Paper quilling (also called filigree) is a craft that involves rolling thin strips of paper into decorative shapes, then arranging them on paper or card stock to create a picture. The term paper quilling comes from the original crafters, who wrapped their paper strips around goose quills.
Quilling is very popular with scrapbook artists who are always searching for new ways to adorn their pages. You can frame your finished works, or turn them into greeting cards, gift tags, picture frames, or add decorative touches to photo albums and gifts.
What You'll Need:
- Quilling paper, construction paper, or lightweight card stock
- Quilling needle, toothpick, or other item to wind paper around
- White craft glue
How to Do Paper Quilling:
- Tear your paper into strips about 1/8 inch wide and 3 inches long, using the ruler to make the strips as straight as possible. Strip sizes will vary depending on the project. You can use any paper you'd like for paper quilling, but if the paper is too thin, it will bunch when you roll it. Paper that is too thin runs the risk of tearing, and will require longer strips to get the thickness you desire in the finished roll.
To begin rolling the paper, moisten one end slightly and press the end onto the side of a toothpick. If using a quilling needle, thread the end of the paper strip through the slot.
Wrap the paper around the toothpick or needle, winding it carefully and lining up the edges to keep them straight. When you get to the end of the strip of paper, gently slide the roll off of the toothpick.
If you want a tight roll, immediately glue the end of the paper strip to the roll, holding it in place until the glue is dry. Tweezers with a clasp to hold them shut can be used for this purpose; simply place the paper roll between the tweezers and clasp shut until the glue dries.
For looser rolls, let go of the roll after sliding it off of the toothpick and allow it to relax and spread out. When the roll reaches your desired size, glue the end as directed above.
If you need a series of relaxed coils that are the same size, use your ruler to measure them as they spread out. You can speed up the process a bit by pulling the coils gently with your fingers.
Pinching the coil into a point on one side will give you a teardrop shape. Pinching on opposite sides will make a flower petal or eye shape. You can also fold the strip of paper in half and wrap each end towards the middle to make different shapes.
If you want to add the dimension of height to your quilling project, create several tight coils and use them as supports for larger coils.
To attach your paper quills to card stock or other heavy paper, spread a bit of white glue on the paper where you want to place your coil. Using the tweezers, gently place the coil in the glue, pressing only enough to allow the coil to stick. Continue working piece by piece until your picture is complete, then set the whole thing aside for several hours to dry completely.
Paper quilling is an inexpensive hobby that can have gorgeous results. Play around with the shapes and different types of paper to create stunning works of art that you'll be proud to display or give as gifts!