Paper quilling (also known as paper filigree) is an art that has been around for hundreds of years. It involves rolling thin strips of paper and then molding them into various shapes.
You will need to cut narrow strips of paper in your preferred colours – a weight of around 80 to 90 gsm works well. The other thing you will need to get started is a quilling tool. You may also want to have a pair of tweezers handy for intricate pieces! There’s a selection of some popular quilling tools and accessories below.
Below we have an image showing the most common basic shapes used in quilling. These can then be laid out to create various designs and patterns. These are only the basics though – you can create whatever shapes your heart desires!
To start off you will need to slide the end of a strip of paper into the top of the quilling tool (the side that has a slot). This will hold your paper snug as you begin to roll your paper. Try to keep the roll tight and neat as you roll it. You can roll to the end of the strip, or cut it to the length that suits you. At this point you will need to decide if this will be a loose roll or tight roll – this will depend on what shape you want to manipulate it into. You will then need to glue (Bostik Clear Glue works well) the end of the paper strip onto the paper coil to secure it. Once you have done that and the glue is sufficiently dry, you can mold your coil into whatever shape you like – teardrop, eye, leaf etc.
You can glue your quilled pieces onto paper or card – you might find that the looser pieces are easier to stick down by adding the glue directly to the paper/board and placing your piece on top. You can create simple yet beautiful designs, or intricate and detailed designs. We’ve added in some inspiration at the bottom of this post to give you some ideas!
Here is a helpful video tutorial you can watch:
And some inspiration: