Paper Crafts Blog

3 Ways to Make a Quilled Christmas Ornament (In Just 1 Hour!)

Everyone agrees that the holidays can be a stressful time of the year with so much to do and the pressure to make it memorable. I think that pressure is even more heightened for the crafter — not only does everything need to be special, but it needs to be made by you.

That is why this particular project is so lovely. It is just one simple design that is very quick to make (less than an hour!) and can be tweaked into three completely different quilled Christmas ornaments. 

Quilled Christmas Treens

Images via Little Circles

Gift this ornament trio as a set for a perfectly handmade holiday touch. No one will guess how little time and effort it took to put together such a lovely present.

This project is suitable for beginner quillers but does assume some basic quilling knowledge. If you need to learn the basics first, you can download this free tutorial.

Supplies

Quilling supplies for 3 quilled tree ornaments
  • 1/8″ quilling paper strips (17″ long) in various shades of green
  • 1 strip ¼” brown quilling paper
  • 1 trip ½” brown quilling paper
  • 1 strip ¼” yellow quilling paper
  • Quilling tool
  • Small paper bead tool or quilling needle form
  • Quilling glue
  • Scissors
  • Quilling mold
  • Thin twine
  • Small paintbrush

Ornament #1: The short stack tree

Short stack quilling tree ornament

Step 1: Make the coils

For this version of the ornament you need eight shades of green 1/8″ quilling paper in full strips and a small paper beading tool. The beading tool will give you a larger center hole to string twine through. Alternatively, you can use a quilling needle form, but the process will take a little more time.

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Paper Quilling for Beginners

Whether you’re making beautiful quilled designs for cards, shadowboxes or home decor, these simple steps will help make your paper projects look polished and professional.Get my FREE guide »

paper bead tool

Make a tight closed coil with one strip of your first shade of green using your beading tool. Secure with glue and carefully remove. 

Image of painting quilled coil with glue

Place a generous amount of glue on one face of the coil and use your paintbrush to evenly distribute. This will keep your coils from unraveling and add a little strength.

Image of multiple green quilled coils for holiday tree ornament.

The next coil will be made in the same manner but with two strips and a different shade of green. You will add on an additional strip for each coil as you quill through your shades of green. Once the first eight are made, repeat the pattern once more for a total of sixteen coils.

Depending on your bead tool, you may be able to roll multiple strips at once, which will make the project even quicker.

Step 2: Make the tree topper

how to cut quilling paper into triangle to create a paper bead

There is no need to use special bead paper strips for this project. Simply take a 4¼” strip in ¼” width and cut in half diagonally, as shown in the image above. It does not need to be perfect.

rolling up a paper bead

Insert the widest end into your bead tool and roll towards the narrow side. Place a small amount of glue to secure and remove from tool.

Step 3: String up the ornament

Image of tying square knot onto twine for quilled tree ornaments

To turn all of your quilled pieces into an ornament, you will first need to prepare a length of twine for stringing. Using approximately 18″, fold your twine in half and make a simple overhand knot. The loop you create will be used to hang your finished ornament, so use your best judgement as to the size you make.

how to string coils on twine for quilled tree ornament

Add your tree topper and then follow with the smallest coil, glue side facing down. Stack the remaining coils tightly in an ascending order. Tie off the twine tightly under the largest coil and trim just below the knot.

tree ornament tied off and trimmed

Step 4: Make the trunk

supplies needed to make the trunk for quilled tree ornament.

For this trunk, you will need a quilling tool and a 4¼” strip in both¼” and ½” widths. First roll up the¼” strip into a closed coil and glue to secure without removing it from the tool.

Image of how to roll a 1/2" strip of quilling paper over a 1/4" strip for tree ornament

With a small amount of glue, line up and attach the ½” strip as shown above. Allow the glue a moment to dry and then roll the larger strip over the ¼” coil. 

Secure the strip with glue when you reach the end and carefully remove from the tool. 

Image of the quilled tree trunk to be filled with glue

If made correctly, the trunk should have a hollow portion on one end. Fill this space with glue and pit a ring around the top as well.

