Quilling Tutorial For Beginners
Quilling is one of the oldest crafts out there, and yet it carries a wonderfully bold and modern appeal to papercrafters today, thanks to the incredibly array of colourful, intricate designs you can create! Here our quilling expert, Carla Bagshaw, takes you through a simple yet stunning monogram quilling tutorial as she introduces you to the basics of this fantastic papercraft pastime. If you’re looking for a new craft to try this year – we think quilling should be it!
Time it takes to make: 2 hours
Skill level: Beginner – Intermediate
You Will Need:
- A printout of the letter you wish to quill
- White cardstock (350gsm)
- Quilling strips in your preferred colours (I would advise beginners to use 5mm strips or larger)
- Small ball tool
- Quilling slotted tool
- PVA glue (Pinflair bookbinding glue is excellent for quilling)
Beginners’ Quilling Tutorial
Take a print-out of your chosen letter and lay it over your sheet of white card (you can tape it with low-tack tape to keep it in place). Using a ball tool, trace the outline of the letter so that it indents onto the card below.
Using the indented impression as your guide, you will need to start the process of ‘outlining’. This means taking a quilling strip (I used white) and placing it vertically over the impression on the card. I try to use small amounts of PVA along the outline first, and place the strips over the top, but you can place glue on the edge of the strip and glue that down if it is easier.
Top Tip: If you are doing a letter that has an inside, like an O, then outline the inside indent first. This is much easier than trying to wrangle with it after the outer outline has been done.
Once you have placed a strip around the whole of the outline, you are ready to fill it with colours. Quilling is done by rolling a strip using a slotted tool. One edge of the strip is placed into the slot, and then you begin to roll the tool, keeping your finger and thumb gently on the strip as it rolls. Once completely rolled up, you (gently) remove the coil from the tool while keeping a firm hold on it. If you place glue on the end straight away so that the coil is sealed in place, then you will have formed a ‘tight coil’.
However, if you gently release the coil between your thumb and forefinger it will begin to loosen. You control how large or small the coil is by how much your open your thumb and forefinger. This is known as a loose coil, and is the main technique used in quilling, as it allows you to then pinch and squeeze the coil into different shapes (such as a marquise or a teardrop).
These shapes can then be used to fill in your (now) outlined monogram.
Simply form a shape, glue the underneath, and place it where you would most like it to be to complete your composition.
The best advice I can give for beginner quillers is to take it slow! Learn how the tension of the coils works by how much you should be releasing your paper. It takes a while to get used to it, but the payoff is immense when you begin to see your finished projects take shape!
There is no limit to the designs you can create once you get to grips with the basics of quilling. Discover Carla’s butterfly quilling tutorial right here, or try your hand at this stunning nautical design. Want to see our top ten quilling designs that will take your breath away? Check those out here.