Jul 29 2009

Coffee-Stained Quilling Experiment

Published by at 11:03 pm under Quilled Card,Quilling Technique

fig-12I was having lunch one day with a good friend of mine, Marsha (hi, Marsha!) right after the launch of my blog and she was kind enough to listen to me as I told her about a tea-stained tag I saw on the ‘net and that I thought it would make good vintage background for a piece of quilling.  Marsha made the comment, “I guess you couldn’t stain the actual quilling because it would fall apart because of the glue.” 
That comment stopped me in my tracks.  I had never thought about staining the quilling.  Could it be done?  What would be the best technique to use?  And most importantly, what would it look like?  fig-22My curiosity was piqued and I had to find out.
You may be wondering about my use of coffee to stain the papers since tea is usually used.  In our household, however, my husband is a coffee drinker and I make two small pots a day.  So, instead of wasting a teabag, I used the coffee grounds still in the used filter for the staining. 
The Process
fig-32I started by creating a quilled rose card (Fig 1) to use as the control for this experiment (remember your high-school science class?) to see what difference the staining made.  The card consists of a quilled pink rose with mint green leaves on a white tag which is then layered on a rose stem printed paper and plain pink card stock.  This was adhered to an ivory card (note: the actual folded card was never stained).
fig-41I then made a duplicate card, except I did not mount the pink card stock background to the actual folded card.  I placed the piece on a plastic plate and dabbed it with the used coffee grounds (Fig 2). 
You’ll notice that only the tops of the quills were stained (Fig 3).   
After the quilling dried, I adhered the stained quillwork to the folded card (Fig 4).
Next, I decided to stain the individual quilling papers and background papers used to make the quilled rose card (Fig 5). 
fig-51The staining changed the look of papers giving them a more antique feel (Fig 6). 
You can see that the staining is more even on the quills when the individual papers are stained (Fig 7). 
Fig 8 shows the completed card made from pre-stained quilling strips, tag, and background papers.
fig-61The final photo (Fig 9) shows the comparison of each card.  (9A is the original control card, 9B is the card stained as a whole piece, and 9C is the card made from pre-stained pieces). 
My Thoughts
Staining the quilling as a whole piece is my least favorite technique.  Already assembled, it was too hard to control the staining.  I had a hard time getting into the nooks and crannies around the rose and the overall look is a bit too blotchy for me. 
fig-71Staining the pieces individually gave me a lot more control.  It was much easier to wipe away some of the stain if needed.  The quilling papers crinkled up, but were easy enough to smooth out with my fingernail before rolling.  You’ll note that I left the crinkle in the paper used for the tassel in this card since I thought it gave it more of a “fiber” effect. 
fig-81Overall, I like the looks of the card made with this technique.  I think it looks like it was aged with time and gives a very romantic feel to the quilling.
I would love to know what you think about my coffee-stained quilling experiement. 
fig-9Please take a moment to send me a comment!
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13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Coffee-Stained Quilling Experiment”

  1. zonia zabalaon 30 Jul 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I think that is a great idea, it looks so great, makes me think on a card for a mom or a dear friend…….. many possibilities. To think that I always place my cup far away form my papers because I’m so clumsy. I think is a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Gailon 01 Aug 2009 at 5:03 am

    Hi Charlotte:

    I have to agree with you on the first stain attempt, much too spattered looking, as if a coffee spill accident happened.

    I think the last attempt looks much better. The rose itself changing color from pink to a dusty rose shade is nice.

    I also wonder about how the acid in coffee will affect the condition of the paper over time.


  3. Charlotteon 03 Aug 2009 at 11:03 am

    Hi, Zonia!
    I have to be careful about spilling my drink while I craft, also. It was a lot of fun staining the papers on purpose.

  4. Charlotteon 03 Aug 2009 at 11:18 am

    Hi, Gail!

    So good to hear from you again. Not knowing what the long-term effect of the acid is on the paper, I probably would not use this technique with an heirloom piece of quillwork.

  5. Rhondaon 04 Aug 2009 at 3:07 am

    My vote is for the pre-stained paper, this gives it a beautiful antique look.

  6. Charlotteon 04 Aug 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Hi, Rhonda,

    I agree … if you want your quilling to have the vintage look, you need to plan ahead and stain all of the papers first before creating the quillwork.

  7. Paton 11 Aug 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Charlotte,
    I seen your remarks from the lounge and I had to come see what you were doing . I haven’t done quilling in years but you sure have inspired me to get out my papers (probably vintage by now ) lol ……I have to say I love your card and the before you quill is surely the way to go . Veryyyyy nice .
    Thank you for sharing ……..I just signed up for your newsletter 😉

  8. Charlotteon 12 Aug 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Hi, Pat,

    I am so glad that you are going to try quilling again. I’m sure your papers will quill just fine. If they have gotten a bit wrinkled, just run them over your fingernail and they should straighten right out.

  9. Pamon 13 Aug 2009 at 3:19 am

    I love this idea! I think the last one looks best. I don’t like the “halo” around B. Maybe a cotton swab soaked in coffee could be used to get into small places and eliminate the halo?

  10. Charlotteon 13 Aug 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Hi, Pam,

    What a great tip — if someone had a piece of quilling already made that they would like to age by staining, I bet a cotton swab would help get into all the areas. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Lisaon 21 Aug 2009 at 5:35 pm

    What a clever idea. I can not wait to give it a try. With my luck it would be I tip my teacup on them. So, I will give it a tryon my next creation. Thanks for the idea.

  12. Charlion 02 Nov 2009 at 11:05 pm

    I’ve always used the ink pads or pens for “staining” my quilling. I also use paper paints which work very well. Actually there is little you can’t “marry” to quilling. Good job!!
    Your blog is very well done and informative.

  13. jackion 06 Oct 2010 at 6:42 am

    i love the prestained quilling and it does give a lovely effect, it made me think that you could also do some quilled fans with the same technique? to make them look vintage?

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