10 Paper Quilling Tips for Better Greeting Cards
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Select the right paper
  2. Invest in good-quality glue
  3. Use the right tools
  4. Learn basic quilling shapes
  5. Practice patience
  6. Keep your workspace clean and organized
  7. Use a quilling board
  8. Experiment with colors and shapes
  9. Learn to make 3D quilling designs
  10. Protect your quilling art

Creating beautiful greeting cards is an art in itself, but adding the flair of paper quilling takes it to a whole new level. If you've found yourself mesmerized by the intricate designs and wish to start getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards, you're in the right place! This guide offers 10 practical tips to step up your paper quilling game and create greeting cards that will leave everyone in awe.

Select the right paper

As you begin your journey into paper quilling, the first step is choosing the right paper. Believe it or not, this can make a world of difference in your final product.

The thickness of the paper: While you may be tempted to use thicker paper for sturdiness, it's not always the best choice. Thicker paper can be difficult to roll and manipulate into the delicate shapes that quilling demands. Instead, opt for paper that's semi-thick—thick enough to hold shape, yet thin enough to manipulate.

The width of the paper: Standard quilling paper strips usually come in widths of 1/8", 1/4", and 3/8". If you're just starting out, 1/8" strips are a good place to start. As you get more comfortable with quilling, you can experiment with wider strips for varied effects.

The color of the paper: This is where you can let your creativity shine. Choose colors that match the theme of your greeting card. If it's a birthday card, try bright, festive colors. For a more elegant touch on a wedding card, try shades of white, cream, and gold.

Remember, while getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards, the right paper is not an option—it's a necessity. Choose wisely, and you'll be laying the foundation for a beautiful piece of quilled art.

Invest in good-quality glue

Ever heard the phrase "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link"? In the world of paper quilling, your glue is that link. While it may seem like a minor detail, the quality of your glue can be a game changer in your journey to getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards.

Here's the thing — paper quilling often involves creating and combining intricate shapes. The last thing you want is for your masterpiece to fall apart because the glue wasn't up to par. Investing in good-quality glue ensures that your quilled designs stay intact and look their best.

So, what should you look for in your glue? It should be strong enough to hold the paper shapes together, yet flexible enough to allow for adjustments. The glue should also dry clear so it doesn't interfere with the beauty of your quilled design.

While there are many brands on the market, look for a glue that specifically states it's for paper crafts or quilling. This will ensure it has the right consistency and drying properties for your projects.

Remember, in the journey to getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards, every detail counts. Even something as simple as the glue you use can make a world of difference in your creations.

Use the right tools

Just like a chef needs a good set of knives, to get better at paper quilling for greeting cards, you need to arm yourself with the right tools. Don't worry, you won't need a whole toolbox. But having the correct, high-quality items at your disposal can really enhance your quilling experience.

At the top of the list is a quilling tool or slotted tool. This is your magic wand in the world of quilling. It helps you coil and shape the paper strips. Look for one that is comfortable to hold and has a fine tip for easy coiling.

Next up is a pair of sharp scissors. These will allow you to cut your paper strips with precision and ease. A smooth, clean cut can make the difference between a good and a great quilled design.

Finally, consider getting a quilling comb. This tool might seem optional, but it can help you create a variety of shapes and patterns that would be difficult to achieve by hand.

In quilling, as in many other crafts, your results will often reflect the quality of your tools. So take the time to assemble a good set of tools, and you'll be well on your way to creating amazing greeting cards with paper quilling.

Learn basic quilling shapes

Imagine trying to build a house without knowing what a brick looks like. Similarly, getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards starts with mastering the basic shapes. These are the building blocks that will help you create intricate and stunning designs.

The first shape you should learn is the coil. This is the foundation of paper quilling. It's made by winding a strip of paper into a tight circle. You can then pinch and shape the coil to create different forms. For example, pinch it at one end to make a teardrop, or at two points to make a heart.

The next shape to master is the scroll. This is where the ends of the paper strip are left loose. These can be used to create open and airy designs. Scrolls can add a touch of elegance to your greeting cards.

Lastly, don't forget about marquises or eye shapes. They are made by pinching the coil at two opposite points. Marquises can be used to make a variety of designs, from flowers to intricate patterns.

Learning these basic quilling shapes will give you a solid foundation to build upon. They will help you create more complex designs as you continue to improve your paper quilling skills for greeting cards.

Practice patience

Remember when you first learned to tie your shoes? It probably took more than one try. Similarly, getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards is a gradual process. It takes time and, most importantly, patience.

Paper quilling is a delicate art form. It requires a steady hand and a calm mind. Sometimes, the paper strip may not wind the way you want it to, or the glue might smudge. That's okay. Breathe, take a step back, and remember: every artist experiences these moments.

Here are a few ways to practice patience when quilling:

  • Set realistic goals: You won't become a master overnight. Start with simple designs and gradually move to more intricate ones as your skill improves.
  • Take breaks: If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break. A fresh mind can do wonders for your creativity.
  • Enjoy the process: Instead of focusing on the end result, enjoy the process of quilling. The act of winding the paper, applying the glue, and seeing your design come to life can be therapeutic.

So, next time you pick up that quilling tool, remember to be patient with yourself. You're learning, and every mistake is a step towards getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards.

