Jul 18 2009
Unless you are creating a stand-alone, 3D paper sculpture, you will probably be attaching your finished quilling to some type of backing. This might be a card, scrapbook page, or a piece of mat board that you intend to frame. No matter what the surface, you will want to glue the quilling securely and cleanly with no glue showing to detract from your art.
There are several methods for applying the glue to the back of your quilling.
Spread a very thin layer of glue as large as your quilllwork onto a flat surface like a plate or plastic lid. Using a pair of tweezers, pick up your quilling, touch the bottom edges of the paper to the glue, then place it on the desired backing. A thin glue (such as Elmer’s) works best for this technique. If you normally use a thick, tacky glue for quilling, you might try thinning it with a drop or two of water. You want the glue thin enough to spread thinly and evenly over your flat work surface. A foam brush helps to spread the glue. If the glue is too thick, the loose center of the coils will stick to the gluing surface, pulling them apart and ruining your piece. This method works especially well when tendrils and vines are part of the design. Once you have the glue on the back of your quillwork, you need to attach it exactly where you want it. If you try and slide your quilling into the correct placement, you will leave glue smudges. Any glue you see will turn shiny and even though it is clear, it will be noticeable.
You can also use a small paintbrush to paint the glue onto the back of your quilling. Use care in touching only the bottom edges of the paper with the glue to avoid unwanted globs or smudges. Again, a thinner glue is easier to spread with the paintbrush. Tweezers are useful to help hold the quilling and assist in placement when glued.
I actually don’t use either of these methods. I spread glue on the back of my quilling using a toothpick. I pick up a little glue on the tip of the toothpick and roll the toothpick over the quills. Depending on the design, I apply glue to the tight rolls and centers of the quills to allow a little more “wiggle room” when placing the quilling on my background. If glue is not over the entire back, I can slide the quilling just a tad if needed without the glue showing. If I do end up with a bit of glue on the background, I slightly moisten a fresh toothpick (you don’t want it dripping) and gently wipe up the glue.
Quilling Tip: Make sure your background surface is ready before you apply glue to the back of your quillwork. You don’t want the glue to dry before you have a chance to attach the quilling. If not, you will have to apply more glue which increases your chances of having glue showing on your finished art.