When making cards, I think it is fun to replace letters with bits of quilling. It adds such a touch of whimsy. When I ran across the “Big On Christmas” stamps from Stampin’ Up! I knew they would be perfect for my 2011 Christmas cards. As you can see, they had the same idea. Of course, I didn’t want to stamp the tree, ornament, or snowman (which I replaced with a snowflake). I wanted to quill those instead.
Unfortunately, having this idea and implementing it proved to be two very different things. You see, I am not a talented stamper and I was having a hard time stamping just the letter part of these holiday stamps. I tried adding ink to just the letters using a marking pen, but my hand would slip and I would invariably get ink on the picture portion of the stamp. Next, I tried covering the picture parts with tape, but that didn’t work for me either.
Finally, I decided to cut out the part of the stamps I didn’t want printed. It was a hard decision to make since there was a very good chance I could ruin the stamps, but I took my craft knife, held my breath, and carefully cut around the picture section of each stamp and peeled off the cut portions. Since the stamps were mounted on wooden blocks, the spacing and alignment of the rest of the stamp sections was not disturbed.
I then inked them up (I like using StazOn solvent ink since it dries quickly and doesn’t smear) and stamped away. As an added bonus, I was delighted to find that I hadn’t ruined my stamps at all. The cut out portions fit right back into their original places so the stamps can still be used as they were originally intended.
I am sure that if you look around you’ll find many other stamps out there that would lend themselves to this creative “altered art” technique.
We were blessed with our fourth grandchild, Daniel John Morgan, on July 21st, so to say that I have babies on the brain is an understatement. When I ran across a free “cute as a button” graphic on the Papercraft Inspirations website, I was inspired to make a card featuring quilled buttons — for a baby boy of course!
If you haven’t visited the Papercraft Inspirations site, you are in for a real treat. This is the online site for the printed magazine. Besides all of the ideas provided by a team of extremely creative designers, you’ll find free templates, downloads, and papers you can print off to use with your own creations.
If you would like to make your own “Cute as a Button” card, you’ll find the free button card back graphic (designed by Jo Kill) in the free download section.
Here is a delightful card that uses an empty ribbon spool as the card base. A message strip is attached to the core, wound around the spool, and secured with a piece of ribbon tied into a bow. The lucky recipient then unties the bow to unroll the greetings. I guarantee that this card will be a keeper! Since I wanted larger flowers, I used strips of scrapbook paper cut to various widths and hand fringed them.
Since I firmly believe in giving credit where it is due, I must mention that I ran across this clever idea by Alison Eads in the paper crafting book, Retro Mania, published by North Light Books. The quilling design that decorates this card, however, is all mine.
I enjoy making and giving quilled cards to friends and family, but sometimes I simply run out of time to make a card from scratch. I end up giving a store-bought card, but feel a twinge of guilt because it seems so impersonal. Sound familiar?
To help with this problem, I have begun looking at commercial cards in a different way. I have found that by adding a little quilling, I can change a commercial card from ordinary to extraordinary. And best of all, it only takes minutes to do.
For example, I found this colorful birthday card with candles printed across the bottom. By adding quilled candles right over top of some of the printed ones, I added a layer of dimension and the crystals glued to the flames makes it pop even more.
The second card shows a cute little bear holding a bunch of balloons. I glued some quilled balloons (tied with a black string, of course) over the existing ones. It was so easy.
For those on a budget, this is a great way to dress up inexpensive boxed cards or thrift store finds. And it’s a great way to use up bits and pieces of quilling paper left over from other projects. Give it a try. It just a few minutes, you can create a special card any recipient will love.
Back in the 1980s, it was all the rage to stiffen strips of large-print floral fabrics (usually mauve) into bows to dress up wicker baskets. While that decorating look has come and gone, it’s still fun to stiffen fabric, especially if you are a crafter
who likes to get her hands a little messy once in a while. Stiffened fabric has a wonderful paper-like quality making it an interesting textured background for your quilling projects. The key is to keep it flat as it dries. The stiffened fabric can be easily trimmed to size using your paper cutter and simple folds are possible.
To create stiffened fabric you will need:
fabric (I have found that thin cottons or cotton blends work best)
fabric stiffener (I used Stiffy by Plaid Enterprises, but there are several on the market)
throw-away plate or container to hold the fabric stiffener
heavy plastic to protect your work surface (I used a transparency sheet and it worked like a charm. If the plastic is too light weight, like plastic wrap, it will wrinkle under the fabric as you apply the stiffener)
Now that you have assembled your supplies, let’s get started. 1. Cut a piece of fabric (smaller than the plastic) and place it right-side up on your work surface. 2. Pour some of the stiffener into your container. 3. Using the foam brush, apply the stiffener to the fabric starting in the center and working your way to the edges, being sure to keep the fabric flat. You want to make sure that the fabric is totally saturated with the stiffener, but not gloppy. 4. Pour the excess stiffener back into the bottle, discard the brush and container (or wash them for the next time).
That’s it. Now just kick back while the stiffener dries. Depending on how much stiffener you used and how large your piece of fabric is, it might take 30 minutes or longer. This process can be hurried along with a hairdryer.
If your new fabric paper is a bit wrinkled, I found that it can be ironed flat. Use an iron setting appropriate for the fabric used (cotton or cotton blend) and do not use steam. Be sure to protect your ironing board surface and iron by using a dry pressing cloth over and under the dry stiffened fabric (a piece of the cloth you haven’t applied stiffener to works well).
