Crafter's Corner - What is the art of Quilling?

Crafter's Corner - What is the art of Quilling?

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There are so many craft mediums out there and often people really don't know what they are.  When I first heard the term quilling I will admit I went, "A pen?" my son... "Harry Potter!"  We were clearly both wrong.

Here is what I didn't know until I started doing some research. There was a picture of flowers that hung outside the bathroom in my parents' home when I was a little girl. It was made by my great-grandmother. My mom treasured it and I always loved the little paper flowers. I looked into a quilling only to find out I've been looking at it all my life. The little family heirloom that hung in our home was a quilled piece of art made with love and treasured for a lifetime.  

Often times people will say, "I'm not crafty at all." but how do you know until you try because there are honestly so many arts and crafts out there that there is bound to be one that you may truly enjoy. So with that said, we are starting the crafter's corner series and we will be highlighting different types of arts and crafts.  

WHAT IS IT?

Quilling is quite simply put taking thin strips of paper and curling and shaping them to create a larger design.  Clear as mud, right? I'm with you. Don't worry! Because while that explanation seemed simple there is much more to the art of quilling. Quilling is a dedicated art. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to make many small elements while envisioning your overall design.

I could give you the Google definition but the reality is that it's not much clearer and after thinking about it for awhile I couldn't think of a better explanation of what it is. Thankfully, I can show you.  

 Photo Credit: Craftquiller

Photo Credit: Craftquiller

This beautiful floral piece was made by the shop Rayhan over at the CraftQuiller. She was kind enough to allow me to use her photographs for this post. She's got some amazing work so be sure to pop over to her Etsy shop and check out all her great designs. 

SUPPLIES

There are just a few must-have supplies for quilling and a few that are just helpful if you really enjoy the craft and plan on doing it often. So let's start with the basics. 

  • Paper Strips
  • Glue
  • Slotted Quilling Tool

While I have seen videos of people making their own strips for me the price of the precut packs are not unreasonable and makes it worth the purchase to me.  However, if you think you may want to cut your own Youtube is a great source for how to videos. 

 Photo Credit: Craftquiller

Photo Credit: Craftquiller

Most times the packs of paper you purchase are a variety pack so if you're planning a large project where you are going to need a large quantity of one color it would be a good idea to know how to do it. 

But if you're just getting started I'm a big fan of the Quilled Creations products. They can be found on Amazon making it one stop to get everything you need to get started. Something to be aware of when buying paper strips from any company is that they come in different widths.  I typically just use .25" but different projects will call for different widths or you may just find one you're happier with when it comes to your design.

This variety pack is a great color to get you started!  It's 100 strips in a variety of colors. I also ran across this paper pack while I was searching and I had to talk myself out of buying it. As a child of the 80's the fluorescent colors sucked me in!

Any type of glue is fine for this. I've used regular Elmer's school glue in a pinch but I have found that glue sticks or the tubes with small points make the entire process easier. To much glue can be messy. This 5 pack of Elmer's Precision Tips work great. 

Now....your tool! The slotted quilling tool from Quilling Creations was one of the first things I bought. I actually bought this beginners kit with multiple tools and some strips included in it because it came with a little organizing case which I knew I'd be glad to have. 

Once you're a pro you can find lots of great tools that make shapes and different designs easier like this sizing template or this set of Border Buddy Towers.  Then even make handheld spinners!  There are many great companies out there making quilling tools so go with what fits your budget.

What am I making?

Here's one of my favorite things about quilting. It really allows for a wide variety of crafts. I've seen everything from wall art to jewelry made from these fabulous little strips of paper. In my search I ran across greeting cards and even a lady that made bowls and containers. Your imagination gives you the opportunity to just go all out with your creations!

I've got my tools so now what?

It's time to start making something fun! It's impossible to show you how to make every shape and design in one blog post but this video from Quilling Art is a great how-tofor beginners. 

For a long time quilling was a lost art that very few people did and supplies were not readily available at your local craft store. Thankfully today with a little help from the internet it's a craft that is gaining ground again and I'd love to hear what you think of it!  Have you quilled? Did you have one hanging in your home as a child? Are you adding supplies to your cart as you read? 

I'd love to hear from you!

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