quilling basics: how to get started

Emily’s Bites of Fun:

Quilling can be fun but for most of us, we are not sure where to begin. For those of you who are new converts to quilling,  don’t be overwhelmed, here are some basics to get you started:

  • Use quilling paper:  You can buy packs of pre-cut quilling paper in most major art and crafts stores, but you can also cut your own strips of papers. The length and size of the paper will determine how the paper quilled project eventually looks. A paper quilling pattern will tell you the size you need.
  • Choose the right tools: A slotted tool is usually recommended to the paper quilling beginner because it is easier to roll paper with it. However, the slotted tool tends to crease the paper strips. Those who are more experienced in paper quilling may prefer the needle tool. Even though it is slightly more tricky to use, many crafters prefer the needle tool as it tends to result in a neater, crease-less paper roll. If you need a basic quilling kit to get started, I sell them, so contact me for one.
  • Learn basic shapes: The most basic shape of paper quilling is the rolled paper coil. By pinching and adjusting the tension of the paper coil, different quilled shapes are made. There are pdf instructions on my page to start the basic shapes.
  • Start with an easy project: Check out some of my quilling patterns on my website or sign up for one of my classes this month. Cards are a great project to work on when you are starting.  Because cards are small and take a shorter time to complete than wall hangings, they can be very rewarding when you see the completed project in a shorter amount of time.  Then, you can give the to others too.
  • Experiment: Experiment with quilling combined with other crafting techniques like water painting or stamping.  When you combine your techniques, it makes for a very unique and beautiful result.  You can also use your die cuts as a background to your card or wall hanging. See some of my cards on my site for ideas. See the Seattle card I made with watercolor, you can easily add a quilled cloud or raindrops to a card like this.  Get the idea?
  • Find great resources: You can find a lot of books at the library or garage sales on papercrafts.  Sometimes the kids’ books are the easiest to follow and you can use them for practicing your craft with basic language and instructions.
  • Practice, practice, practice:  You only get good at quilling by quilling!  Yes, it takes practice and you can get pretty good at it if you do the work to keep practicing.  It’s worth it, I promise!

A Note From Emily:
July was such a great month as I mentioned last week.  Let’s do it again! Here are my classes that are coming up this month:

August 13  from 2-4 pm – “Love Seattle Greeting Cards” class from 2-4 at Impress Cards and Crafts in Tukwila. Learn to create papercrafted greeting cards showcasing Seattle.  Cost is $35.  To register, call the store at 206.901.9101.
August 16 from 6-8:30 pm “DIY Papercrafted Magnets” at Vintage Vino & Espresso in Maple Valley by Fred Meyer. Cost: $30 ($15 to reserve your seat) includes all supplies and a medium hot/cold drink. Ages 12 and older.  Sign up under my “store” tab on my website.

Hope you are having a great summer!