Basic Quilling Instructions


Quilling is something like origami in that you make shapes and designs with paper. Instead of folding paper as you would in origami, you use coiled paper. Quilling is fun, inexpensive and creative. Designs placed under glass, such as in a picture frame, make wonderful wall decorations. Keep kids busy with this craft on a rainy or snowy day when they are getting under your feet; they will thank you for the skills they were learn.


  • To coil paper, you need a quilling needle, strips of quilling paper in different colors and glue. Use quilling paper bought from crafts stores or regular paper in strips of about 1/16 of an inch (for more detailed work) or 1/8 of an inch, according to

    Start with inserting one end of a piece of stripped paper into the quilling tool's slot or on an unslotted quilling needle. Make sure the tool is facing you and put your finger on the tip of the tool to prevent the paper from sliding; use another finger to guide it into a coil. Once this is completed, turn the tool again a little away from you and pull the paper out of the tool. A good habit to get into is to pull the coil off the tool and not pull the tool away from the coil.

    Take a toothpick and apply a very small amount of glue to the loose end of your coil, then use your finger to press the loose end into the rest of the coil. This will fasten the coil. After the glue is dry, you have the beginnings of a flower, eyes or any project that needs round coils.


  • Quilling paper comes in 1/8 inch, 1/16 inch and larger sizes of 1/4 inch and above. The all-around paper is 1/8 inch and purchased in packages at less than $2 per package, according to

    A curling tool can be used to curl the paper, but you can just as easily use a hatpin, needle quilling tool or slotted tool. With pins and tools without a slot, rolling the paper around the center of whatever tool you use will curl the paper. A toothpick is easier to use than a pin because the paper grabs onto the wood better than it does on a pin.

    Using a curling tool, such as the slotted tool, works well for beginners. Once you have practiced enough, you can use your fingers for curling.

Finger Rolling

  • Some people prefer to use their fingers for curling quilling paper. The curls tend to be tighter and the center hole is smaller than when using a tool, according to

    Soften your quilling paper by running your fingernail down the strip of paper. It helps to have a damp sponge nearby to dampen your fingers to help grasp the strips. Depending on what project you are working on, a slotted tool still may come in handy to add detail to flowers or other art objects you are creating. The slotting tool helps to put a fringe on items.

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