How to Curl Paper

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Paper curls have a variety of creative uses and make for a very budget-friendly DIY project. The curls can be added as filler to gift baskets and gift bags, for example, or tacked onto a wreath framework and hung for a quick home decor update. These decorative spirals can also be used to add volume and dimension to paper sculptures, or they can be tightly wound, shaped, glued together and mounted -- an art form more commonly known as quilling.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Dowel

Scissor-Scraped Curls

Step 1

Cut thin strips of the paper if you have not already done so. Place one of the strips in front of you, flat on the work surface and -- if there is a difference between the two sides of the paper -- with the wrong side up.

Step 2

Open the scissors as wide as possible and then place one of the blades against an end of the strip of paper, holding the blade at approximately a 45-degree angle.

Step 3

Press down gently on the blade and scrape it along the strip toward the opposite end.

Step 4

Pull gently on the resulting spiral to loosen it if it is coiled too tightly.

Dowel-Coiled Curls

Step 1

Cut thin strips of the paper if you have not already done so. If you will be gluing and mounting your coils onto another surface, tear the ends off instead of cutting them or leaving them with a blunt edge. A frayed edge is less noticeable when glued down.

Step 2

Place one end of the strip flush against the dowel-shaped tool. A quilling tool has a small slot to secure the paper, but you can also simply press the end of the paper against a pencil or marker with your finger.

Step 3

Loop the paper tightly against itself, coiling its entire length around the dowel tool.

Step 4

Slide the paper off the dowel. If you wish to keep it coiled tightly, immediately place a very small drop of glue on the end of the strip to seal it against the coil. For a looser paper roll, put the finished coil down and allow it to loosen slightly or simply unroll it gently with your fingers.

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Tips & Warnings

  • You may also use a dowel-shaped object -- a pencil, quilling tool, screwdriver or marker.

References

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