Tag Archive 'budget quilling'

Jan 13 2013

Upcycled Quilling Card

Published by under Quilled Card,quilling

Looking for quilling inspiration?  Why not upcycle old gift enclosure cards into new cards for friends and family?

upcycled quilling gift card

Last fall I spent a lovely day with my friend stopping at yard sales and thrift stores.  At one very unique shop in downtown Villa Rica, GA, I spied a shoebox of old, unused gift enclosure cards.  I picked out several for only a dime a piece.  What a deal!

upcycled gift cards

I love making quilling cards, but don’t make enough of the same ones to justify spending a lot of money on specialty stamps and supplies.  When I saw these wonderful little gift cards, I had the idea of using the colorful fronts as the sentiment part of a card.

upcycled quilling card

The enclosure card was the inspiration for the colors and the actual quilling design which is a repeat of the whimsical leaf and berry doodle.


I love how this card turned out!  Not only did I save an old card from the trash, but I have a new quilling card ready for the next special occasion.


5 responses so far

Nov 21 2012

Quilled Chalkboard Ornament for Teacher

I was looking around the craft store yesterday and came across some small chalkboard ornaments in the unfinished wood section (Craftwood brand made by Darice).

chalkboard ornament with quilling embellishments

At 2-in x 3-in, these little chalkboards are the perfect size for a gift tag ornament and come complete with a hang cord attached.  They are so inexpensive that you could make one for the teacher, room mother, and even the principal, without breaking the bank.


The chalkboard is recessed exactly 1/8-in so the quilling embellishments fit right in.  I added an apple and pencil to mine, but there are many cute school embellishments you could add like a school bus, school bell, or old fashioned school house.


I was afraid that actual chalk would wipe off, so I used a white paint pen (Painters paint marker by Elmers) to paint on the numbers and letters. 

chalkboard ornament supplies
The back of the chalkboard is nice and smooth making it easy to write the “to” and “from” information — and don’t forget to add the date.


Wouldn’t this be a great craft project to make with the kids?



5 responses so far

Mar 11 2012

Luck o’ the Irish Quilling Card

Published by under Quilled Card,quilling

Several months ago I was doing my usual look through Michael’s scrapbook paper isle to see what papers they had marked down to ridiculously low prices when I happened upon one sheet left of a St. Patrick’s Day paper called Lucky Day Shamrock Big Stripe by Deja Views®.  Regularly well over a dollar, it was now a mere $0.29.  Of course I snatched it up. 

Lucky Day Shamrock Big Stripe 

What first caught my eye was the wonderful saying printed on the paper.  A fancy sentiment is often the costliest part of making a card and here was a great one for mere pennies.  It is hard to tell in the photo, but much of the sentiment is done in embossed metallic. 


The other great thing about this paper was that it combined many great prints onto one sheet (also with lots of added shiny metallic embossing).  It was like having the use of six printed papers for the price of one.  I had quite a bit of the printed paper left over after making this card and will be able to use it for other occasions.

Good Luck quilling card 

In making the card, the first thing I did was to cut out the sentiment and line it with matching blue card stock trimmed slightly larger than the sentiment, edging the pieces with black ink.  Next, I cut a piece of matching green card stock 5-in x 6.5-in and affixed it to the front of my ivory card.  I then cut a piece of the scrapbook paper 4.75-in x 6.25”, wrapped a piece of blue ribbon diagonally around the front securing the ends to the back, and affixed it to the front of the card.  I attached the sentiment to the center front of the card using adhesive foam mounts so that the sentiment stood away from the back of the card.

quilled shamrock clothespin 

Since the background paper was already pretty busy, I didn’t want to glue quilled shamrocks directly onto the card, but wanted them to stand out instead, like the sentiment.  So, I quilled two shamrocks and glued them onto the front of mini clothes pins!  I then clipped them onto the sentiment section of the card. 


The clothes pin shamrocks were the perfect finishing touch to this St. Patrick’s Day inspired card.  You can find several sizes of clothes pins in the unfinished wooden shapes isle of your local craft store. 


Card Tip

I purchase bulk packages of inexpensive cards in 5-in x 6.5-in and 4-in x 5.5-in sizes in both ivory and white.  They make a wonderful starting base for decorated cards and come complete with envelopes that are sized a bit larger than the cards.  This allows finished cards to easily fit, even when embellished with quilling. 


4 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

Jan 21 2012

Quilled Valentine Pomander

Published by under Valentine Quilling

quilled Valentine pomanderPomanders have been around for centuries.  Once used as a way to mask unpleasant odors, modern pomanders are a fun way to add a little extra scent to the air.  This fancy pomander is made from a plain paper mache heart ornament I found in my local craft store (on sale, of course).


Since the heart is hollow, the pomander is surprisingly easy to make:


    1. Replace the hanging thread with your choice of ribbon (this step is optional, but it’s easier if you do it first).
    2. Decoupage the outside of the heart with torn pieces of decorative paper (thinner papers work better than card stock weight papers).
    3. Poke holes into the back of the heart using a sturdy paper piercing tool or awl.
    4. Cut a door into the center of the front of the heart with a craft knife.
    5. Insert your scent of choice (potpourri, perfumed cotton balls, purchased scent beads – you could even use a torn up car deodorizer).
    6. Close the door and seal it up by covering it with additional decorative paper strips.
    7. Decorate the front of the pomander with your choice of trims and quilling design.

pomander steps


To decorate mine, I ruffled a small doily (sew a circular running stitch about a half inch from the doily’s center and pull the thread tight) and glued it to the center of the heart.  I then glued on three rolled roses made from card stock, three sets of leaves made from strips of crimped quilling paper, and bits of red pearls left over from a Christmas project done long ago.


