Quilling has been known by many names including paper-rolling, paper-scrolling, filigree, paper mosaic. It is an art form where strips of paper are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. It is used to decorate wedding invitations, birth announcements, greeting cards, scrapbook pages, and boxes.

Quilling is an old art form which may date back to ancient Egypt, though no records found before 16th century. In early days the art form was mainly practised in Europe. During the 16th & 17th century French and Italian nuns decorated reliquaries and holy pictures with quilling. Young ladies of affluent family were taught paper filigree just as they were taught needlework. The quilling during this period was quite “heavy” by our standards. Every inch of space was covered with tiny coils and shapes. References to quilling and patterns were published in magazines in the 1700’s. In European houses, quilled art works was found on cabinets and stands, cribbage boards, ladies’ purses, a wide range of both pictures and frames, work baskets, tea caddies, coats of arms and wine coasters. Quilling was also combined or married with other techniques such as embroidery and painting. Quilling has gone through many transformations and changes through the ages using new techniques, styles and materials. Dimensional quilling creates 3D items. Today, quilling is gaining popularity due to the low material cost & ease on learning. It is practised world around and no longer confined to the “upper classes”.  Quilling can be found in art galleries in Europe and in the United States. Courtesy:  http://www.whimsiquills.com  & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilling

  • Quilling needle or a toothpick or a pin tool
  • Glue
  • Quilling paper or cut very thin strips from construction paper using craft knife( 1/8 inch to be exact)

quillin needlequilling strips




The basic shapes are explained in following table. Desired designs can be achieved from these basic shapes. For any shape – Use the toothpick and roll the paper around it. Once you have got the desired shape glue the loose end.

Tight coil : After rolling the paper strip around toothpick, hold the circle tight & keep from unwinding. Then apply glue at the end
Loose coil : After rolling the strip, remove the toothpick from center and allow it to loosen. Then apply glue at the end
Half circle (coil) : Pinch loose/tight coil at two points, keeping one side straight & other side curvy
Teardrop : Pinch tight or loose coil at one point
Eye-shaped coil : Pinch the loose coil on two opposite points
Square : Pinch two opposite points of eye-shaped coil
Triangle : Pinch rounded side of teardrop at 2 points
Rectangle : Pinch at 2 points on eye-shaped coil but not equidistant as done for square. Pinch near the eye-shaped pinches
Heart : Put an indent onto a coil (circle) to form heart shape.

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