Log in Sign up

Society of Makers

Don't have an account? Sign up.

Society of Makers

Already have an account? Log in.

Society of Makers

What is Paper Quilling? Let's Make Some Butterflies

18 views  •  25 Jan 2023
Sandy Lane
7 subscribers

Paper Quilling Explained

I'm sure you have probably seen paper quilling before. It is even more likely that you may have even already done some paper quilling yourself before. Maybe as a child. Paper quilling is loads of fun and results in a rather special effect that frankly I have always found mesmerising.

Paper quilling is basically the effect of rolling, coiling and pinching thin strips of paper that are then glued down on their side to create a three-dimensional line drawing effect. 

Have a read of my tutorial as we go into how to use the paper quilling technique to make some pretty butterflies.

What do we need for this paper quilling tutorial?

  • Basic papercraft tools
  • Various round objects of various thicknesses to wrap the paper around
  • For example wooden dowels or similar, thin and thick. Maybe a pencil or a broom handle and even a very thin piece, maybe a long nail, cocktail stick or similar
  • You can actually get specialist quilling tools, but have a play first before spending money
  • Brown, red and pink paper strips, 3mm wide or one eighth of an inch wide
  • Green card, 10 x 15cms or 4 x 6inches
  • Pink card, 12 x 18cms or 4 and three quarters x 7 and a half inches
  • Red card blank 13 x 19cms or 5 and a quarter x 7 and a half inches
What is Paper Quilling? Let's Make Some Butterflies

Basic Paper Quilling Tutorial For Beginners

Stage One

You can actually buy ready made quilling papers already cut into strips. Wow, what a world we live in. But if you don't have access to that, make your strips up first. Just cut the coloured paper into long strips, 3mms wide.

To start we really need dowel of two thicknesses because we want to make larger and smaller rings. The large rings will become the butterfly top wings. And the smaller will become the butterflies' lower rings.

But really if the process is about having fun and experimenting. Once you are familiar with the technique, you can then go wherever your imagination takers you. So take a strip of red paper and wrap it around a thicker wooden dowel. Wrap it around 3 times and glue the end down to create a ring. Don't glue it too tight, because we obviously need to slide paper quilling off the wooden dowel. Cut off any excess.

Repeat again another five times. These larger rings will become the butterflies upper wings. Now with a slightly thinner dowel, make six more rings. These rings will be slightly smaller and will become the three butterflies lower wings.

Squeeze all 12 rings to make eye shapes. Pinching slightly on each side of each ring.
What is Paper Quilling? Let's Make Some Butterflies

Paper Quilling Is Really Fun Even For Little Ones

Stage Two

Take a 20cm or 7 and three quarters inches length of pink paper and use to cocktail stick or quilling tool to start rolling the end. Keep rolling, rolling tightly until you roughly half way. Now flip it over and do the same on the other end.

You want to create a sort of an S shape.

Use your creativity here to determine where to start rolling which end. The larger end will have more length of the paper in it. But again, this is your design and creativity has no rights or wrongs.

Now repeat. We have three butterflies, so that is twelve wings and so we need twelve little S curly paper quilling shapes to fill each wing. So get some friends and start a production line.
What is Paper Quilling? Let's Make Some Butterflies

Start Assembling Our Paper Quilling Picture

Stage Three

We need to start assembling our little picture now and let these little butterflies start fluttering. Find some brown paper strips and cut lengths of around 10cms or 4 inches.

Now fold these brown strips in half, these will be the butterfly antenna. Put a little curve in the open ends to make them look natural.

Now lay out the butterfly design on the green card, remember the bigger loops are the upper wings.

Once you have a pleasing design, use a cocktail stick to apply white glue more precisely and glue all the pieces in place. Glue the wings and antenna first. Then squeeze the S shape designs into the wings. Remember, if your S shapes feel a bit cramped, just cut some length off the strip and curl up again.

