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How to do Quilling – Your Basic Guide to Paper Quilling Techniques

Oct.13.2021
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How to do Quilling

DIY craft projects are an excellent way to get creative during your free time. Some people are expert crafters, and can make a living off of the pieces of art that they make, from earrings to figurines. There are so many options for mediums when it comes to making trinkets and decorative items. While most people consider paper to be the base for drawings, paintings and prints, what if it could be the clay you use to make tiny sculptures?

If you want to get started on a fun and new project, there is one underrated technique that I think more people should get into. Have you ever heard of DIY paper quilling? If not, this article will teach you everything you need to know about this awesome skill. Paper quilling is a practice that has been done for centuries to make brilliant and intricate designs with paper. It’s one of the easiest and most low-maintenance crafts to learn, not to mention that it’s pretty darn cheap too! If any of these points pique your interest, this paper quilling tutorial has arrived at your screen at the perfect time to teach you your new favorite activity: how to do quilling.

What Is Paper Quilling?

Paper quilling is the art of coiling, wrapping, and manipulating thin strips of paper to make decorative designs or sculptures. This form of paper art has been around since the dawn of paper, but it has gone in and out of common usage and has been practiced in many very different styles since then. Paper quilling uses very inexpensive materials to make anything from pretty 3D decorations on a card to gorgeous works of art that stand alone.

While there are some artists who practice quilling as a full-time occupation, the process necessary to learn paper quilling is relatively simple. Most beginners can learn the paper quilling basics after practicing for a very short time. This means that in a matter of hours, a novice can produce pleasant results. Because of how easy and fun this artistic adventure is, it’s perfect for starting a new hobby, having a crafting day with friends, or entertaining many youngsters at a birthday party. Read on for a very simple paper quilling tutorial, so you can get started right away!

Materials Needed for Paper Quilling

Basic Guide to Paper Quilling Techniques

To begin your paper quilling journey, you are going to need a few materials from the craft supply store. You can either purchase paper strips made specifically for quilling, or you can do some exact measurements and cut uniform strips from ordinary construction paper or card stock with an exact blade.

The easier option is purchasing pre-cut strips, but if you don’t have access to a shop to buy them, or you want to get started with practicing, the second option of cutting your own strips would also work. Just be careful not to make uneven strips, in order to prevent wonky and uneven quilling shapes.

The next thing you are going to need is a slotted quilling tool. This is the tool you are going to use to wrap the paper efficiently. The slotted quilling tool is another thing that you can buy at a local arts and crafts store or order online.

You also need regular white glue, and the process would go more smoothly with a pair of tweezers and a couple of cotton swabs. Because we’re focusing on paper quilling for beginners, we won’t jump right into using specialized tools like a crimper or comb, but do note that if you get more advanced, there are tools available to help you unleash your creativity potential. Some stores sell quilling beginners kits, which make gathering all of your materials easy. These kits may include a few things I didn’t mention such as a sizer, circular ruler, and/or a curling coach. These tools aren’t essential, but if you see them and think they might be helpful for your project, go ahead and add those to your cart too.

Paper Quilling Step-by-step

To create a curled circle, which you can then mold into fancy and elegant shapes, you need to start with a strip of quilling paper and your slotted quilling tool. The first thing to do is to fit a tiny section of the end of your quilling paper into the slit in the tool so that it stays in place. Then all you have to do is tightly coil the rest of the paper strip around the needle to form a short cylindrical shape.

Once you’ve curled all of the paper onto the tool, you can either glue it immediately to make a very tight coil, or you can carefully pull the coil off of the tool and let it rest for a few seconds so that it relaxes and forms a looser coil and a larger circle. Then you should take a Q tip and apply some glue to the edge of the paper strip to close the loop. It’s that easy! To make more quilling shapes you are going to want to go with the second option of a looser coil so that it is more malleable for you.

Different Quilling Techniques: How to Make Shapes

Paper Quilling Step-by-step

Now it’s time for some basic quilling shapes instructions. The first basic quilling shape you can make after forming your coil and gluing it closed is a teardrop shape. To do this, simply pinch one end of the circle with your thumb and index finger so that you get a round bottom and a pointy top. You can use your tweezers to hold the inside in place while you do this for differing designs and final products.

Play around with how much of the inside coil you want to bend with the outer pinch. From there, you can also pinch the other side to make an almond shape. To make a square, start with a simple circle, and apply pressure with both of your thumbs and index fingers at the same time, with each finger pad on one of the four sides and pushing evenly. You can get more creative with your shapes by using your quilling tool to help push and pull in specific directions. To make a heart, start with a teardrop shape and then use the tip of the quilling tool to push down directly in the center of the round part, forming two even round hills over the pointy bottom.

Now that you know how to do the basics of paper quilling, you can make many beautiful shapes and use them however you please. You could decorate a card, a box, or an accessory, or you could make little statues by glueing quilling shapes together. Some quilling artists have made earrings, bracelets and necklaces out of these paper shapes and others have even made decorative bowls and paper flowers. Whatever you choose to do with your lovely designs, I hope the process is fun and rewarding!

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