One word of warning — do not get the stiffened fabric wet. It will turn limp like, well, fabric.
The fabric “paper” I made accents this colorful birthday card. I used a dry adhesive to attach the stiffened fabric to the paper surface of the card. The small amount of regular glue I used to attach the quilled
coils directly onto the stiffened fabric caused no problems at all. I repeated the circle theme with a silver paper clip bought in a set from the Dollar store. Small silver half-pearls embellish the upper left-hand corner of the card.
Quilling Tip: The fun swirly doodle designed fabric was some that I had in my stash, but this would be a great way to recycle fabric from old clothing too worn to give to charity.
I was browsing through the bargain bins of ribbon and found a funky retro paisley design in yellow, green, and orange that simply screamed mini skirt and go-go boots.
I wasn’t a teen during the Mod 60’s, but I do remember having a pair of white go-go boots when I was in kindergarten (thinking I was quite the femme fatale) and watching Hullabaloo and Shindig on TV.
I used the ribbon as my inspiration for a fun retro birthday card featuring a quilled go-go boot. The boot was created using an “outline & fill-in” quilling technique. You can use this technique to create any design you wish by following these simple steps:
Draw an outline of the desired design, or find inspiration on the web. Resize the pattern as needed and print it out for your work board.
Tear several strips of paper (I find 6″ to be a good length) and quill them into loose coils. Starting at either the top or bottom of your design, pinch the coils into shapes that fit within the outline of your design. Glue the quills together where they touch and pin into place.
Continue filling in your pattern with pinched loose coils. If you are creating an elaborate design, you may want to “draw” lines within the pattern using paper strips or “paint” with your quills by changing the color of the quilling paper used for the coils.
Glue a strip of paper along the outside of your quilled piece to finish off the edge and complete your design.
Quilling Tip: Try coloring books and needlework patterns for designs with simple outlines.
I want to thank all of the ladies who attended the Christmas quilling class at the Marietta Community School. I hope you had a great time because I know I sure did!
Our class project was a Christmas card with a detachable snowflake ornament. I am very proud of the snowflakes the students quilled. This group photo of the students’ cards shows their talent and creativity. The snowflakes are not glued to the front (which is why they may appear to be crooked), but swing loose which makes for a fun surprise when the recipient opens the card.
When creating the card, I punched a 1/16″ hole in the card at the top of the circle background. This allowed me to thread the snowflake’s hanging loop through to the inside where I secured it with a piece of tape.
Many of us are on a tight budget, but you don’t have to trim your gift giving list this year. These cards are perfect when you need a little something this holiday season for co-workers, as a hostess gift, or for members of your book club. You can whip up a batch quite inexpensively, but I guarantee they’ll be appreciated and make a lasting impression.
Quilling Tip: I used a printed paper that reminded me of a starry night as the background for my snowflake, but many combinations are possible. A quilled wreath would be great attached to a card featuring a home’s front door. A quilled snowman could grace a card showing children playing in the snow. Or quill a stocking and attach it to a card that shows a fireplace with a roaring fire.
We had a fun time quilling at the recent Mommy & Me quilling class. It was the first time I had taught a class with children, but they did great, as you can see!
I will be teaching a beginner Christmas quilling class on Thursday, November 5th, from 6:00-8:30pm at the Marietta Community School, the continuing education division of Marietta City Schools. Check out the MCS online course catalog for complete registration information. There are still spaces available, so if you would like to get a head start on your Christmas decorating or gift-giving projects, please sign up and join us.
The second issue of my newsletter is almost ready. You’ll receive a free quilling pattern — this time for a popular late summer flower — along with complete instructions for turning it into a sunny card. You’ll also learn of a wonderful charity that will welcome all of the cards you can quill. So, if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, do it now. You won’t want to miss it!
Next week I am teaching my first basic quilling class with a Halloween theme. It will also be my first Mommy & Me class (mother & daughter pairs), so I am really looking forward to it. For each class, I provide my students with three original quilling patterns along with all of the materials necessary to complete three projects. After making the basic shapes for their take-home chart, we complete one of the projects in class. They can then keep quilling at home with the other two projects… and get hooked on quilling (I hope)!
I was looking around the web for inspiration and ran across a card that spelled “boo!” using a chipboard letter “b” and exclamation point “!”. For the letter “o” they used jack-o-lantern stickers. It was so cute and I knew it would be just perfect as one of the class projects since each pair could make the card together, with the Mommy quilling one of the pumpkins and the child quilling the other. I wanted to put a photo of the inspiration card on this blog, but it is on a major site and I honestly couldn’t figure out who to ask, so I am including the link here
so you can click over and take a look.
I am very happy with how my quilled Halloween card turned out.
Being creative doesn’t have to be expensive. All of the supplies for this card came from my own stash, except for the ribbon that was on sale this week at Michaels. Use what you have to make quilled cards for each season. The lucky recipient will thank you for it.
The idea of using objects for letters is not new. An arching black cat would make a perfect “h” in Halloween. And a quilled
witches broom could be the “l”, or used as an exclamation point. You could even quill the spider
from the last post and use it for the “o” in “Boo!” instead of the pumpkins. Just make its body out of a larger loose coil and shorten the legs, making him more of an “o” shape.
If you have been inspired my card, please take a moment and leave a comment. I would enjoy hearing from you!