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Quilling Guide

This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of quilling. It covers essential materials, must-have tools, and basic techniques to help get you started!

There is a vast array of quilling techniques that you will discover as you progress with the craft. To help get you started, we’ve compiled this easy-to-follow how-to, which features step-by-step instructions for creating the most basic (yet essential!) shapes for any quilling project.

Tip: You could use either a quilling needle or a slotted tool to create these basic shapes. If you’re using a quilling needle, you need to roll the paper tightly around the needle using your finger and thumb. If you’re using a slotted tool, insert one end of the paper strip into the needle to secure it, and then roll the tool while guiding the paper with your finger and thumb.

How to Create a Tight Coil:

Tight
  • Attach one end of your paper strip to your tool and roll it to create a tight coil.
  • Hold the coil using your finger and thumb to prevent it from unravelling, and remove it from your tool.
  • Keep the coil tight between your finger and thumb, and glue down the end to close it; this will create a tight coil.

Crafty fact: The tight coil is great for creating sturdy bases for layered designs.

How to Create an Open Coil:

Tight
  • Attach one end of your paper strip to your tool and roll it to create a tight coil.
  • Hold the coil using your finger and thumb to prevent it from unravelling, and remove it from your tool.
  • Hold the tight coil gently between your finger and thumb for approximately 30 seconds, and then slowly release it. The coil will unravel and loosen a little, resulting in an open coil.

Crafty fact: The open coil is fantastic for creating elegant flourishes.

How to Create a Large Coil:

Tight
  • Wrap your paper strip around your quilling comb. (Remember, the further apart the prongs are, the larger the coil will be.)
  • Gently slide the coil off your comb (holding it so it doesn’t unravel) and glue down the end to close it. (Your coil needs to resemble a ring. If you find it is a little distorted, gently reshape it using your fingers.)

Alternative method for creating a large coil:

  • Wrap your paper strip around a drinking glass or a jar.
  • Pull your paper strip tight so the coil holds its shape but not so tight that it can’t be easily slipped off the glass or jar.
  • Glue the end of the paper coil down before removing the coil from the glass or jar, allow it to dry, and then carefully remove it.
  • Crafty fact: The large coil is brilliant for creating frames for intricate designs.

How to Create a Closed Coil:

Tight
  • Attach one end of your paper strip to your tool and roll it to create a tight coil.
  • Hold the coil using your finger and thumb to prevent it from unravelling, and remove it from the tool.
  • Place the tight coil on a quilling board or a flat surface and allow it to expand to your desired size.
  • Carefully pick up the coil using a pair of tweezers to keep it secure and glue down the end to close it; this will create a closed coil.

Crafty fact: The closed coil is the foundation for most quilling shapes.

How to Create a Teardrop:

Tight
  • Begin by creating a closed coil using our how-to (above).
  • Using your finger and thumb, pinch one end of the closed coil into a point, making sure you leave the other end as it is; this will create a teardrop.

Crafty fact: One of the most popular quilling techniques, the teardrop is perfect for creating petals, leaves, peacock feathers, and paisley effects.

How to Create a Marquise (or Eye):

Tight
  • Begin by creating a closed coil using our how-to (located towards the top of this page).
  • Using your fingers and thumbs, gently pinch both ends of the closed coil into a point; this will create a marquise.

Crafty fact: Similar to the teardrop, the marquise is great for creating floral elements, particularly leaves.

How to Create a Petal:

Tight
  • Begin by creating a closed coil using our how-to (located towards the top of this page).
  • Using your finger and thumb, pinch one end of the closed coil into a point; this will create a teardrop shape.
  • Hold the teardrop in between your finger and thumb so the point is positioned under your finger. Gently press the point of the teardrop with your finger to bend it into a slight curve; this will create a petal.

Crafty fact: The clue is in the name with this one – it creates beautiful petals, but it’s also great for creating paisley designs.

How to Create a Leaf:

Tight
  • Begin by creating a closed coil using our how-to (located towards the top of this page).
  • Using your fingers and thumbs, gently pinch both ends of the closed coil into a point; this will create a marquise (eye) shape.
  • Place the marquise on a flat surface and use your finger and thumb to gently curve the ends in opposite directions; this will create a leaf.

Crafty fact: The clue is in the name with this one too. The leaf enables you to create more elaborate floral and foliage elements, and it’s particularly great for crafting vines.

How to Create a Heart Scroll:

Tight
  • Begin by folding your quilling strip in half and forming a crease – it should resemble a V.
  • Attach one end of your paper strip to your quilling tool and roll the paper inwards until you get approximately 2cm from the crease in the paper.
  • Remove the paper from the tool and repeat on the other side, remembering to roll the paper inwards.
  • Pull the two scrolled ends together so they meet in the middle, and then glue them in place; this will create a lovely heart.

Crafty fact: The heart is a popular choice for decorating greeting cards, but it also makes a lovely embellishment for gift tags, bags or boxes.

How to Create a V Scroll:

Tight
  • Begin by folding your paper strip in half and forming a crease – it should resemble a V.
  • Attach one end of your paper strip to your quilling tool and roll the paper outwards until you get approximately 2cm from the crease in the paper.
  • Remove the paper from the tool and repeat on the other side; this will create a delicate scroll.

Crafty fact: Although simple in design, the V scroll is perfect for adding beautiful embellishments to quilling designs and is especially popular in floral creations.

Crafty fact: The heart is a popular choice for decorating greeting cards, but it also makes a lovely embellishment for gift tags, bags or boxes.

How to Create an S Scroll:

Tight
  • Begin by folding your paper strip in half to form a curve in the paper; don’t form a crease.
  • Attach one end of your paper strip to your quilling tool and roll it inwards until you reach the curve in the paper.
  • Remove the paper from the tool and attach it to the other end of the paper. Roll the paper in the opposite direction until you reach the pre-made curve in the paper strip; this will create a lovely S scroll.

Crafty fact: Like the V scroll, the S scroll adds a beautiful flourish to quilled artwork and is great for creating a corner border.