Monday, November 11, 2019

Grid It + Gift It: Wooden Box Gel Printed with StencilGirl® Stencils

Hi there! It’s Marsha Valk, and I’m here today to share a new column with you!

As a printmaker, I have tools that not only look dangerous, but that can actually cause harm if not handled carefully.
One of the first things my teacher told me was to put corks on my scrapers and cutters.

Not to protect the tools, but to prevent them from poking me while carrying them in my bag to and from class.

The teacher illustrated it with a horror story about a former student just to make sure I got the importance of the matter.

Last term, I kept the tools safe in a pencil case, but intaglio inks and cute canvas cases don’t really go together, so for this term, I decided to gift myself an upcycled wooden box.

The box needs to be practical, so I didn’t mind that it was a little beat up, to begin with. This one used to contain building blocks and I found it some time ago in a thrift store.

I started the renovations by cleaning it up a bit and sanding it with sandpaper.

After repairing one corner with wood filler and giving it a final sanding, it was time for the fun part: decorating!

I decided to turn the box into an alternative souvenir to commemorate a recent teaching trip to Barcelona.

Deciding on which stencils I wanted to use to decorate the box with, I was thinking about three things that have stuck in my mind:

The wrought iron gate work you see on balconies and entryways all over the city.

The beautiful old Spanish tiled floors I saw in a shop in Grácia and at the Laie Librería Café.

And, the mind-blowing work of Joan Miró.

Watch the video and see if you can spot how I used these points of inspiration to decorate the box:

See you next time!

Marsha Valk

Stencils used:
Trapezoid Squared Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Oval Grate Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Iron Flowers by Mary Beth Shaw
Exploded Fan Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Brilliant Star Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw


  1. Love it! Now, we'll all go poking around for wooden boxes! :-)

  2. Beautiful....I would never thought of using ink on raw wood ( for some reason I would have thought it HAD to be sealed with gesso first).Goes to show you what you miss out on by not thinking about trying out different concepts..turns out I LOVE that worn transparent look. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Nancy! Well... if you insist on gesso-ing first then you could opt for clear gesso. But without it the StazOn acts like a stain and I really, really like the way it looks too!

  3. What a fun project! You really made a neat box for your tools!

    1. Thanks Terry! Yes, I'm super happy with how it turned out!


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