• Deborah Jay (Djay)

Quilling 101

Quilling, also known as paper filigree, was born over five hundred years ago when artists discovered that narrow strips of paper could be rolled, scrolled and, fringed to create beautiful designs.


Quilling takes very little time to learn. You will need, of course, your hands, some colorful strips of paper, and a slotted quilling tool along with some fast-drying glue.

You don't need to buy a lot of tools to quill. Here is a list of the most crucial tools you will need to get started:

  • Quilling tool (select one of the following)

  1. Needle tool

  2. Slotted quilling tool

  3. Hatpin

  4. I prefer to use my hands to roll the paper (no tools required)

  • Ruler

  • Quilling paper (1/8, 1/4, 3/8 width are the most common sizes)

  • Small sharp-pointed scissors

  • Fast clear-drying glue (I use PVA glue for bookbinding)

  • Quilling sizing board

You can buy quilling paper already cut in different sizes and colors on the internet or even Hobby Lobby. You might also want to invest in a quilling book to get you started. My two favorite authors are Jane Jenkins and Malinda Johnston. Their books are full of history, pictures, and easy-to-follow directions.



Here are some basic shapes to practice. Just roll the paper (not too tight) and release it. Glue the edge of the strip and then shape the circle into a marquise etc. When you quill, because of the paper's placement (on its side), you want to make sure that your paper has color on both sides. Once you feel comfortable making the different quilled shapes, try making the card below.


Stay tuned for the next post of Quilling 101, where I will talk in more detail regarding the tools and how to use them.

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