July 29, 2008

Tutorial: An introduction to paper quilling

Simple quilled flower

As you probably know, paper quilling or paper filigree can be used for creating greeting cards, decorating objects and even building three-dimensional sculptures.

This is a getting started quilling guide, where I'm showing the basics of paper quilling by the example of making a simple flower. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.

There are special tools and papers for quilling, but let's manage with only things everybody has usually at hand:

  • sheets of double-sided colored paper (A4 or Letter size)
  • wooden toothpicks/cocktail sticks, or a slotted tool
  • metal ruler
  • crafts knife
  • pencil
  • white craft glue (PVA)
  • template with circles
  • cutting mat or board
  • nice colored or patterned paper for the base
Another simple quilled flower

1. Make marks of 3 mm (1/8 inch) along the short edges of a paper sheet. Always start measuring from the same edge, since the last mark may turn out shorter, than needed.

Marking up the paper

2. Cut strips using the craft knife and ruler. Try cutting a few sheets at a time: clamp them with office clips or clothes pegs. Press the ruler thoroughly and make sure the knife is sharp. Cut with one movement, applying strong pressure onto the knife and being careful not to cut your fingers (and table). You get colour paper strips 3 mm (1/8 inch) wide and approximately 30 cm (11 inches) long.

Cutting paper strips for quilling

3. For a petal take a strip and roll it tightly around a toothpick. You might want to make a slit in the toothpick, it holds the end of a strip and makes the start easier.

Rolling strips

4. Gently pull the roll off the toothpick and put in into the circles template. Choose a circle of 1.5-2 cm (5/8 to 3/4 inch) in diameter. Release it, the paper unrolls up to the size of the circle. Don't hold the roll for a long time, it won't unroll otherwise.

Pulling the roll off

5. Glue the end of the strip and let dry.

Gluing the tip

6. Take the coil out and pinch it on one side. You've just got one of the basic quilling shapes (see at the end of this article), which is called a "teardrop". There are about 20 basic shapes, but the idea is always the same: roll and pinch.

Shaping - pinching the coil

7. Make 5 more "teardrops" in the same manner — the other petals of the flower.

Quilling shape The Teardrop

8. And now let's make a leaf. Repeat steps 3 through 5, then take out the coil and pinch two opposite ends simultaneously. This shape is called an "eye".

Pinching two sides Quilling shape The Eye

9. We'll use another shape for the second leaf for a change. This shape is called, strangely enough, a "leaf". Do everything as if you were making an "eye", but after pinching shift the hands in opposite directions without releasing the shape.

Shifting Quilling shape The Leaf

10. Now making the center of the flower is easy: just roll a coil and leave it as is. To make it smaller use a smaller circle in the template (about 1 cm or 3/8 inch). It's called a "loose coil", by the way.

11. Arrange the elements, mark their position on the base, then apply a thin layer of glue to the bottom of the shapes and attach them to the base.

Some basic quilling shapes for reference:

Basic quilling shapes

53 comments:

theysaywordscanbleed said...

thanks!

arlene,
Puyallup florist

Inna D. said...

You are welcome!
I wasn't sure if anybody needs this :), there are so many quilling sites! Glad you found it useful.

Marijamagdalena said...

i love your work!

Inna D. said...

Thank you :)

Eve said...

Wow. I thank you so much. I have been looking for easy to understand instructions.

Inna D. said...

You are welcome! Glad you found it easy to understand :)

Vlada said...

Инна! Вы просто гений! Смотреть на ваши работы - одно удовольствие! Спасибо!

Влада

Inna D. said...

Большое спасибо :)

webbie said...

wow this a cool blog and mam ur so good with ur handworks and tutorials.thanks a bunch.

Inna D. said...

Thanks a lot, webbie!

Katia said...

It is first time I see such a craft, it is very beautiful!

Inna D. said...

Thank you, Katia!

satia said...

Hi,

Your work is wonderful.....
but how do you manage to glue it to the background sheet after the entire quilling process...

thanks

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

Satia, you need to apply a small amount of glue over the edge that will be put onto the base. Check out this great article by Charlotte Canup: How To Glue Your Quilling to a Background Surface, I'm sure you'll find it very useful.

Trang DO said...

I love quilling but in my country, it's not popular so I can't buy tools. Yours tips are useful for me. Thank you very much!

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

You are welcome, Trang DO! Quilling isn't popular in my country either :)

khalmuz said...

