Archive for the 'Quilling Tips' Category

Nov 30 2012

Great Hand Lotion After a Long Quilling Session

Published by under quilling,Quilling Tips

It is so important to keep your hands clean while quilling.  The little bits and pieces of dried glue from your finger tips can make a beautiful piece of quill art look dirty and messy.  You will want to wash and dry your hands constantly as you quill.


I have discovered a wonderful hand lotion that’s perfect for restoring the moisture lost to all that hand washing.  It’s called Springtime Citrus Lotion from ORNAVE made by Etsy shop owner, Emily James (  Unlike heavily perfumed lotions, this one has a delightfully light scent.  While at her shop, be sure to check out her other organic bath and body aromatherapy products that are all natural and vegan.




One response so far

Sep 09 2012

Birthday Card with Quilled Flower Accent

Published by under Quilled Card,Quilling Tips

A dear friend of mine, Sharon, recently had a birthday and I wanted to craft her a quilling card to celebrate the occasion.

quilled birthday card
I have a very hard time using border punches and when I saw this lovely strip on the program of a wedding I attended recently, I couldn’t toss it out.  I carefully removed it from the program and saved it to recycle into a future quilling project. 


While creating this card, I tried various ribbons, but just wasn’t happy with the look — then I remembered the punched paper strip.  I think it adds a wonderful lacey accent.  It doesn’t show in the photo, but I edged the white scalloped circle with silver metallic ink.  The pearl flower center and blue gems add a touch of bling to an otherwise simple card — perfect for my special crafting friend.


Crafting Tip

Take a creative look at cards, programs, and packaging before you toss them out.  You may be throwing away free crafting materials that can add color, texture, and interest to your quilling projects.

4 responses so far

May 13 2012

Quilling a Graduation Card

Published by under Quilled Card,Quilling Tips

My niece recently graduated from the University of Georgia.  She has always been so complimentary of my quilling that I wanted to make her a special card rather than purchase one off the shelf. 

quilled graduation card 

The card turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  It took three stops to find a paper that meshed with the idea I was playing with in my mind.  When I finally had the card layout set, I thought that quilling the graduation cap would be a snap.  Oh, my goodness … was I ever wrong.


This card may say, “Hats off to the graduate,” but to all the quillers who have already created a quilled a graduation cap, my hat’s off to you.  I had a devil of a time shaping the coils the way I wanted them.  And when I glued the bottom cap part onto the mortar board diamond, I decided that the mortar board was a bit too small.  I certainly did NOT want to create another cap, so I carefully added more “layers” to the top diamond shape to enlarge it. 


I could have created a paper tassel with fringed paper, but as you all know, I’m not a purist and like the look of mixing different materials together.  I had trouble finding a light blue tassel small enough in the stores, so I made my own using embroidery floss. 

handmade graduation card with quilling 

The sentiment on the front of the card has rolled ends like a diploma.   I found a quote online that I thought was appropriate and used it for the inside of the card.


I hope she likes it.


Quilling Tip

Even if your quilling design isn’t quite right — keep working with it before you throw it away.  You can reshape or add to your coils until you have the look you want.



3 responses so far

Mar 17 2012

Ready Made Framing Options for Quilling

Having your quilled art custom framed can send a quality piece over the top, but it can also be quite expensive, especially if you are framing a piece for a gift or to sell. 


Regular off the shelf frames are a much less expensive option, but since they are made to hold a thin photo, most cannot accommodate the thickness of the quilling paper.  As a result, many crafters resort to framing their pieces without the glass.  This way the depth of the frame is no longer an issue, but the quilling loses the protection from dust and curious fingers that the glass provided.


There are some excellent tutorials available for those who wish to modify a frame so that it can be used with quilling, but for those of us less handy, there are off the shelf frames available that work great with quilling; you just need to know what to look for.


Shadowbox Frames

shadowboxCommercial shadowbox frames are now readily available in most craft stores and come in a wide variety of sizes and finishes to compliment your artwork.  Some of these frames can be quite deep, however, and you will want to keep your finished piece in mind when making your selection.  If your quilling design is mostly flat without a lot of layers or pieces glued on an angle (such as flower petals), your quilling may sit too far back from the glass and appear to get lost in the frame.


Fixed Glass Frames

fixed glass frameI have found several styles of frames where the manufacturer has affixed the glass to the front of the frame providing a clearance anywhere from 1/4-in to 3/8-in for your quilling, which is enough for your single layer quilling pieces.  An added benefit is that the frame itself is more decorative, unlike the standard rounded wood molding used in making most shadowbox frames.


Frames with Hidden Depth

If the frame you like isn’t a shadowbox or fixed glass frame, there are three other things you can look for to see if it will accommodate your quilling.


multiple mats1.  If the frame comes with multiple mats that have been spaced a part, there may be enough room for your quilling.  When evaluating the frame to determine if it would be right for your particular piece of quill art, keep in mind that the mats can be altered or completely removed if needed.


mat with decorative edge2.  Some frames (especially larger ones meant to hang on the wall) come with a more elaborate mat that has a raised decorative edge that outlines the inside of the mat.  The frame has been designed to accommodate the depth of this edge.  If the depth of your quilling is less than the depth of this raised edge, your quilling will fit.


