Once a craft made by nuns and priests and ladies of society who were not permitted many other hobbies or interests, quilling, also known as paper filigree, is a relaxing craft now enjoyed by anybody. Quilling is rolling strips of cut paper around a quilling tool or any small cylindrical item. A toothpick, needle or round pencil will work well. After the strips are rolled, they are used as they are in circular form, or pinched, stretched and bent to make different shapes to create a design. The shaped pieces are glued to a background to create a three dimensional picture or textured shape.
Add quilling to homemade greeting cards to give them a three dimensional and unique appearance. Use quilled pieces of paper and design the front of the card the same way you make a mosaic, putting the round paper pieces together in a design. Follow a simple pencil outline drawn on the card or make a free form design. Cover the card completely or just add a centre design on the card like a flower. Try cutting different types and shades of paper to give the quilled cards more texture and shading.
Cut a window on the front of the folded card. Glue the quilling to the front of the card around the cut out window to make a quilled frame in a solid or open design. Attach a photo to the backside of the opening to finish the card or simply quill frame a photo glued in place on the front of the card.
Make small folding cards to add to a wrapped gift and quill the front of each tiny card with a simple flower or geometric design.
Framed Art Pictures
Make a quilled picture on canvas, cardboard or wood. Glue the quilling in place with white craft glue and frame the artwork to hang on the wall or to set on a desktop, table or mantle. Choose a colour scheme and design that matches the decor of the room -- for example, floral for a garden room or animals for a kid's jungle-themed room. Use different quilled shapes such as leaves, circles, spirals or hearts to make the picture more visually varied.
Try a pointillism picture (one made with dots that are put together to create the picture) and only use round quilled shapes to create a picture, like a Seurat scene or a face. Make the circles of paper tightly wound like a button or looser like filigree.
Make a quilled frame for a piece of artwork to hang on the wall or to frame a piece of a child's artwork to give as a gift to a grandparent or parent.
Cover the top and sides of a wooden, plastic or paper box with a quilled design. Make it one solid colour or make a pattern that continues around all sides of the box. Zigzag patterns, stripes or chequerboards work well.
Baby food jars or other jars can be covered with quilling. They make a nice container for gift giving, or to use for storing small items out in plain sight to match the room decor. Make a series of matching jars of different sizes as a desk set to hold, pens and pencils, paper clips, pins and any other desk supplies. Paint the background before you add the quilling to add colour or hide what is inside the jars. You can leave clear areas of uncovered glass that allow you to see inside the jar. Cover the jar with quilling or only do a couple simple designs leaving the rest of the jar uncovered. Cover the jar with glued on fabric and then glue the quilling to the fabric for more texture.