10 Practical Steps to Mastering Quilling Art for Beginners
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Gather your quilling supplies
  2. Learn basic quilling shapes
  3. Practice quilling techniques
  4. Experiment with colors and textures
  5. Create your first simple quilling project
  6. Learn how to seal and protect your quilling art
  7. Start working on complex quilling designs
  8. Learn to incorporate quilling into different crafts
  9. Explore quilling art inspiration and resources
  10. Practice consistently and be patient

Quilling art, a type of paper craft that transforms simple paper strips into intricate designs, has been making waves in the craft world. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll find the process immensely satisfying. So, if you've ever pondered over how to quilling art, then this guide is for you. Let's take a step-by-step journey into the world of quilling art for beginners!

Gather Your Quilling Supplies

Right off the bat, let's talk about what you'll need to start dabbling in quilling art. The good news is that the list isn't extensive or expensive. Here's what you'll need:

  • Quilling paper: The star of the show! Quilling paper comes in a variety of colors and widths. For beginners, a width of 1/8 inch is a good place to start.
  • Quilling tool: This tool helps you roll the paper into spirals. A slotted quilling tool is best for beginners—it has a small slot at the end where you insert the paper strip and start rolling.
  • Glue: You'll need this to secure the ends of your paper coils. A fine-tip applicator will help you apply glue precisely where you need it.
  • Workboard: A corkboard or foam board makes a great surface to pin your quilling designs on.
  • Pins: These are used to hold your quilling shapes in place on the board.
  • Scissors: A good pair of sharp scissors is always handy in any crafting project.

Now that you've gathered your quilling supplies, you're one step closer to mastering how to quilling art. Remember, it's not about how fancy your tools are—it's about the magic you create with them!

Learn Basic Quilling Shapes

Just like learning the alphabet is the foundation for reading and writing, mastering basic quilling shapes is key to creating beautiful quilling art. These shapes are the building blocks of all quilling designs. Let's get familiar with a few of them:

  • Loose Coil: This is the simplest quilling shape. You roll a strip of quilling paper around your quilling tool without gluing the end. When you release it, the paper unfurls slightly, forming a loose coil.
  • Tight Coil: Similar to the loose coil, but for this one, you apply glue to the end of the strip before you release it from the tool, preserving the tight coil shape.
  • Teardrop: Start with a loose coil, then pinch one end to form a point. Voila! You have a teardrop shape.
  • Square: For this shape, create a loose coil and then pinch all four sides.
  • Heart: Roll two loose coils, pinch both ends to form teardrops, and then glue the pointed ends together. That's how you create a heart in quilling art.

These are just a few examples of the basic shapes in quilling. As you progress, you'll find that there are dozens of shapes to learn. But for now, mastering these will serve you well in your journey of learning how to quilling art. Remember, practice makes perfect—so don't be disheartened if your shapes aren't perfect right away.

Practice Quilling Techniques

After getting familiar with the basic shapes, the next step in your journey on how to quilling art is to practice various quilling techniques. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Rolling: The most fundamental technique, rolling is all about creating tight or loose coils. Start with the end of your quilling strip on your tool, then roll the paper around it. The more you practice, the more evenly you'll be able to roll your coils.
  • Pinching: This technique transforms your coils into different shapes. Use your fingers to gently pinch and mold the coil into a teardrop, square, or any other shape you desire.
  • Gluing: Mastering the art of gluing is as important as rolling and pinching. Use a toothpick or a fine-tipped applicator to apply a small amount of glue to the end of your strip. That's all you need to hold the shape together. Remember, less is more when it comes to glue!
  • Arranging: Once you've created your shapes, it's time to arrange them into a design. This can be as simple as a flower or as complex as a landscape. The key is to play around with your shapes until you're happy with your design.

These techniques may seem simple, but when combined, they allow you to create intricate and beautiful quilling art. Don't rush—take your time to practice and hone each technique. The more you practice, the closer you'll be to mastering how to quilling art.

Experiment with Colors and Textures

Now that you've got a handle on the basic techniques, the next step in perfecting how to quilling art is to experiment with colors and textures. This can truly bring your artwork to life and give it a unique personality.

Start by experimenting with different colors. Quilling paper comes in a wide range of hues, so don't hesitate to mix and match. You can create a vibrant, eye-catching design or a subtle, soothing piece—it's all up to you. Pairing contrasting colors can make your designs pop, while using different shades of the same color can add depth and sophistication to your artwork.

Textures, on the other hand, can add an extra dimension to your quilling art. You can create texture by using different types of paper, like metallic, holographic, or even textured quilling paper. Additionally, you can manipulate the paper to create texture. For example, crimping the paper can add a wave-like texture, while folding or looping the strips can create a 3D effect.

Remember, there's no right or wrong when it comes to colors and textures—the key is to have fun and let your creativity shine. So go ahead, flex those artistic muscles and see where your imagination takes you in your quest to master how to quilling art.

Create Your First Simple Quilling Project

With your quilling supplies at hand and a basic understanding of shapes and colors, you're ready to create your first simple quilling project. This step is a big leap towards mastering how to quilling art.

Begin with a simple design. It could be an abstract pattern, a letter of the alphabet, or a simple object like a flower or a heart. Remember, the goal is to apply what you've learned, not to create an intricate masterpiece—yet.

