Hi! Meagan here, to tell you about a beautiful hybrid project using quilling. Quilling is a centuries old process of rolling and shaping strips of paper and arranging them to create a 3 dimensional design that is amazing to see. The end result looks complicated, but is something that you can learn easily and with only a few simply tools. I first learned about quilling at our local library’s Summer Reading Kick-off a couple years ago. The kids and I had so much fun rolling the little strips of paper into shapes that I ran out and got a pack of quilling paper and the slotted tool from my local craft store. We borrowed the book 50 Nifty Quilled Cards by Alli Bartkowski, grabbed some craft glue, and card stock for the back and got started making cards that everyone loved. The book was easy enough for even my kids to use.
For today’s post, I went a little further and made a pair of frames using this technique for my daughter’s teachers as an end of year thank you gift, but I loved them so much, I almost kept them. I used Sweet Caroline Studio's Wildwood Full Kit as my base and for the inspiration for all the quilled flowers.
To get started, I bought some inexpensive unfinished wood frames at Hobby Lobby (they were about $3 with coupon). I measured the space that I would need to cover. In my case, they were 9x12 - bigger than 8.5x11. I figured out what background papers I wanted to use. I wanted a pattern that was mostly undecorated with a small embellishment in a corner. When I first saw Wildwood, I fell in love with that blue woodgrain. I knew that I would use that one for one frame and chose the regular brown wood with flowers in the corner for the other.
In my scrapbooking program (I use Storybook Creator), I measured out the frame and center area. Then, I added the paper to the work surface. With the blue paper, I realized immediately that I would need to work with it to make it look like I wanted. I wanted the flowers to fit on either side of the bottom of the frame and not be cut off by the center of the frame. I do not have step by step pictures of the paper process, but for the blue paper, I cut apart each board and added them to the frame how I wanted. Then, I cut apart the flowers from the paper and again added them separately to the bottom. I kept adding until I liked the look of it.
You can see in this screen shot, I have all the flowers cut separately each in their own layer and the background of all of the layers of blue board, I flattened all together once I had them nice. I cut out the center that would be cut out in real life to save on ink when I printed.
With the brown frame, it actually fit better in the space that I had, so I only had to duplicate the paper 4 times. One regular, one mirrored up, one mirrored right and one mirrored right and up. If you need to, you blend the lines so they are not so obvious that it is a mirrored paper, but I think it is fine this way.
Next, I printed these out onto regular white printer paper and cut them out. After that, you will want to paint the wood frames a color to match the paper. I ended up just mixing the paint that I have around the house to get a color match, but to make it easier, you could buy new paint that actually matches. :D
While you wait for your paint to dry, you can distress/roughen up the edges of your printed paper so that it blends better onto the frame. This also works well with the Wildwood style. This is done by running the scissors flat edge across the paper edge. It does not have to be perfect. Little tears and unevenness actually adds to it.
Once dry, paint on a light coat of Mod Podge on the wood frame and lay on your paper. Add more Mod Podge on top to seal it. In the case of my blue frame, the wood was not all the way dry and so there is a slight blue tint to my top coat – which again – just added to it. (I love projects where mistakes make it unique and not ruin it)
The whole time, I was also working on my quilling. To me, quilling is a relaxing quiet activity. This is not a thing that you rush through. The best part is that once you know the process, you can do it while watching TV or listening to music – whatever. To make the frames, I added to my quilling stash – I got more quilling papers in colors to match the flowers, I also picked up the circle template to help keep my shapes uniform. I also used regular white craft glue, toothpicks (to apply glue to the surfaces), pins (to hold your shapes while they dry), a cork board and my tweezers. I laid out wax paper over my cork board and slipped a copy of the flowers between the cork and wax paper and started to work.
To start with, you slip one end of a quilling paper strip between the slots at the end of your slotted tool. Then, begin rolling the paper strip around the tip by rotating the tool in either direction. When you get the entire paper rolled, you can either push from behind or underneath the coil instead of pulling it off to remove it and either glue the end down to keep it as a tight coil or let it loose (in a circle form to keep it a particular size). In the case above, I was making the center of a daisy, so I wanted a multi-colored tight coil. When I got to the size I wanted of one color, I tore it off and glued on the new color to the torn edge (the torn ends make it blend better).
For the center of the white flowers, I used brown, pale yellow, a small amount of white and light blue and then green to match the center of Celeste’s beautiful flowers. You could make it as simple or colorful as you want! I glued the end down to keep it a tight coil and started to work on the petals. I tried a few different techniques to get the flowers just like the Wildwood flowers. For the daisies, it was easiest to make a teardrop shape. And glue to the tight coil.
How do you do the heart flower? Easy peasy! It is a loose coil that I used a pin to push in the center and glue into the shape.
My favorite thing about quilling is that you can try out a bunch of things and see what you like best. I tried out even more with the yellow flowers.
Another technique uses fringing. That is where you take a wider strip of paper and cut a fringe on it with scissors. They sell a fringer which I am thinking of getting because I love the look and it would be even cuts and faster. I really had fun with it. After you have cut a billion little cuts down the length of a paper, you put the non-fringed side in your slotted town and roll it the same any other shape.
I made yellow wild flowers with a tight coil at its center and I made fringed centers for some of the pink heart shaped flowers and fringed centers for the big flower. You can add regular quilled paper by gluing to the bottom edge. For the heart flowers, they have a white and yellow tight coil in the center with strips of green poking up and the a brown fringe for the dark pink heart flower and yellow to the light pink heart flower.
The possibilities are endless. I made a long yellow fringe in the center followed by a small green tight coil, followed by a maroon fringed piece that had hot pink glued to the center – rolled it all together to get a multi-colored center to my big flower.
My big flower is really just 5 loose coils that are smashed together. I used pins to push them into the shape I wanted, alternating where the center was and then glued another strip to the outside to make a uniform strip.
Once you have made all your flowers separately, it is time to glue them down. Again, I played with a variety of styles. Sometimes, I just added glue to one side of a green strip and glued it down, sometimes, I added petals that are teardrop shapes. Other times, I used the paper to make layers. Here, I placed the green “foliage” down and added leaves and small rolled “buds” in the bottom layer. I also rolled the ends of some strips to make a loose swirl.
Then I added the big flowers, gluing down as I went.
And that is it. I did spray the frames with a coat of Shellac to seal the whole thing and I made a center “thank you” insert that can be replaced with a picture later using both Wildwood and Wildflower elements
and here is the a close-up of the finished frames
The best part, my daughter's teachers LOVED them and I spent less than $10 for both of them (since I had most of it)
So, next time you need a special gift for someone or maybe just to try for fun, I urge you to add some quilling to your hybrid arsenal!