Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday School: Quilling, Anyone?

Good morning CraftyStealers!

Today, we are going to have a mini-lesson in quilling.  Quilling (also known as paper filigree) is done by rolling and then manipulating and gluing thin strips of paper, to make various shapes and intricate designs.  Quilling has been around for ages.  Literally.  According to Wikipedia, monks and nuns quilled designs on religious books during the Renaissance. Then, during the 18th century, it became popular with the "ladies." 

Until recently, I had seen quilled art and cards, but didn't know the name for it, nor did it interest me enough to find out more.  Then I started seeing some designs that I really liked, beyond the normal roses in a basket I was used to seeing. Animals, landscapes, fringed flowers, and there is even a blog out there by a woman, Sarah Yakawonis who does amazing quilled art of human anatomy. After seeing that it was an art form that had unlimited potential for creative license, I decided to give it a shot.  I was surprised to find it easier than I had thought (and also a good way to use up long paper strips).

This morning, I am going to show you how to make a quilled fringed flower.

Here are the basics tools you will need:

- a quilling tool: this is basically a stick with a little metal rod on the end that has a slit in it (open to one end so you can slide your circles off easily).  I purchased this one for a few dollars at the craft store.  I've also read that you can make one with a long eyed needle, or even just use tweezers.
- Paper Strips: You can buy special quilling papers that are the pre-cut to average thickness.  You can also you use your own papers (they need to be a medium weight to easily bend) cut carefully using a ruler or straight edge cutter.  When using your own paper, run it over the edge of a table or counter to break down the fibers a bit and make it easier to bend.

- Craft Glue: you'll just need a glue that dries clear.  I use Martha Stewart craft glue.

First, take your paper (this strip was 3/4" wide and 12" long) and cut "fringe" in it, cutting very close, but not all the way, to the edge.

Now insert one end into the quilling tool and spin the tool, keeping the paper wound tight.  When the entire length is wound, slide it off the end, keeping it tightly wound.

Attach the end with craft glue.
Push the fringe outwards with your finger.  You can add a small button, bead or bling to the center with glue.

To make the stem and leaves, you will need three 6" long strips, 1/4" wide.  Make another circle using the quilling tool, but make it a bit looser. After sliding it off of the tool, attach the end to the circle with craft glue.  Now pinch one end to a point, to make a teardrop shape. Repeat with the another 6" strip.

Now take the remaining strip and curl one end slightly with the quilling tool.  Draw the design you'd like your stem to follow on your paper in glue.  Now glue down the teardrop "leaves" you made.  Attach the head of the flower with more craft glue.  Here is my finished product, a card for my friend who just had a new baby girl.

Like I said, the possibilities with quilling are endless - your imagination is the limit! Give it a try, you just might find that it's a technique that makes perfect addition to your paper crafting hobby!

Happy crafting, and have a great Sunday!


  1. OMG.. LOVE IT!!! I soo gotta get that tool!!!


  2. thanks for sharing! i just bought a quilling tool and some papers, so i'm starting to make some stuff! Theres so many possibillities!