Keep your workspace clean and organized

Imagine trying to create a masterpiece in the middle of a chaotic room. Tough, isn't it? Now, let's apply that to getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards. You see, an organized workspace is not just about aesthetics or convenience; it can significantly impact your quilling journey.

A well-arranged workspace allows you to focus on the task at hand. You know where everything is, saving you time and energy. More than that, it also helps you keep a clear mind, which in turn, fuels creativity.

So, how can you maintain an orderly workspace? Here are some tips:

  • Designate a space: Be it a corner of your room or a dedicated desk, have a specific place for your quilling. This way, you won't have to clear out space every time you want to work.
  • Segregate your tools: Keep your quilling tools, papers, and glue separately. Boxes, jars, or even simple plastic bags can be used for this.
  • Clean as you go: Finished quilling? Clean up immediately. It can be tempting to leave it for later, but trust me, your future self will thank you.

No matter how small your workspace might be, keeping it clean and organized can make a world of difference. Not only will it help you in getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards, but it also makes the experience more enjoyable!

Use a quilling board

If you're just starting your journey on getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards, you'll realize how much of a game changer a quilling board can be.

So, what's a quilling board? Picture a thick piece of cork or foam, filled with uniform holes. These holes are used to shape your quilled papers into perfect circles or ovals, while the cork itself holds your designs in place until the glue dries.

Here's how you can make the most out of your quilling board:

  • Use the right size: Quilling boards come in different sizes. Make sure to choose one that suits your project. For greeting cards, a smaller board might be more suitable.
  • Keep it clean: Bits of dried glue or paper can interfere with your quilling. Make it a habit to clean your board after every use.
  • Practice consistency: The uniform holes in the quilling board help you create consistent shapes. Use them to your advantage!

Investing in a quilling board can take your greeting card designs to a whole new level. It's a simple tool, but its impact on your quilling journey is undeniable. So, make it your new best friend and watch as your paper quilling skills improve!

Experiment with colors and shapes

One of the most exciting aspects of getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards is letting your creativity run wild. And nothing fuels creativity more than experimenting with colors and shapes.

Let's talk colors first. You're not limited to the typical shades found in a box of colored pencils. From the cool blues of a winter morning to the fiery reds of a summer sunset, there are virtually no limits. You can even mix and match different colored papers to create a gradient or ombre effect.

  • Stay open-minded: Step outside your comfort zone. Use colors you've never used before. You might be surprised by the results.
  • Understand color theory: You don't need to be an artist to get this. Simply knowing which colors work well together can make your work stand out.

Moving on to shapes. Sure, you've mastered the basic circle and oval. But what about a heart shape, or a star? Maybe even a 3D flower? Trying out different shapes can make your greeting cards truly unique.

  • Learn new techniques: There are tons of resources online for learning new quilling shapes. Dedicate some time each week to learning a new shape.
  • Think out of the box: Who says you can only use traditional quilling shapes? If you see it, you can quill it!

Remember, the only limit is your imagination. So, go ahead and experiment. Play with colors, try new shapes. You're on your way to creating some truly spectacular greeting cards!

Learn to make 3D quilling designs

Getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards doesn't stop at mastering 2D designs. The next step on your creative journey is venturing into the world of 3D quilling. This technique adds a new dimension to your artwork, making it pop right off the card!

Creating 3D quilling designs might seem daunting at first. But with patience and practice, you'll be crafting intricate 3D shapes in no time. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start simple: Begin with basic 3D shapes like cubes or spheres. As you get more comfortable, you can move on to more complex designs.
  • Use the right tools: A quilling mould can be a big help when creating 3D designs. It helps to shape your paper strips into domes, which can then be used to create various 3D shapes.
  • Try layering: One of the best ways to give depth to your designs is to layer your quilling strips. This not only adds a 3D effect but also brings texture to your craft.

Working with 3D quilling designs can be a game-changer in your journey of getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards. It adds a whole new level of depth and sophistication to your work. And the best part? The look on someone's face when they receive a card with a 3D design is priceless!

Protect your quilling art

After investing so much time and effort in creating beautiful quilling designs, it's only right to ensure they last. Protecting your quilling art is a key part of getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards. So, how do you keep your artwork looking its best for longer?

  • Choose the right storage: Keep your quilling art in a dry and cool place. Too much humidity can make the paper soggy, while extreme heat can cause it to dry out and crumble.
  • Seal your work: Using a clear sealant spray can protect your work from dust and moisture. Just make sure to use one that's acid-free to prevent the paper from yellowing over time.
  • Use a display case: If you're gifting or selling your quilling art, consider placing it in a display case. It adds an extra layer of protection and gives your work a professional touch.

Taking these steps not only ensures your quilling creations stay in top shape, but also shows the recipient just how much care you've put into your work. And that, my friends, is the true art of getting better at paper quilling for greeting cards.

If you enjoyed our "10 Paper Quilling Tips for Better Greeting Cards" blog post and want to explore more creative ideas for your greeting cards, be sure to check out Clara Cristina's workshop on 'Holiday Season Cards with Squeegee Art.' This workshop will introduce you to the innovative technique of squeegee art, adding a unique touch to your holiday greeting cards.