Start by sketching your design on a piece of paper. This will serve as your guide. Once you're happy with your sketch, you can start forming your basic quilling shapes and arranging them on your sketch. Use your quilling tool to help you roll and shape the paper strips, and your glue to secure them in place.

Once you’re done, take a step back and admire your work. You've just completed your first quilling project! This is a significant milestone in your journey of learning how to quilling art. It's a testament to your progress and a solid foundation for more complex projects in the future. So, celebrate your achievement—you've earned it!

Learn How to Seal and Protect Your Quilling Art

Now that you've created your first piece, it's time to ensure its longevity. Learning how to seal and protect your quilling art is an important step in the process.

Sealing your art not only makes it sturdier but also gives it a polished, professional look. There are several products you can use for this purpose, like a clear acrylic spray or a quilling sealant. These products are specifically designed to provide a protective coat without damaging the delicate paper strips.

Before applying the sealant, make sure your artwork is completely dry. Lightly spray the sealant over your artwork, keeping the can about a foot away to avoid saturating the paper. Allow it to dry completely before handling your artwork again. This process may take a few hours, so patience is key.

Once sealed, your quilling art piece is ready for display or gifting. This step not only protects your art but also adds a professional touch to your work. It's a crucial part of mastering how to quilling art.

Remember, the longevity of your artwork is a testament to your skills and dedication. And who knows? Your art could become a cherished keepsake for someone or even an heirloom passed down through generations!

Start Working on Complex Quilling Designs

Now, this is where the real fun begins! You've learned the basics and protected your art. It's time to challenge yourself by starting to work on more complex quilling designs. This is a crucial part of learning how to quilling art, as it pushes your creative boundaries and helps you develop your own unique style.

Complex quilling designs often involve intricate shapes and patterns. You might start with a simple flower design and add more petals, or try creating a landscape scene with different elements like trees and animals. The possibilities are endless!

At first, complex designs might seem a bit daunting, but don't let that discourage you. You've come this far, after all! Remember, every expert was once a beginner. You've got this!

Working on more complex designs not only develops your skills but also allows you to express yourself creatively. It's a rewarding journey that brings a sense of accomplishment with each finished piece.

So, grab your quilling tools and start creating your masterpieces. Happy quilling!

Learn to Incorporate Quilling into Different Crafts

So you've started working on complex quilling designs? Great job! Now, let's take your quilling adventure a step further. Did you know you can incorporate quilling into other types of crafts too? It's an exciting way to expand your creativity and a great step in mastering how to quilling art.

Here's an idea: have you ever tried combining quilling with scrapbooking? Just imagine how a 3D quilled flower could pop up from your scrapbook page! Or how about integrating quilling into your card making? A quilled heart on a Valentine's Day card, for instance, adds a personal touch that is hard to match.

And don't stop at paper craft. Quilling can also be incorporated into jewelry, wall art, and even home decor items. Imagine a lovely pair of quilled earrings or a stunning quilled mirror frame! The more you explore, the more possibilities you'll discover.

So, why not give it a try? Start thinking outside the box and see how quilling can blend with your other crafting passions. You might be surprised at what you can create!

Explore Quilling Art Inspiration and Resources

As you continue your journey on how to quilling art, you may find yourself looking for inspiration and resources. And guess what? They're right at your fingertips!

Exploring different designs can spark creativity. Consider flipping through quilling art books from your local library or bookstore. Keep an eye out for different patterns, color combinations, or techniques that stand out. You might find the perfect design for your next project!

When it comes to online resources, there are countless websites, blogs, and tutorials dedicated to quilling art. You can learn from renowned artists like Sena Runa or Yulia Brodskaya, who've taken the art of quilling to new heights. Their work can be a great source of inspiration.

Additionally, don't forget about social platforms like Pinterest or Instagram. They are full of quilling art images and step-by-step guides. Remember, the key here is not to copy, but to gain inspiration and make something that is uniquely yours.

So, go ahead and dive into the world of quilling art inspiration. The more you explore, the better your skills will become. Happy quilling!

Practice Consistently and Be Patient

As with any art, learning how to quilling art is not an overnight process. It takes time, patience, and consistent practice. But don't worry, the time you invest in refining your skills is well worth the beautiful quilling art pieces you'll create.

Consistency is key when it comes to quilling. Try and dedicate a specific time each day to practice your quilling techniques. It doesn't have to be hours on end— even a few minutes every day can make a huge difference. You'll be amazed at how quickly your skills improve with regular practice.

Patience, on the other hand, is a virtue that's especially important in quilling. There will be times when a piece doesn't turn out the way you want, or you struggle to perfect a specific technique. That's okay. Remember, every artist has been there at some point. The trick is not to get discouraged but to learn from these experiences.

Lastly, don't forget to enjoy the process. After all, the joy of quilling comes not just from the end product, but from the journey of creating it. So, take a deep breath, relax, and let your creativity flow. You're doing great, and with time, you'll master the art of quilling.

If you're excited about exploring quilling art further and want to expand your skills in paper crafts, check out the 'The Art of Paper Cut' workshop by Mar Delmar. This workshop will introduce you to the beautiful world of paper cutting, a technique that complements quilling art and can help you create intricate, stunning designs.