Around the House: Create Beautiful Art with Just Paper Strips, a Quilling Tool, and Glue
By Yehudit Garmaise
With the help of their parents, crafty, patient kids as young as 6-years-old can create beautiful pieces of art by practicing paper quilling, a fun and simple papercraft that has been around since paper was invented 2,000 years ago in China.
Paper quilling, also called paper filigree, is the art of cutting paper into long thin strips, then rolling the pieces into tight coils that create beautiful, three-dimensional pieces of art.
Some paper quillers pinch their tight coils into different shapes, such as teardrops or hearts, before gluing the shapes together to form decorative designs.
Within just an hour or two: small paper quilling projects can be used to decorate cards, books, boxes, gift bags, picture frames, jewelry, or unique, art pieces that can be framed.
To prepare to quill, parents just need to first head to a nearby craft store to pick up: pre-cut, long strips of colorful paper, Elmer’s glue, a slotted quilling tool, and cardstock paper, which is heavier and studier than regular printer paper.
Although some websites say quillers can wrap their long strips around toothpicks or bamboo skewers, slotted quilling tools can give crafters more control when rolling their paper strips, said 18-year-old Miriam B., who quilled for the first time in an art class in school.
Paper quilling is an easy skill to master, plus, “fun and relaxing,” said Miriam, who used her creativity to place her rolled papers in an artful design that unfolded to look a bit like a colorful, cheerful bird.
Other quilling artists looked online for pre-drawn patterns or drew their own designs before gluing their rolled strips of paper onto card stock.
Beginning crafters, however, should remember to use as little glue as possible.
“Too much glue can quickly ruin your project, on which you may have worked for hours,” advised thesprucecrafts.com. “You can avoid the hassle of starting a project over [again by using tiny, pin-prick dots of glue.]
“You can always add a bit more adhesive if necessary, but you cannot remove excess glue.”
As they work, children, teens, and adults who launch their paper-quilling adventures should remember to be patient with themselves.
With practice, everyone learns how to quill more adeptly.
“You will find that if you keep at it, you will amaze yourself with your progress,” said thesprucecrafts.com. “You will soon be making pieces of beautiful quilling art and will be treasured both by you and everyone to whom you give paper quilling projects as gifts.”
Miriam said it makes her smile to see her artwork hanging up in her home.
“Kids and teens can have a lot of fun quilling and using their imaginations to make their own original creations!” she said.