7 Tips for the Paper Quilling Beginner

Paper quilling, also known as paper filigree, is the art of shaping paper into intricate and interesting shapes. This is achieved by rolling strips of paper and pinching or curving them into various forms. A completed quilled project may look complicated, but the basics of this paper craft are actually not hard to master. If you have ever wanted to give paper quilling a try, here are seven tips for getting started!

Various paper quilled shapes

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 »

1. Use quilling paper

Paper quilling starts with rolling paper strips, and so naturally, the No. 1 item on the supplies list is quilling paper. You can buy packs of pre-cut quilling paper in most major art and crafts stores, but you can also cut your own strips of papers. The length and size of the paper will determine how the paper quilled project eventually looks. A paper quilling pattern will tell you the size you need.

2. Choose the right tools

Paper quilling toolsComparing quilled shapes made with the needle tool and the slotted tool

To paper quill, you need the right tools. A slotted tool is usually recommended to the paper quilling beginner because it is easier to roll paper with it. However, the slotted tool tends to crease the paper strips. Those who are more experienced in paper quilling may prefer the needle tool. Even though it is slightly more tricky to use, many crafters prefer the needle tool as it tends to result in a neater, crease-less paper roll.

Tools for paper quilling

Glue is another essential item on the supplies list. It is also helpful to have a pair of tweezers to handle the quilled pieces and a circle template to measure the coils with.

Read Bluprint’s Ultimate Guide to Paper Quilling Tools »

3. Learn basic shapes

Basic paper quilling shapes

The most basic shape of paper quilling is the rolled paper coil. By pinching and adjusting the tension of the paper coil, different quilled shapes are made. Some of the most basic paper quilling shapes are shown in the picture above.

Download Bluprint blogger Erin Curet’s FREE guide to quilled shapes »

4. Try a simple card

Paper Quilling card

Once you have practiced and are happy with your paper quilled shapes, it’s time to make something with them! You don’t need a lot of shapes to make something fun with paper quilling. Even the simplest of the shapes can be used for a paper quilling project. For example, in the card pictured above, five simple loose coils were used for the monkey’s juggling balls to make a fun greeting card.

Learn how to make quilled cards in Quilled & Sculpted Cards »

5. Experiment with other creative applications

Paper Quilling card

Paper quilling is frequently used for making greeting cards or in wall art, like decorative canvases or framed art. Some folks even make wearable art-like earrings  out of their paper quilled shapes!

Personally, I like to combine paper quilling with my other paper crafts, like die cutting and rubber stamping. For example, in the picture above, I combined paper quilling with a vellum cutout of a jar that I had cut with my electronic die cutting machine.

Explore more quilling ideas here »

6. Find the best resources

Paper quilling instructions and idea books can be found in many book stores. Some paper quilling books that were written for kids have great instructions that can be used for beginners of any ages. Even though they were intended for a young audience, children’s paper quilling books are not only easy to understand, they are usually filled with quick and easy projects that are great for any beginner.

In addition, Bluprint has a growing collection of paper quilling information. This class is a great starting point, and you can subscribe to the Bluprint Paper Crafts Blog to see the latest quilling tutorials and tips.

7. Practice, practice, practice!

Paper quilling takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice, but the results can be very rewarding. The more you practice, the better you will be at it.

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 »

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9 Responses to “7 Tips for the Paper Quilling Beginner”
  1. monica swinford
    monica swinford

    When I click the link to get my free guide, it takes me to a list of ALL classes and I cant locate the guide. Very frustrating.

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Monica,

      I apologize but we are still working on loading content onto the site. Once the pattern that you are looking for is uploaded there will be a button just below the description that says, “Make it” or “Get the Pattern”. I apologize for the inconvenience, please check the link again towards the end of the month.

      If you have any additional questions, please email or contact Customer Service at 888-891-7203.



    • Karin Magnuson
      Karin Magnuson

      Yep, same thing happened to me. I’m a new Craftsy member and was super excited to get started learning paper quilling…I was very confused until I saw your comment (thanks for posting it). I saw the response from Customer Service so I’ll make a note to check back in in a few weeks. Sigh…..