Tag Archive 'Quilling Tips'

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 (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ornavegreen).  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.



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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

Nov 27 2011

Packaging Quilling Ornaments for Sale or Gifts

I have participated in many craft shows over the years and have found one that I really like sponsored by the South Cobb Arts Alliance.  Unlike traditional 1-2 day shows where you set up your booth and then personally sell your merchandise each day, this 11-day show is set up like a Christmas house.  You bring your items for the initial set up, work two 3-hour shifts, pick up your unsold items, and they mail you a check for the items that you did sell.  It is wonderful!


The only down side is that you are not there to watch over your items.  That is where creative packaging can be a big help.  Along with my “captured ornament” series, this year I am offering three different quilled ornaments for sale.  And while I know that paper ornaments are quite sturdy, I really didn’t want to put them out without some type of protection.  I would hope that adults would treat them with proper care, but the tables are low enough that little ones might be tempted to reach for them.


To solve this problem, I created a simple gift box for each ornament and then placed it inside a plastic sleeve (like those used for cards).  Packaged with the box open, potential buyers can see exactly what the ornament looks like.   


I make the gift boxes from heavy scrapbook paper or card stock.  I like using a nice printed paper for the top and a solid color for the bottom.  I purchase the paper during the year when I find it on sale, that way the boxes cost next to nothing.  My boxes are roughly 3-in x 3-in square, but you will want to make yours sized to fit your ornaments.  Just be sure to make the lid a little bit larger so it will fit over the bottom (trust me — I speak from frustrated experience).  I also make the lid height a little bit shorter than the bottom height so that the box is easier for the recipient to open.  There are several good scoring tools on the market (I use the Martha Stewart one, but Score-Pal is very popular, too) that make creating these boxes a snap.  For those who would like detailed instructions for making these boxes, I have posted a step-by-step tutorial.


For an added touch, I cut a piece of white quilt batting to fit inside the box.  I purchased an inexpensive roll of batting at my local JoAnn store (using a coupon, of course!).  I’ve probably made five dozen boxes and still have plenty of batting left for next year.  This gives the gift box the feel of an expensive jewelry gift box.  I did find, however, that my white snowflake did not show up well on the white batting, so I cut a piece of pale silver tissue to sit on top of the batting underneath the snowflake. 


Since my ornaments are for sale, I include my custom hang tag which contains basic quilling information.  This tucks away neatly underneath the batting.


Even if you don’t participate in craft shows, you might want to give this idea a try.  Think of how delighted your friends and family will be to receive your quilled ornaments inside their own little gift box.


3 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

Mar 26 2010

Quilling on ….. Spoons?

Published by under Quilling News

granmother-quilled-spoonA wonderful reader of mine, Lisa Malachinski, wrote me about a project she has done where she embellishes spoons with quilling.  Yes, you read that correctly, spoons!  You know how much I love it when someone thinks “outside the box” with their quilling, and I just had to share her story and photos with you.
Lisa is a stay at home mother of 4, or 5 if you count her hubby (her words — but I do understand, LOL!), two boys, 15 and 11, and two girls, almost 14 and 4.  She does a variety of crafts from crocheting, quilling, cardmaking, scrapbooking, to some sewing and different paper crafts.
She got hooked on quilling while watching the Carol Duvall Show and turned to books and the Internet for more information.  On a favorite website she discovered Molly Smith who created classes for anyone who wanted to learn about quilling.  After each project, the students would post their completed works.
During this creating and posting process she came up with the wonderful idea of adding quilling to her grandmother’s spoons.  She chose to quill flowers that reminded her of her grandmother’s gardens and added little bugs for interest.  She then made one for each of her sisters and mother who just loved them. 
aunt-marion-quilled-spoonLisa’s Aunt Marion was a wonderful lady who was full of life and loved the outdoors.  She would sit and watch the hummingbirds outside her front window and show the little birds to her children and nieces.  When her aunt passed away, Lisa asked her cousins for one of her spoons to embellish with quilling.  As a loving tribute to her, Lisa quilled flowers and a hummingbird for the spoon.  It is not surprising that she has been asked to make six more for her family and siblings.
I am so impressed with Lisa’s creativity.  What a clever way to make such a personal and treasured family heirloom.
Quilling Tip:  Lisa glues her quilling onto the spoon with E6000 adhesive.


6 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 09 2009

Heavenly Angel — Free Quilling Pattern

angelThere is still time to embellish your Christmas crafts with quilling.  This sweet little angle works up quickly and would add a heavenly touch to your Christmas projects.
You will need
Basic quilling tools (discussed earlier)
Quilling paper, 1/8″: white, yellow, gold metallic (solid gold on one side of the paper strip)
Gold leaf pen (optional) 
Free Quilling Pattern — Heavenly Angel
(1) 20″ teardrop, white (body)
(1) 10″ loose coil, white (head)
(2) 10″ shaped teardrops, light yellow (wings)
(1) 2″ strip, metallic gold (halo)
Instructions for making the teardrop and loose coil can be found here
Using the photo as a guide, glue the 10″ loose coil (head) to the pinched tip of the 20″ teardrop (body) to form the angel.  Shape the wings by curving the teardrop around your index finger as you pinch it, or roll the tip of the completed teardrop around your quilling tool.  If desired, run the gold pen across the top of the two 10″ shaped teardrop wings to gilt the edges before gluing them to the angel body.
haloTo make the halo, fold the 2″ strip of metallic gold paper in half and glue the two sides together.  You now have a 1″ strip with gold on both sides.  Overlap the two ends and glue together to form an oval loop.  Glue the halo flat (with the glued ends down) onto the background, slightly at an angle above the angel’s head.
christmas-card-angelLast year, I used this little angel on Christmas cards.  I used the same blue scrapbook paper that reminds me of a winter’s night that I used on the snowflake cards in the previous post and added a homespun feel with the golden gingham held in place with mini brads.
This year, I designed a scroll ornament from the sheet music of a familiar Christmas carol, “Angels We have Heard on High.” 
If you want to try making your own scroll ornament, there are many carols and hymns in the public domain. 
angel-scroll-ornament3Try a Google search for images or you can visit openhymnal.org to see if they have any you would like.  There are also many scrapbook papers and stamps with music backgrounds that would work nicely. 
Quilling Tip:  The metallic coating on the paper used to make the halo causes the glue to take longer to set.  I find it helpful to use a pair of tweezers to hold the ends of the halo strip together until the glue dries. 
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