Finally, glue the green card to the pink card to create a border effect. And in conclusion, glue the design to the red card blank.
What is Paper Quilling? Let's Make Some Butterflies

Paper Quilling Project Conclusion

And there you have your first official paper quilling greetings card. Such a fun technique that always gets a lot of wows when presented. Fun for kids to get involved in and it really has no limits. I always think of paper quilling like three-dimensional line art so have fun and explore your creativity.
What is Paper Quilling? Let's Make Some Butterflies

Extra Tip For Spiralling Paper Art

If you are giving a gift or maybe just for fun. Why not make a cute little paper quilling gift tag. Use the same techniques and let your imagination run wild.
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/2510562310000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Paper Quilling Flower Picture
Sandy Lane
33 views • 8 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/271151191000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making Some Fun Painted Postcards
Lottie Smith
21 views • 6 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/230818571005-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making Envelopes with Rubber Stamped Patterns
Sandy Lane
12 views • 30 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/020418241000-standard.jpg thumbnail
It’s Easy to Make a Fun Fleece Hat
Things Kids Can Make
16 views • 26 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/160152151000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Silhouette Picture of a Friend
Kids Craft Club
32 views • 17 Aug 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/301125371000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Fun Fathers Day Gift
Kids Craft Ideas
21 views • 3 Mar 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/020450021000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Learn to Make Juggling Bean Bags
Things Kids Can Make
42 views • 28 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/071013291000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making Cardboard Greetings Cards And Gift Tags
Katie Isaacs
28 views • 25 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/180324341002-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Make a Wonderfully Simple Flower Card
Sandy Lane
20 views • 22 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/2508352110000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Super Simple Baby Bunting
Sandy Lane
19 views • 14 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/290236431000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Paper Windmills Are a Fun Project for Kids to Make
Kids Craft Ideas
12 views • 10 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202308/231228531001-standard.jpg thumbnail
Transform Felt into a Stunning Felt Heart Candle Holder That Will...
Ms Felt
22 views • 16 Sep 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/300132451000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Modelling Clay Magnets for Clever Kids
Kids Craft Ideas
14 views • 22 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/231147181000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Fun Shoe Display Boxes
Alison Jones
20 views • 29 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/300232211000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Relaxing Hanging Mobile for Fun
Kids Craft Ideas
11 views • 24 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/170713521000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Decorate With Fun Large Card Flowers
Kids Craft Club
32 views • 25 Aug 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/2310360010000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Learn To Make a Gift Bow
Sandy Lane
20 views • 23 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/081144201000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Decorative Leaf Wall Art Is Very Smart
Sally Andrews
25 views • 10 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202308/191252441000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Festive Card Winter Trees Snow Scene Decoration
Kids Christmas Projects
32 views • 12 Sep 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202308/200253501001-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make An Irish Table Runner From Felt
Ms Felt
37 views • 23 Aug 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/230423051000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making Decorative Leaf Wall Panels
Alison Jones
15 views • 11 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202309/010209151006-standard.jpg thumbnail
Crafting Comfort: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Beautiful Crib...
Quilting Fun
32 views • 1 Sep 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202302/270453001000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Paper Heart Gift for Your Loved One
Things Kids Can Make
17 views • 2 Mar 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/2505580010000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Fancy Concertina Star Christmas Garlands
Sandy Lane
27 views • 12 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/0110530710-standard-(1).jpg thumbnail
Beautiful Greek Vase Gift Wrap
Katie Isaacs
13 views • 4 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202308/231203411001-standard.jpg thumbnail
Revolutionise Your Home Decor with the Ultimate Iris Throw Hack
Ms Felt
28 views • 9 Sep 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/150227291000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Flower Patchwork Cushion
Kids Craft Club
18 views • 30 Jul 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/020952241000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Rainbow Flip-Flops Make Me Smile
Things Kids Can Make
23 views • 30 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/2503581310000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Simple Paper Folding Map Picture
Sandy Lane
33 views • 12 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/281053241000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make Easy Pompoms for Fun
Kids Craft Ideas
22 views • 1 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202307/130111181000-standard.jpg thumbnail
How to Make Rosehip Treatment Balm
Natural Skin Care
25 views • 6 Sep 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202302/270901561000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Fun Fishing Game For Kids
Things Kids Can Make
33 views • 12 Mar 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/301155421000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Fun Gift for Grandmother
Kids Craft Ideas
32 views • 4 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/130205001000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make A Simple Wooden Mirror Frame
Joe Martin
13 views • 23 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202301/190937441000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Simple Homemade Jam Pot Covers
Elizabeth Richards
22 views • 26 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202303/021106531000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making a Patchwork Cushion for Children
Things Kids Can Make
27 views • 1 May 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202212/070237361000.jpg thumbnail
How To Make A Decoupage Table Top
Alison Jones
26 views • 12 Dec 2022
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202302/270542581000-standard.jpg thumbnail
You Will Love Making Paper Flowers
Things Kids Can Make
45 views • 3 Mar 2023