The Art of Quilling

The Art of Quilling

Paper—something every artist has in common. We’ve all used it. It’s where many great pieces of art start. Beyond its everyday uses, paper is actually one of the most versatile tools any artist will touch. Its scope goes far beyond what can merely be put on it. It can be sculpted, stacked, and curled into ornate shapes. The art of paper quilling frees paper from it boring flat shackles and allows it to take shape.

What is Quilling?


Quilling is a technique that rolls and shapes strips of paper to create designs. The paper is wound around a quill to create a coil shape. The paper is then glued at the tip and arranged to form various ornamental patterns.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start dabbling in the quilling art. Quilling paper lends itself perfectly to floral motifs and shapes like the ubiquitous heart. The tools to start quilling are items you probably have around the house: strips of 1/8’ paper, glue, X-ACTO knife, scissors, and a tool to roll the paper around—a skewer or a toothpick would work. Here are some additional techniques to try:

  • For quilled flowers, try using a narrow toothed comb and X-ACTO knife to make evenly spaced cuts.
  • Place the comb on top of the paper and run the X-ACTO in the slots of the comb.
  • Then roll the paper to create the petals of the flower.

You can make larger scale quilled items by cutting large strips with a paper cutter, such as the Designer Series 12” Rotary Paper Cutter. The measurements on this tool allow you to make sure all the strips are precisely the same size.