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Card Making - Quilling


Beginners Guide to Card Making using Quilling


An unusual way to make a card is to add pictures created from curled strips of coloured paper. The art of curling paper in this way is known as quilling and it is a paper craft that was probably invented in China or Egypt soon after they discovered how to make paper.

The strips are curled round a special stick or even just in your fingers, fastened with glue and then squeezed into a variety of forms such as circles, hearts or curves. Once you have collected your shapes together, you can stick them onto the card as abstract designs or create recognisable objects such as flowers or trees. More advanced crafters can even make 3D designs or use the shapes to decorate objects like gift boxes or bags.



Quilling requires very little equipment and so is ideal as a relaxing hobby to take with you on holiday. All you need are:
a. paper strips
b. glue and a toothpick
c. card
d. quilling tool

Although you can use your fingers, most beginners will find it easier to use a proper quilling tool or needle which only costs a few pounds in any craft shop. This usually has a plastic or wooden handle and a slotted metal prong 2cm – 3cm long at one end. The slot holds the paper strip securely in place as you curl.

Quilling tool

The best glue to use is PVA as it is very cheap to buy in large containers. Pour a little into a small pot and use a cocktail stick or cotton bud to dab a little on the end of your strips once you finish curling. Lightly hold the sticky end against the main coil of paper for a few seconds and it will be dry enough to work with.

When it comes to paper, you will find hundreds of differently coloured packs of quilling paper in craft shops and these are commonly 3mm (1/8th inch) or 2mm (1/16th inch) wide and 45 cm (18 inches) or 60cm (24 inches) long. You can cut the strips lengthwise if you want thinner paper and add extra strips to any coil if your paper is too short or you want a change of colour part way through your shapes. You can also snip along the edge of a strip to create a fringe of paper that makes excellent frilly flower heads.


To make this an even cheaper hobby, you can make your own quilling strips. I do this by cutting up coloured sheets of A4 paper using a standard (not cross cut) paper shredder.

Own paper


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