Image of how to attach the trunk of the tree

Fit the space over the knot at the bottom of your tree and hold in place to secure.

Ornament #2: The staggered tree

the staggered tree ornament

Step 1: Make the coils

coil pattern for staggered tree ornament

The coils for this ornament are made in the same manner as the first tree, however, you need a different amount of only four shades of green. As in the first tutorial, begin with one strip for the top tier and two for the second, but then increase each additional tier by 2 strips (4, 6, 8, etc.) Repeat your pattern twice.

Step 2: Make the tree topper

Make the tree topper in the exact same manner as previously shown.

Step 3: String up the ornament

how to tie the knots on the staggered tree ornament

Using 18″ of twine, create a loop for hanging using an overhand knot and then string on the tree topper. Once the topper is in place, secure another overhand knot directly beneath it.

Image how to string up closed coils on staggered tree ornament

Now you can begin to string up your closed coils. Secure each in place with an overhand knot beneath the disc.

Step 4: Make the trunk

How to make trunk for staggered tree ornament

For this trunk, you will need two ¼” width strips cut into 4¼” lengths and one ½” strip cut to 4¼“.

Image #2 How to make trunk for staggered tree ornament

With your bead tool, roll up one of the ¼” strips into a closed coil and remove it. String the coil onto your ornament and place a knot securely beneath it. Cut the other ¼” in half length wise and set aside for later.

Image #3 How to make trunk for staggered tree ornament

Trim off the excess twine below the knot. Place a small amount of glue on the strung closed coil and attach the ½” strip to it as shown above.

Image #4 How to make trunk for staggered tree ornament

Roll the ½” strip around the coil and glue to secure once the end is reached.

Image #5 How to make trunk for staggered tree ornament

With a quilling tool and one of the strips you previously cut in half, roll up a closed coil.

Put some glue into the hollow part of the trunk and then insert the small closed coil that you just made to complete the trunk.

Completed trunk of staggered tree ornament.

Ornament #3: The rounded tree

rounded tree ornament

Step 1: Make the coils

This last ornament is made with three shades of green in three rounds. The first coil is made with one strip, the second with three and each additional is added on by three strips (6, 9, 12, etc.)

Image of molding coils into domes

After you’ve made the coils but before you glue them to secure, place them on a quilling mold to shape them into domes.

Image of securing quilled dome with glue

Once molded, paint glue onto the inside to keep shape and strengthen. Allow to dry completely before stringing.

Step 2: Make the tree topper

Make the tree topper in the exact same manner as previously shown.

Step 3: String the coils

Prepare you twine in the same way as described in the first tutorial. String on your tree topper and the smallest coil.

knot tied into domed coil

Tie a small knot on the bottom side of each dome before stringing on the next. Once you have strung on your largest dome and secured it in place with a knot, trim the excess twine with scissors.

Step 4: Make the stem

Make the initial stem in the same manner described in the tutorial for the stacked tree ornament. Once in place, make a second closed coil using your quilling tool and an 8½” strip of ½” brown paper. Glue this second coil directly to the stem to complete this ornament.

Image of finished stem for tree ornament.

It’s amazing how just a few small changes in design and application can have such a big impact on a finished project. Hopefully by crafting a little smarter this holiday season, you will likewise experience a shift from stress to satisfaction and celebration. These three easy ornaments are just the ticket to get you started!

Holiday tree ornament three ways opening photo

FREE Guide: Paper Quilling Basics for Beginners

Paper Quilling for Beginners

Whether you’re making beautiful quilled designs for cards, shadowboxes or home decor, these simple steps will help make your paper projects look polished and professional.Get my FREE guide »

4 Comments

Ann Martin

Thanks so much for this tutorial, Erin, such cute ideas! I shared the link via my newsletter yesterday and it’s proving to be very popular.

Reply
Erin

Thank you so much Ann!

Reply
Kristen

Another great tutorial from you Erin. Thanks for making my house even more decorative with this must-do tutorial. Thank you!

Reply
Kristen

Thank you for this beautiful MUST-DO tutorial. This will now be our 2015 ornament for the tree. Thank you for sharing. Happy Holidays.

Reply

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