3.  I’ve saved the best tip for last since it was my biggest revelation.  Check the back of the frame.  If it has a slide latch at the bottom that fits into the frame, put it down and walk away – there is only enough room for a photo. 

back of frames

If, however, the frame has a back door, open it up and take a peek.  The depth of the filler that the manufacturer has packed into the back of the frame (usually cardboard, but may be foam) is the depth inside the frame available for your quilling.  Sometimes it is very little and the frame can’t be used, but quite often there is enough space for a flat quilled piece, and every now and then, you’ll find a ton of space.  This is something that you just can’t tell by looking at the frame – you have to open it up and see.


With these tips in mind, it takes me just a few minutes to look through a store’s frame selection and see if they have anything I can use.


2 responses so far

Feb 25 2012

Quilling Extras

Published by under Quilling Tips

Quilling paper and tools are fairly inexpensive compared to other art supplies, but the extras added to a project can drive up the cost.  If you are making a lot of cards and quilled gifts, here are some tips to help keep the cost of supplies down along with comments on product quality.


Flat Backed Pearls

 I love the look of pearls with quilling.  They make beautiful flower centers, help balance a design on a card (grouped in threes in a corner for example), or look lovely on their own sprinkled in a quilled flower arrangement.  They can be found in gold and silver metallic, white, and colors.


  • Found in the scrapbook/paper crafting section of your local stores, use your coupons and watch sales for the best deals.
  • If you need just a few colored pearls for a design, you can color white pearls with permanent markers instead of purchasing a whole package of commercially colored pearls.
  • Pay attention to the product packaging.  If the pearls are spaced apart on the backing sheet, they will be perfectly round.  If, however, they are placed side by side in a long strip, there will be a flat edge where they touch.  This may or may not make a difference in how they look in your final design depending on where they are placed.


Flat Backed Gems

Anyone who has looked at my finished quilling knows that I love to add the bling.  What inspired this post was the realization that they can be found in so many different  store departments.



  • The gemstones and jewels found in the scrapbooking/paper crafting section of the store come in all shapes and sizes and are pretty cheap even without a coupon, but they are rather dull in appearance and you have to be super careful in peeling the gem off of the sticky backing because the silver will pull off too, making the gem even more dull and lifeless.
  • Swarovski crystals are the absolute best when it comes to sparkle and come in any color you could need, but you won’t find them in the paper isles – they are located with the beads.  They are much more expensive so be sure to catch the sales or use your coupons.
  • You can also find Swarovski crystals in the decorative textile section of the store as iron on crystals.  They have adhesive on the back that you can heat with a special tool to adhere the gems to shirts.  However, a little dab of glue affixes them to paper just fine.  I have found these to be a little less expensive than the ones found in the beading isle.
  • My biggest shock came when I discovered a brand called Brilliance by Bead Treasures in the beading isle.  They are packaged in strips just like the scrapbooking ones, but the sparkle is amazing!!!  And the price is super cheap (112 pieces for $2.99).  Unfortunately, this seems to be a Hobby Lobby product only.  This will be my new go-to gem as I use up my current stash.


Off Price Stores

I frequently visit off-price stores such as Ross, Marshall’s, and Tuesday Morning to look at their frames, but did you know that they now carry paper craft supplies, usually just one isle over?


I have found a pair of Martha Stewart scissors for $1.99, a punch for $3, and a pack of colored textured card stock for pennies on the dollar.  They also had ink pads, stamps, stacks of patterned scrapbook paper, and embellishments such as chipboard.


The selection is small and turns over quickly, but it is always worth a look if you are near the store anyway.


My most recent find was this paper pack from Colorbok for only $1.99 at a Tuesday Morning Outlet Store.  It has paper in what I thought to be more masculine colors.  I also grabbed a Metal Embellishment Set with Storage Container from Anna Griffin for $8.99 (retail price was $40).


Share Your Tips

If you have discovered other great products, places, or tricks to purchase the extras inexpensively, do let us know.  We need to spend our crafting dollars wisely so we can keep on making the quilling we love.


4 responses so far

Aug 14 2011

Metallic Quilling Papers

metallic-quilling-papersEven though it is scorching outside, I’m busy working on inventory for a big Christmas show I participate in each year.  With this in mind, I decided to quill some metallic cross ornaments to add to my offerings.  I remembered some metallic papers I purchased from Quilled Creations and thought they would be perfect (Metallics Sparkling Quilling Paper, Silver & Antique Gold).