Inna,

Thank you for the tutorial. Will try it soonest, :)

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

You are welcome, khalmuz :)

Maybelle said...

this is really pretty and helpful.. thank you so much.. but sometimes i wonder how u can make such complex designs that looks impossible to me.. its just like wow! you're awesome.. =)

a lu said...

thank you so much for this ^^ i'm planning to decorate our Christmas tree using this art. really happy i got to see this ^^ keep it up!
GOD bless!

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

Maybelle, a lu, thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

The store where I have been purchasing my quilling paper has recently stopped carrying it so I have decided to make my own. I am not sure what paper to use, though. What weight is yours?

thanks!

Anonymous said...

what kind of paper is it i can't understand for making the strips!!
i tried many thin papers but they did not work for me!!
CAN YOU TELL ME SOME GOOD AND SPECIFIC TYPE OF PAPER!!

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

@Anonymous
You can find information about paper I use here: Cutting paper strips for quilling

How to Macrame said...

Inna, your work is just beautiful!!! Do you recommend quilling for people with arthritis? I thought my mom might really enjoy this craft, bu she's worried it might cause her arthritis to flare up.

MahdiahMaimunah said...

I interest with quilling paper and i hope can try it....

arsyadvilla said...

inna. it's beautiful. thank's a lot.

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

Thanks everyone very much!

@How to Macrame
Unfortinately, I can tell nothing regarding quilling for people with arthritis. Sorry

Anonymous said...

hi im ila and i love your work its awesome we use this as a project xDD

Anonymous said...

hi! it's so useful for a beginner like me.

thank you!

Anonymous said...

my schoolage kids are going to love this project...

thank you

Anonymous said...

Great job~ Very nice and I like it so much~ =D

Anonymous said...

thank you sooo much inna..

only last night i came acros ur blog..t ws lovlyyy...u rely giftd..i lovd each nd evrythng dat u hav done...

inna dear,cud u pls teach me how to make squares and triangles..i have tried bt i am nt getting it!!!

am just a starter...
can u be my guide?? plss...

nandita said...

Thanks a lot for such a fantastic ideas.....now i will made my own quilling creations...thnk u & please give some more ideas...

Sai said...

Thanks a lot . . Its very helpful and pont to point tut for new bees :)

Sai

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

Thanks everyone very much!

Anonymous said...

HiYour basic lessons on quilling is so It'so clear and easy to follow.It's got me so excited I'm going to try this project with tthe kids at school. Thank You.

huvaida said...

thanx Inna.. i m a teacher n on every Saturday i teach my kids sumthng new. i really appreciate ur work as it would help me in teachng my kids ths fantastic art.

Unknown said...

I have had a quilling kit for ages but just have not got around to having a go this is the first time I have checked out a tut you have made it so easy to understand so out comes the kit
Thank You
Steff

♛ Nazirah a.k.a Naz ♛ said...

thanks..this tutorial looks easy..i will try next time ^.^

Jemini said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. It is very easy to learn for beginers like me.

Inna D. said...

Thanks everyone very much! I'm glad you like my tutorials.

sunitha said...

this website is really worth watching and every beginner must watch this site thanks inna for ur wonderful work

Inna D. said...

Thank you, Sunitha!

Anonymous said...

Hi Inna,
Thanks for such a helpful tutorial! Just tried some stuff and it feels good :)

Jo Escano said...

I find it very useful, especially that it has taken my fancy and I wasnt aware that there's this form of art and can be a hobby too :)

~ EyDa ~ said...

hi anna,
its usefull since i'm doing it for the first time..
thanks for sharing us the tips.
may i know what type of paper are suitable and easier to do quilling, since its unasy to find the craft paper at malaysia.

Inna D. said...

@~EyDa~
Thank you! Please read this post about the paper strips I use: DIY: Cutting paper strips for quilling.

Rad said...

Thk u so mch Inna! i chanced upon ur website while browsing thru http://artplatter.com/2011/12/quilled-birthday-card-shades-of-blue/..even i hav difficulty sourcing the materials for quilling & was so happy to find ur site!love d idea of using a slotted toothpick!n how u've cut paper strips yourself.Where der's a will der's a way! Thk u so much for sharing.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

THANKS--it's my first time reading about it.

Anonymous said...

Your tutorial is easy to follow and the results very pretty. I did quilling years ago but needed a reminder so thank you very much. Your quilling is just so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Really easy to understand
Thanks a lot...

Anonymous said...

Creative and fun .. Just what I wanted to do with my kids .. Thanx a bunch :)