Log in Sign up

Society of Makers

Don't have an account? Sign up.

Society of Makers

Already have an account? Log in.

Select Guild Forgot Logo Society of Makers

What is Paper Quilling? Let's Make Some Butterflies

18 views  •  25 Jan 2023
Sandy Lane
10 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/202310/250945441S62310000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Paper Quilling Flower Picture
Sandy Lane
33 views • 8 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202311/130936301Sad-blocks.jpg thumbnail
Share Your Own Creative Content
Select Guild
22 views • 13 Nov 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250836231S31000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making A Decorative Country Cupboard
Alison Jones
33 views • 26 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250857331S91000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make Star Sign Gift Wrap
Katie Isaacs
24 views • 1 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250830211S070237361000.jpg thumbnail
How To Make A Decoupage Table Top
Alison Jones
28 views • 12 Dec 2022
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250848121S41000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Simple Homemade Jam Pot Covers
Elizabeth Richards
29 views • 26 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260104371S81003-standard.jpg thumbnail
Instructions for Making an Felt Angel Baby Blanket
Ms Felt
24 views • 12 Feb 2024
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260336451S1000b-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Simple Travel Game for Kids
Kids Craft Club
19 views • 2 Jul 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250845471S31000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make A Fun Floral Decoupage Gift Box
Elizabeth Richards
31 views • 27 Dec 2022
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/261259131S01001-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make An Irish Table Runner From Felt
Ms Felt
41 views • 23 Aug 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250943071S71005-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making Envelopes with Rubber Stamped Patterns
Sandy Lane
14 views • 30 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260125501S51000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Homemade Green Clay Mask For Cleansing The Skin
Natural Skin Care
27 views • 12 Sep 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260322011S31000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Have Fun and Make Painted China
Things Kids Can Make
18 views • 6 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250831471S070239021000.jpg thumbnail
A Smart Decoupage Hat Box
Alison Jones
28 views • 16 Dec 2022
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250937421S60010000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Learn To Make a Gift Bow
Sandy Lane
22 views • 23 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260321301S01000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Fun Wooden Spoon Puppet
Things Kids Can Make
22 views • 1 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260355291S61000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Geranium and Orange Massage Bars
Natural Skin Care
34 views • 11 Aug 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260307421S0-standard-(1).jpg thumbnail
Split Pin Animals Will Make You Laugh
Kids Craft Ideas
20 views • 10 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250933571S01000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Stencilled Painted Wall Art For Children
Lottie Smith
121 views • 30 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250844371S110803511000.jpg thumbnail
Making A Decorative Wooden Rabbit Ornament
Elizabeth Richards
36 views • 18 Dec 2022
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250922461S01000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Decorative Leaf Wall Art Is Very Smart
Sally Andrews
27 views • 10 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250843301S110521391000.jpg thumbnail
Paper Snowflake Christmas Decorations
Elizabeth Richards
22 views • 12 Dec 2022
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250831191S070239351000.jpg thumbnail
Personalised Decoupage Shoe Boxes
Alison Jones
23 views • 15 Dec 2022
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250946551S81310000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Simple Paper Folding Map Picture
Sandy Lane
33 views • 12 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260317201S01000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Paper Heart Gift for Your Loved One
Things Kids Can Make
17 views • 2 Mar 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260103471S21004-standard.jpg thumbnail
The Magical Process of Crafting Felt Silver Snowflakes
Ms Felt
34 views • 10 Dec 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260339561S81000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Clever Pebble Owl Family
Kids Craft Club
18 views • 24 Jul 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260317061S61000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Let’s Make a Tissue Paper Fiesta Flags
Things Kids Can Make
23 views • 1 Mar 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250947251S93410000-THUMB.jpg thumbnail
Make Fun Girls Greetings Cards
Sandy Lane
43 views • 14 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250858351S0-standard-(1).jpg thumbnail
Beautiful Greek Vase Gift Wrap
Katie Isaacs
13 views • 4 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260350171S0-standard-(1).jpg thumbnail
Make a Heart Motif T-Shirt for Fun
Kids Craft Club
33 views • 6 Nov 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260333011S180832301000.jpg thumbnail
YouTube Channel Zan Von Zed Review. What Sort Of Bed Does She Sle...
Jane's Best Of YouTube Makers
47 views • 26 Apr 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260302051S01000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Kids Potato Printing Is Super Fun
Kids Craft Ideas
25 views • 27 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260306231S91000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Lavender Pockets Make Great Gifts for All
Kids Craft Ideas
21 views • 3 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250848261S51000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making A Paper Cut Lampshade
Elizabeth Richards
19 views • 30 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260311141S11000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Make a Relaxing Hanging Mobile for Fun
Kids Craft Ideas
12 views • 24 Feb 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/250835571S71000-standard.jpg thumbnail
Making Decorative Checked Papier Mache Doors
Alison Jones
25 views • 19 Jan 2023
/mystu/newpost/uploads/202310/260125081S81000-standard.jpg thumbnail
How to Make Rosehip Treatment Balm
Natural Skin Care
25 views • 6 Sep 2023