Jan 30 2010

Enhance Your Quilling with Blending Chalks

Fig 1

Fig 1

Blending chalks are an excellent choice when you want to add a bit of color to your quilling.  Made by several manufacturers, they come in a wide array of colors from soft pastels to bright jewel tones.  Some even have a bit of shimmer mixed in (Fig. 1).

Chalks are easy to use and, unlike inks, are quite forgiving.  Small sponge applicators (similar to those used for eye shadow) usually come with the chalks.  Replacements can be a bit pricey in the craft stores, so you might want to look into the make-up applicators available at discount or beauty supply stores.  You can also use cotton swabs, cotton balls, and tissues to apply the chalk.
Fig 2

Fig 2

You can apply chalks directly to your finished quills.  This allows you to add color without splicing strips together.  For the leaf (Fig. 2), I applied a darker green to the lower portion of the shaped marquise and yellow to the top with just a touch of red on the tip.  In the photo, a plain leaf is on the left for comparison.

Quilled flowers can be enhanced with chalks as well.  Dark colors of chalk look striking on flowers made with light colored papers while light chalk colors can really make darker flowers pop. 
Fig 3

Fig 3

Yellow was added to the center of this star flower (on the right) giving it a warm glow.  A plain star flower is on the left for comparison (Fig. 3).
My favorite use of chalks is to highlight the background papers used with my quilling.  I love the look of torn paper edges and think they add a nice texture to a finished piece.  Sepia and brown colors will give your background papers a worn, aged look. 
Fig 4

Fig 4

Adding a color that blends or contrasts with your quilling is a great way to add interest and draw your eye into the quilling, just like when you add a mat to a piece of framed art  (Fig. 4).

Don’t limit yourself to just chalking the edges of the quilling background.  When I created this Valentine’s Day card for my husband, I brought the red chalk in from the edges and made it a part of overall design. 
Fig 5

Fig 5

The chalk highlights the subtle texture of the background paper without taking anything away from the true focus of the card — the quilled floral heart wreath (Fig 5).

Give blending chalks a try — I think you’ll find that they can give your quilling an added depth and beauty.

Tip:  Blending chalks are actually quite inexpensive and last a very long time.  They are softer, however, than the sidewalk or blackboard chalks you might have played with as a child and they crumble easily.  Also, I found out the hard way that the individual pieces of chalk are not glued inside their trays and will fall out if dropped, making a mess on your carpet if you are not careful.


If you would like to quill your own Floral Heart Wreath, a 12-page downloadable PDF quilling pattern is available.  Check out the Quilling Patterns section of the blog to learn more.
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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Enhance Your Quilling with Blending Chalks”

  1. Lesleyon 31 Jan 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Thank you for this helpful tutorial. I haven’t done any chalking but from your work I can see great possibilities. I have some soft pastels, I may give them a try till I get some chalks. Thanks for the wonderful site. Lesley. (Australia)

  2. Lisaon 01 Feb 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Great tut. I deciding if I needed to buy the pearl cream but I will try this first, since I already have the chalks. thanks


  3. Helenon 07 Feb 2010 at 5:35 pm

    WOW that is an incredible card – so much work and so beautiful.
    Firenze Cards

  4. Philippaon 11 Feb 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I’m definitely going to try this. Haven’t used chalks before, but I can see that it would add an attractive extra dimension to quilled motifs, especially floral ones. Is the colour ‘fast’, or would it rub off if someone touched the quilling on a card they had received?

  5. Charlotteon 11 Feb 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Great question. I have not had any problems with the chalks coming off. The process of adding the chalk sort of burnishes the color into the paper. However, there are many types of chalks out there, so be sure to ready any manufacturer information that comes with the chalks you are using. If you are concerned, you might try adding a quick spray with a matt sealer just to make sure the chalk stayed put.

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