These are really nice, heavy papers that hold their quilling shapes well, but, as I soon found out, they can be a bit tricky to work with.  Here are some general tips I discovered while quilling my ornaments:

  1. It takes longer for the glue to set when creating your coils and assembling your pieces.  You have to be patient!  Hold the glued end of your coil down longer than you think is necessary — and then hold it just a little longer.  Use pins to hold your pieces as you glue your design together to speed up the assembly process and help ensure a secure bond.
  2. quilled_plain_cross1

  3. On the plus side, because this paper is “slicker” than regular quilling paper, it is super easy to remove excess glue and have a really clean piece of quill art when you are done.
  4. Because it is a heavier paper, you can really see the glued seam on your coils, even when gluing down a torn edge.  I have found that burnishing the seam with a clean toothpick does wonders in smoothing out the seam and making it much less noticable.



quilled_cross_side_view1The biggest thing I learned is that while the papers themselves are metallic and look great from the side, the edges are quite dull.  As you can see, this cross quilled from Antique Gold look like is it made from a plain brown paper (Figure 1), but the sides of the cross are nice and glitzy (Figure 2).


quilled_gold_crossTo solve this problem, I used a gold metallic pen (I used one made by Krylon) and colored the edges (Figure 3).  What an amazing difference!  Now I have a stunning gold quilled cross ornament to sell at the show.


The same holds true for the silver metallic paper which has a dull gray appearance when quilled.  Just run a silver metallic pen over the edges to turn them a dazzling silver.

8 responses so far

Jan 15 2010

Quilled Stencil Rose

quilled-rose-stencil-framed21In my last post (Groovy Birthday Wishes) I talked about the very popular technique of filling in an outline with quilling to form a design.
Normally, your piece of quilled art would be glued on top of your background surface like I did with the boot.
But, what happens if you place the quilling under the background, cutting out pieces to reveal the quilling?
You get a very striking piece of art that almost resembles needlework.
The method is quite simple:
  1. Find a stencil that you like and lightly trace it onto the card stock you will be gluing the quilling shapes to.  Remember, this paper will show through the coiled pieces, so you’ll want to choose a nice neutral or coordinating color that will go with your design.
  2. Trace the stencil onto the paper you want as the cover for your quilling and cut it out with a craft knife.  (Note: the piece is easier to frame if the bottom card stock and the top cover sheet are the same size.)
  3. Roll your quilled shapes to fit slightly over the outline and glue to the card stock.  Once finished, glue the top paper over the guilling, lining up the cut out stencil with your quilling and covering up any rough rough edges of the quilled design.
  4. Frame your masterpiece and wait for friends to Oooooh and Ahhhh over your latest artistic endeavor.
Quilling Tip:  This would make an awesome home decor DIY project.  Add coordinating art work to a room that has a stenciled border.  Use the same stencil for wall art and a coordinating pillow.  Or create a stencil from a fabric pattern already in the room and bring it up to the wall with your own quilled piece.

5 responses so far

Dec 29 2009

Groovy Birthday Wishes

groovy-card2I 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.
groovy-card-inside2I 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:
  1. 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. 
  2. pinned-boot2Tear 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

3 responses so far

Oct 09 2009

Quilled “Boo!” Halloween Card

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.
Quilling Tip:  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! 

One response so far

Aug 24 2009

Quilling Tip — Hiding the Paper Seams

When I am working on a piece of quilling, I don’t like to see the seam where the end of the paper strip is glued to the coil.  To me it looks unfinished and I try to avoid showing these seams when I can.  Picky?  Perhaps, but I think it gives the quilling a more polished appearance.  I have been using three tricks for years to help minimize the tell-tale seam left behind when making quills from loose coils and thought I would share them with you.
Fig 1

Fig 1

1.  Tear Your Paper Ends

Make sure that the end of the paper strip you glue down is torn so that the fibers blend into the coil.  If you glue down a cut edge, the seam is much more noticeable.  You can see the difference in Fig 1.  The coil with the cut end is on the left and the one with the torn end is on the right.
Fig 2

Fig 2

2.  Coil Shaping Tricks

There are two ways to hide the seams when making shaped coils (teardrops, marquises, squares, etc.).  The first method is to pinch the coil into the shape so the glued end of the paper is even with the pinched edge.   This gives a beautiful finish to the coil.   In Fig 2, the teardrop on the left has been pinched with the end at the tip where it all but disappears.  The teardrop on the right was shaped with the end clearly visible on the side.   Shaping my coils with the end at the tip is the method that I use 99% of the time.   However, if I know that the seam will be covered by another paper strip, such as a rose bud covered with a paper stem, I pinch the teardrop with the seam at the bottom.
Fig 3

Fig 3

3.  Hide Seams During Assembly

When possible, glue the seam ends or sides of your coils to each other when assembling your quillwork.  For example, if you are creating a flower from marquise coils, glue the tips with the pinched ends together for the center.  If you are combining a coil and a scroll (Fig 3) glue the seam end of the marquise inside the fold of the scroll. 
Fig 4

Fig 4

When gluing two loose coils together, try and turn the coils so that as one coil ends, the next one seems to begin, like an S-scroll only in two pieces (Fig 4).  

I’m sure these hints are old news to the seasoned quillers out there, but I hope they help those new to the art take their quilling to the next level.  Remember — it’s all in the details. 
Related Posts with Thumbnails

4 responses so far

Next »