Blooming Stacking Storage Boxes by Wendy Mallas


We are delighted to announce that Wendy will be joining us as our guest designer for November and what a fantastic project she has to start us off with!

Hello! My name is Wendy Mallas and I'm an illustrator, designer and mixed media artist. I was delighted to be invited to be a guest designer for That's Crafty! throughout November. I hope I can live up to previous designers and their fabulous projects.

I began with a stack of four That's Crafty! MDF storage #1 boxes, all painted up on the inside before assembling. This is a crucial stage as it is almost impossible to decorate the insides after they've been glued together.

Four boxes hold 96 bottles of PaperArtsy paints, which just happened to be the exact number of paints I had. (At least it was until Seth Apter released 4 limited edition shades!) I digress. All paints used in this project are PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Acrylic paints.

Gesso is always a safe place to start. I gave the stack several coats of white gesso then, when that was dry, I drew a very large flower onto it in pencil. I just copied a design that I had drawn very roughly at the planning stage. Pencil rubs out very nicely from gesso. When I was happy with the placement, I went over the design with a black paint pen.

I felt the poor flower needed something else though, like a really rough stone wall behind it. Rather than painting each stone by hand, I took an A4 sheet of 190 micron mylar and drew rounded brick/stone shapes onto it with a Sharpie. Then, using a very hot wood burning tool with the pointy bit attached, I traced around that design, melting the edges of the bricks which enabled me to remove them.

I secured my new stencil over the top half of the box stack with masking tape and, with a makeup sponge, stencilled some Taupe paint through it, avoiding the flower design as much as possible. When this was done, I repeated the process directly beneath to cover the lower half of the stack.

I had seen Leandra Franich demonstrating stencil bumping which is when, after the first layer is stencilled, the stencil is moved very slightly in a diagonal direction and then stencilled over a second time with a contrasting colour. I did this using the appropriate colour, Concrete, and was happy with the extra 'pop' it gave to the background. The trick with stencilling is to make sure you use very thin layers. You can always add more and that is so much easier than trying to remove paint that has leaked underneath the stencil. When you think you have the right amount on the sponge, dab some more off.

I loosely painted a layer of Snowflake over the flower, leaves and bubbles to clean up any stencilling that had muddied my flower.

I started painting the flower with a mixture of Tango and Snowflake, blending as I painted. I added Yellow Submarine to the spiky bits (technical term) around the centre of the flower. I painted the petals with Mermaid and blended as I painted with Snowflake once again. I added some Bora Bora to the very edges, blending it in with my finger. To finish the painting, I used a blend of Granny Smith and Limelight for the leaves and stalk. I just love the names of these paints.

I added Diamond Ice Stickles to the bubbles, Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade Distress Stickles to the centre of the flower and Peacock Liquid Pearls (my absolute favourite) around the petals.

Apart from a little highlight with a white gel pen here and there and some added shadows with Faber-Castell Big Brush markers and a Stabilo Aquarellable All Black pencil, my first project as guest designer for That's Crafty! was done.

It's been a blast. See you next week. Have a great weekend.

Love and peace,

Wendy x 


PaperArtsy Paints - Taupe, Concrete, Snowflake, Yellow Submarine, Tango, Mermaid, Bora Bora, Granny Smith & Limelight
Ranger Ice Stickles - Diamond
Distress Stickles - Mustard Seed & Spiced Marmalade
Liquid Pearls - Peacock
Faber-Castell Big Brush Markers - Scarlet Red, Permanent Green Olive, Cobalt Green & Warm Grey IV
Stabilo Aquarellable All Black Pencil
Mylar sheets 190 micron A4
3b Pencil
Black Fine Posca Pen
Weller Wood Burning KitUniball Broad White Gel Pen

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  1. Amazing transformation, the bricks are a perfect backdrop for your gorgeous bloom, beautiful Wendy! xx

  2. Fab project hunni. I need to get me some of those boxes! 😊

  3. Looks fabulous Wendy. I can't wait to see what else you've got in store for us. Lx

  4. I love this. The brick stencil has come out brilliant and that flower is gorgeous x

  5. Fantastic blog and thank you for sharing so many great techniques 😀 I look forward to your blogs 😀

  6. Awesome make and what a brilliant idea to use several stacked together as one large "canvas"

  7. Really beautiful make Wendy and love all the wonderful texture you've achieved. As Moira said, a very clever idea for stcking boxes.
    Fliss x

  8. Love it, such a great idea and what a gorgeous flower too
    Donna xx

  9. Great design Wendy! I love your beautiful, bold bloom!


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