Quilled Butterfly - 2 Easy Ways #12

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How to Do Quilling

Two Parts:

The art of quilling, or coiling paper, has been around for centuries--from monks curling gold paper during the Renaissance, to young ladies learning the art during the 19th century. Today, quilling is just as popular as ever. All you will need are the right tools, a little patience, and some creativity.


Learning the Basics

  1. Know the two different types of paper curling tools.These two tools are the slotted tool and the needle tool. The slotted tool is best for beginners, while the needle tools lends itself to a more perfect creation. You can also use a toothpick or corsage needle if you do not want to buy either of these tools.
    • Slotted tool: This is thin pencil-like instrument with a slit or slot at the top. The one downside of the slotted tool is that it creates a tiny crimp in the center of the paper where you slide the paper into the head of the tool. If this doesn’t bother you then you should definitely try this tool when you are first starting out.
    • Needle tool: This tool is harder to use but will result in an uncrimped (meaning it looks more professional) and perfect spiral.
  2. Make or buy your quilling strips.The art of quilling is based, not surprisingly, on the paper used to make your pieces of art. Quillers use thin strips of colorful paper, curling them with their tools to form incredible designs. You can make your own strips by cutting pieces of paper into equal-sized strips, or you can buy pre-cut paper. The length of your strips will depend on the pattern that you are following.
  3. Try coiling the paper.Before you make any cool decor, make a bunch of plain coils. To get started, insert one end of a quilling strip into the tiny slot in your quilling tool. Make sure it's nice and snug, then start twirling the tool away from you. The paper should wrap around the end of the quilling tool, making a coil. Keep twirling the paper until the whole quilling strip is twisted on the quilling tool.
    • To try coiling with a needle tool or toothpick, get your fingers a little damp and then curve one end of paper strip around the needle (or other tool). Use your thumb and index finger to apply pressure and roll the paper around the needle.

Gluing Your Designs

  1. Gently pull the coil off.When you have rolled the piece of paper all the way around your tool, take it off. If you want a loose coil, put it down and let it loosen.
  2. Glue your paper together.Once the coil is as big or small as you want it, glue the tail. You should only apply a tiny amount of glue. Use a toothpick, paper piercing device, or T-pin to dab a small amount of glue on the inside side of the end of the paper (the tail). Hold for twenty seconds.
    • Basic glue, such as Elmers, will work just fine for quilling. You could also try tacky glue, as it dries more quickly than basic glue. You could also try water-based super glue, which dries incredibly quickly and holds the paper well.
  3. Pinch the coil into a shape if desired.If you do this or not will depend on the pattern you are following. You may want to pinch it into an eye shape for a leaf. You could also do a triangle for an ear. The possibilities are endless!
  4. Glue all your pieces together.Again, be very sparing with the glue--glue can make the paper soggy or warp your masterpiece. It is almost impossible to have too little glue. Remember to hold the pieces together for twenty seconds!
  5. Finished.
  6. Try out some patterns.You can go to a craft store and buy a book of quilling patterns, search the internet for quilling patterns, or try out some of wikiHow’s patterns! These wikiHow patterns include:

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What other tools can I use for quilling?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can use any thin, stick-shaped item in place of a quilling needle, like chopsticks, skewers, knitting needles, pencils, or pens.
  • Question
    Are there any more types of quilling?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There are no actual "types" of quilling. People just use different tools since they don't have any actual quilling tool. However, there are different designs you can do in quilling, if that's what you mean, such as animals, flowers, people, transportation, nature, buildings, objects, etc. All of these can be made using quilling techniques.
  • Question
    Can I quill with old magazines or newspaper?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
  • Question
    Is there a way to make earrings using quilling?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. First make two quilled figures, but leave some space, somewhere either at the top (probably the best spot), or the middle, for insertion of the earring hooks. Use some earring hooks and thread them through the space you left out. You may need to use a little clear glue to stabilize the figurines on the hooks.
  • Question
    Where do I find the angel pattern?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It's right up there - the phrase, "how to make a quilled angel," is the link to the instructions.
  • Question
    What kind of paper can I use to make quilling strips?
    Community Answer
    You can you simple sheets to make quilling strips, but it's better to buy them.
  • Question
    How do I make a wall piece using quilling?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Some artists use stretched canvas as a backer that you can then hang. Look up "Canvas on Edge," they do a lot of neat work.
  • Question
    Do craft stores supply tools for quilling?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, most craft stores will supply quilling tools.
  • Question
    How do I coil the heart?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You will have to just pinch the middle of your strip and glue the ends in the shape of a heart.
  • Question
    How do I make leaves in quilling?
    Community Answer
    Make a normal coil and then pinch the top and bottom in the shape of an eye.
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Quick Summary

If you want to do quilling, purchase a slotted tool for your beginner projects and a needle tool for more advanced projects. Then, buy colorful paper strips or cut pieces of card stock into strips of equal width. To make a plain coil, insert the end of the paper strip into the slot, and then twirl the tool away from you, spinning the paper around the needle. When you reach the end of the strip, gently pull the coil out of the slot and glue it in place.

Did this summary help you?
  • Get an easy kids quilling book to help you get some ideas and information for quilling.
  • Experiment with different lengths of strips to make your creation perfect.
  • Your first quilling experience could be fun or dull. Some people just aren't Quillers.
  • To quill, you must have concentration and patience.


  • Because you will be working with sharp objects, use caution when quilling or you may severely prick yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Slotted quilling tool
  • Quilling strips
  • Ruler
  • Quilling comb
  • Paper scrap making tool (to make strips if you need)

Related wikiHows

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Date: 05.12.2018, 14:43 / Views: 42573