Quilling is the process of rolling narrow strips of paper into coils, gluing the ends and shaping the coils into the desired shapes. Circles, ovals, egg shapes, teardrops, squares, triangles and rectangles are possible to make with each coil removed from a quilling tool. Create large designs with the individual quilled shapes by gluing them together.
A manufactured quilling tool has a handle with a metal or hard plastic needle-type end. The very end of the point has two sides with a slit in the centre for quilling paper insertion and rolling. Make a quilling tool at home by filing off the end of a large eyed sewing needle. Wrap masking tape around the point of the needle to use as a handle.
Quilling paper is 1/16th to 1/4-inch in width. The length of the paper depends on the pattern specifications. Measure the required length of paper needed as specified by the pattern but do not cut it to length. Instead, rip the paper so the edge is slightly frayed. The frayed edge holds the glue better to secure the quilled coil when complete.
The paper will have a shiny side and a dull side. The dull side is the back. Pull the backside of the paper over the top of a thumb nail to help the paper roll tighter on the quilling tool. The paper stretches slightly as it is pulled over the thumb nail. This causes the paper to curve slightly. Roll the paper around the quilling tool in the direction of the curve.
The easiest way to shape each coil is pressing the coil between two to four fingers. Shape the tear drop by pressing one edge of the quilled coil between a thumb and forefinger. Shape the rectangle, triangle and square in the same manner. Do one point at a time and judge the corner placement by eye. Shape an oval or egg shaped coil by holding the round coil between both thumbs and forefingers. Gently squeeze the round coil to the desired shape.
Lay the coils and shaped coils together on a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, ceramic plate or baking tray for gluing. The surface should not be porous or the glue will stick both to the coils and the flat surface. Tacky glue works the best to hold the quilled coils together. Use a toothpick for the glue applicator. Allow adequate drying time for each quilled item prior to picking it up from the flat surface.
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