How to Do Quilling

Things You'll Need

  • Project pattern
  • Quilling slotted tool or corsage pin
  • Quilling paper strips
  • Glue
  • Wax paper
  • Tweezers

Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that has been done for generations. The term quilling comes from the fact that a feather quill was used as the tool on which the artist rolled paper strips. Quilling has been used to make Christmas ornaments, pictures, three-dimensional eggs and other structures. The small paper shapes can be fashioned into cards, framed art and scrapbook layout embellishments. There are several primary shapes to be made with quilling paper. You can apply quilling to many projects once you master the shapes.

Place a sheet of wax paper on your work surface. Tear a piece of quilling paper to the size required in the project pattern.

Place the end of a piece of quilling paper on a regular quilling tool, corsage pin or into the slotted quilling tool.

To make a circle, hold the paper between thumb and forefinger. Turn the paper and rotate the tool. The paper will begin to wind up into a tight circle. Keep turning and build a larger circle. Hold the round firmly. Glue the torn end to the circle.

To make a loose circle, cut the length according to project instructions. Roll the paper on to the tool. Remove from tool and let the circle uncoil a bit for a loose circle. Glue the paper end to the outside of the circle.

Roll a loose circle first to create a teardrop shape. Glue the end. Hold one end of the circle between your thumb and forefinger. Pinch the end to form a teardrop shape.

Roll a loose circle to begin making a marquise. Glue the end. Hold the circle between the thumb and forefinger of both hands. Pinch both ends for the marquise shape.

To make a square, roll a loose circle and glue the end. Pinch both sides into the marquise shape. Turn the piece and pinch two opposite areas to form the square.

Make a teardrop shape and glue the paper end, to begin making a triangle. Hold the piece at the bottom end with both hands. Pinch two points with thumb and forefinger to form a triangle with a flat bottom.

Glue shaped pieces together to form flowers and patterns. Pick up your quilled pieces with tweezers.


  • Practice and practice making the shapes. Tearing the ends of the quilling paper makes a neater look when the paper is glued down. You can quill with your fingers alone if desired.


  • Keep your glued shapes on the wax paper until thoroughly dry or they may stick to a surface.