays, various jewellery parts, the “station” itself and the all important instruction sheet. The station is cleverly designed to double-up as storage for your templates, pens and tips. It’s well put together and practical.
Phoebe decided she wanted to make a love heart t-shirt like on the packaging but in pink and pink-glitter. First of all you need to attach the t-shirt to the mount by placing the bottom inside the shirt and then clamping the top in place. Then you simply slide the chosen template into the mount.
When that’s ready it’s simply a case of choosing a colour and applying the gel to the gaps in the template. The kit includes squeegees so you don’t have to carefully colour in each and every gap – simply draw some thick lines over the template and use the squeegee to spread the gel out evenly. After your colours have been applied you then lift up the template and leave the gel to dry overnight. If you want to do a layered design with multiple colours on top of each other then it can take a very long time. This was one of Phoebe’s main issues with the Gel-a-Peel Fashion Studio – it can take so long if you want a fancy design!
The glitter-pink gel was disappointing though – it was essentially transparent gel with glitter in it and nowhere near as pink as the packaging implied. It’s quite hard to see against a white background. There’s also quite a lot of gel that gets wasted when you spread it out over the template. If you’re careful you can get it back into the tube (assuming the colours aren’t mixed).
Phoebe finished her T-shirt and enjoyed making it. If the gel starts to peel off then you can easily apply more gel to the back to hold it in place. There are 10 different templates so plenty of fun to be had designing clothes. You’ll need to make sure you hand wash your clothes though so you don’t damage the design.
T-shirt design is the main attraction of the set but you can also make jewellery and there’s a tray template for making a small clutch bag.
Phoebe decided to make a black and purple clutch bag. The idea is to spread the gel out into the tray and then use the squeegee to flatten it out. This means it’s impossible to do multiple colours unless you do them at the same time. This resulted in a lot of waste as the black and purple got mixed together when levelling out the gel with the squeegee. After leaving it 14 hours overnight the gel still hadn’t set fully and with some careful knife work from me we trimmed the edges to start the next step.
The idea, then, is to peel up half of the bag, apply some gel to the edges, fold it on top and then let that set. Overnight. Again. This time with a book on it to keep it together.
Then we had to use gel to stick the fasteners onto the bag and leave it overnight to set. Again. Once it was all done we had a small bag that was scary to try and open for fear of tearing the gel and that wasn’t really big enough to use because the seams would come apart easily. It also used up 2 full gel pens.
Overall Phoebe did really enjoy the Gel-a-Peel Fashion Station – in particular the t-shirt design. The clutch bag wasn’t practical and used too much gel though. The station itself is very well made and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into the main feature. Clutch bag and waiting time aside, we’d definitely recommend it and feel it would make a good Christmas gift for a budding designer.
The Gel-A-Peel Fashion Station has an RRP of £29.99 but can be found for less at various toy stores such as Smyths, Argos and Amazon.
Disclaimer: We were given the Gel-A-Peel Fashion Maker free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are our own.