Inexpensive and oh, so pretty, these little pomanders would make lovely, and useful, Valentine’s Day gifts.

7 responses so far

Apr 13 2011

Use Quilling to Spruce up Ready Made Cards

Published by under Quilled Card

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.

4 responses so far

Nov 03 2010

Quick Quilled Christmas Tag

Published by under quilling

candycanetagI don’t own all the paper crafting tools and gadgets I would like.  For the type of crafting I do, I find I need variety more than quantity and it is hard for me to justify spending the money on a new punch, die cut, etc., when I only want a few pieces.  That’s why I keep my eyes open for ready-made items I can embellish with quilling.
I spotted several packages of Martha Stewart’s tags last year in my local Scrapbook outlet store.  (Alas, I discovered a few days ago it had closed — sigh!).  There are 8 tags in each package and since they were on sale, each package cost less than a dollar.  What a bargain.  The tags even have the “To” and “From” printed on the back.
I added my own ribbon (also from various bargain bins), a square of scrap card stock, a quilled candy cane, and … Voila!  I now have a custom gift tag worthy of any present.
candycanetagblankIf you keep your eyes open, you can find lots of ready-made packaging just waiting for a touch of quilling to turn it from ho-hum to Ho-Ho-Ho!  (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist).

4 responses so far

Nov 03 2009

Library Book Sales

Published by under Quilling News

Twice a year, my local library system conducts a book sale of hardbacks, paperbacks, children’s books, magazines, and tapes, that have been either culled from circulation or donated by patrons for the sale.  With the emergence of online used book sales through ebay, Amazon, etc., the lines are long and the sale is crowded, but if you are up for it, attending one of these events can lead to awesome treasures at a fraction of the price for new books (from $0.10 – $1).  
library-booksI limit myself to two tote bags — if I can’t carry it, I can’t have it.  Others, however, show up with rolling carts and suitcases!  I have purchased some really nice old Christmas craft books along with some new ones on rubber stamping which provide wonderful inspiration for card layouts I can use with my quilling.  For those into altered art, the possibilities are endless.  I was raised in a household where books were revered and you didn’t mark in them, let alone cut them up, so I have a harder time thinking about books as potential art material, however I did pick up a pocket-sized 1978 World Atlas full of maps.  I think that pieces of it would make a wonderful addition to a bon voyage card or scrapbook page of that special trip.
Contact your local library or visit their website to see if they have annual book sales.  For me, I find it well worth the effort.
Quilling Tip:  Readers Digest condensed books, or other nicely bound books, look wonderful as props for your quilling.  Stack two on their side and top them with a piece of your framed quilling to create a bookshelf display you’ll be proud of.

One response so far

Jun 02 2009

Make Your Own Quilling Workboard & Design Guide

If you are going to make more than just one or two small pieces of quilling, you owe it to yourself to purchase one of the quilling workboards and design guides that are currently available.  These are quality boards made of dense self-healing cork or durable foam that are sturdy and made to last for years.  The design grid guides and circle templates help you create precise, uniform quills, which is very important when working with symmetrical patterns such as snowflakes.  
A variety of quality designer boards, grids, and templates are available from the Scrapbook Super Center (just enter “quilling” into the search menu) and Custom Quilling.
However, if you are working with a group (Scout troop, church group, craft club, etc.), it is not always practical to purchase each member their own quilling workboard.   You can make one instead.
quilling-workboard1A simple, temporary board can be made from any sturdy sheet of cork board, plastic foam, corrugated cardboard, or other similar material.  A nice size is 6″ x 8″, but use what you have.  For my quilling classes, I have taken inexpensive 12″ x 12″ cork squares, cut them into four 6″ x 6″ squares, and edged them with masking tape.  These work very well, and if one happens to get away from me, it can easily be replaced.  Go green with a quilling workboard made from corrugated cardboard cut from a box that was headed for the trash.  When it has too many holes to be useful, just place it in the recycling bin. 
Wax paper makes a serviceable cover sheet for your workboard; it is handy and certainly cheap enough.  However, a word of caution is in order — if too much glue is used and the quillwork is accidentally glued to the wax paper, when you remove the quillwork the wax will come up with the quilled design.  I prefer to use clear plastic sheets cut from scrap (think old plastic sheet protectors or office transparencies) or recycled plastic packaging (not the hard stuff toys are packaged in, but the thin plastic scrapbook embellishments are wrapped in, heavy-duty food baggies, etc.).  You can either pin the workboard cover in place, or wrap it around and tape it to the back.   Slip your quilling pattern underneath the cover sheet (plastic or wax paper), pin in place, and create your quilled masterpiece.
quilling-workboard21For symmetrical work, a design grid can be created from a piece of graph paper cut to fit your quilling workboard.  Using a ruler and black pen or fine-tip marker, draw in your vertical and horizontal lines to divide your sheet roughly into fourths.  Continue to draw in intersecting lines as needed for your pattern.  Circles can be added to the grid with the aid of a compass or circle template. 
If you find that you need to make many coils of the same size, you can create your own template by tracing small round objects of various dimensions (coins, bottle caps, washers, brads, etc.) onto scrap paper or card stock.  Place this guide (shown in the top photo) under your workboard cover sheet and allow your quills to uncoil to the size of the desired circle.


Quilling Tip:  Use glue sparingly, especially when creating your design over wax paper so the wax on the wax paper does not become glued to the bottom of your quillwork.

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