What You Absolutely Need to Know Before You Try Quilling Art

Quilling Art
Quilling art is a unique art form. If you are a creative person and want to give a new dimension to you creativity, then this is what you should try your hand at.
Quilling uses small rolls and delicate strips of paper to shape intricate designs. It dates back to the Renaissance period and quite possibly to the Ancient Egyptians (who used thin metals). It is said that the early artisans used a feather or a quill to roll papers, and that's how it gets its name. Though there is no definite evidence, it is said that this craftsmanship must have taken shape fairly soon after the invention of paper. Paper was a highly precious commodity in those ages, and consequently quilling gained importance as well. It was also very popular during the Victorian ages, where young women were made to learn it along with sewing. Monks and nuns also decorated religious artifacts with this depiction. Over the decades, it has been known as paper-rolling, paper-scrolling, filigree, and mosaic as well.

Turning strips of paper into a beautiful design can be extreme fun. Simple material is used to create complex and intriguing designs. It requires patience, adeptness, and minute detailing, not to mention immense creativity. It is timeless and inexpensive, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. With a bit of imagination, you can create innumerable designs and give wings to your creativity.

Designs
Designs are basically made by rolling, bending, or crimping delicate paper strips to create various forms. You can begin with simple, uncomplicated designs, and move on to intricate patterns. They also help to think about unique gift ideas. There are a few basic ideas used in this form, and once you master them, you can use your own imagination to create endless varieties.

A few basic types are:
  • Tight roll - This is simply done by tightly rolling a strip of paper. It is used as a center and can also be used to elevate other shapes.
  • Loose roll - Here, a loosely rolled strip of paper is used to create other shapes by pinching in different directions.
  • Diamond - It is acquired by pinching the loose roll on both sides.
  • Tear drop - It is acquired by pinching the loose roll at one end.
  • Square - It can be made by pinching the diamond into a square.
  • Heart shape - A heart shape is acquired from the tear drop shape. Push the round end of the tear drop inwards, and pinch the paper so that it stays that way.
  • S-shape - Coil up the ends of the paper strip to make the S-shape.
Usage
Basic designs like a butterfly, flowers, etc., can be made with the help of these shapes. You can also make flower baskets, innovative Christmas crafts like a Christmas tree or holly leaves, birds, etc. You can incorporate them in brass or metal embossing, or even paintings. Using recycled material is also an innovative idea. These patterns can be used for making kitchen magnets, cards, scrap books, decorative art and craft items, picture frames, and whatever you can think of. The ideas are endless.

Tools
You can make do with simple instruments around the house itself. Some of these tools are as follows:
  • Needle - This is an essential tool. It is used to roll thin strips of paper. To make the work easier, you can moisten the end of the paper, and then start rolling it. If a needle is not available, you can try rolling the paper with the help of a toothpick, hat pin, etc.
  • Paper strips - The most common width of paper used for this purpose is ⅛ inch or 3 mm. Paper strips that are generally available in the market range from 2 mm to 10 mm. You can make the strips yourself from colorful paper with the help of a paper trimmer. But it is important to remember that the strips should be cut accurately. You can also make use of the paper shredder. There are many beautiful types of quilling paper available in the market. You can buy gold, silver, or bronze-edged paper, as these make gorgeous designs for occasions like Christmas or weddings. Pearlized paper also gives a stunning effect. Paper that fades to a lighter shade, or to white in the middle or at both ends can also be used.
  • Glue - The best adhesive is transparent glue. It will not be seen prominently in case there is excess glue. You can also have a fine tip applicator. A cocktail stick will also work fine, which you can dip in the glue and use.
  • Boards - A board is an extremely useful tool. It is usually made of firm foam. It has a template with holes of various sizes, which is attached to the foam. These templates help the coils to open to the right size, when they are left in the holes.
  • Fringer - When paper is put through the fringer, it comes out unevenly cut, ready to roll, and be used. Sharp scissors can also be used to cut the paper, but the fringer is a quicker option. Such paper looks very attractive while making fringed flowers.
  • Onion holder - This kitchen aid can be used to cut the paper. It is used to get a unique effect. This is done by wrapping the paper around the selected teeth of the onion holder.
Other items like scissors, ruler, bulldog clip, crimping machine, tweezers, etc., should also be kept handy.

With the help of these tools, basic knowledge of quilling art, and loads of creativity, you are all set to explore this unique and timeless artistry. You can include this in your kids' craft ideas, and see them enjoy it as well. So, go right ahead and give your creative instinct a new direction. This elusive art form has an old-world kind of charm but has remained in the shadows. It has not gained the popularity it rightly deserves, but it is definitely not dead.