Quilling with Children

We've been under snow for months, and I think some color spread throughout our home might be just the thing to remind us that Spring really is coming!

Our bird is on a wet-on-wet watercolor painting.

Quite a while ago we made a beautiful paper art project.

This time we're doing details.

For this project you'll need paints if you like, any kind of paper (for quilling, we used actual quilling paper, patterned scrapbooking, construction, and regular printer varieties of paper), glue, scissors, and a quilling tool- you can use an actual quill, if you like, or even a pencil or wooden skewer, but I had the idea today of using an extra large embroidery needle as a tool -- it worked beautifully for little hands.

For making the paper strips, first you need to find out which way the paper fibers lie... tear a strip off the paper (around an inch thick will be a good indication). If the tearing line curves, then try tearing it the other way. Following the way of the fibers will give you a straighter line.

Regardless if you choose to tear or cut the strips, it is helpful to go with the fibers, as the paper will coil better if you stay with its natural form (bend).

Tuck (or have the child tuck) the end of the paper into the needle, if you're using one.

Then simply twist the paper onto the end of the needle. It's a really quick way to coil the paper.
When you get to the end, have the child let go of the coil (to loosen it), then with small movements, sort of twist the needle back and forth, rocking the end of the paper strip out of the eye of the needle.

If this doesn't work well for your child, and if you are interested enough in quilling, then just snip off the end of the plastic embroidery needle with wire cutters,

and you have a permanent quilling tool. If it seems sharp to you, then just sand it down a bit.
This also allows for a broader strip of paper.

After twirling the paper, the strip is all ready for your designs and bends.

The possibilities are endless!
Birdhouses, trees and leaves, snowflake designs, flowers, landscape scenes.... and I'm thinking they'll make absolutely beautiful Valentine cards. :)


Since we are just beginning our love affair with quilling, we found the book Twirled Paper by Jacueline Lee to be an outstanding resource of ideas and creativity. The penguin and flamingo that we made were our version of some of the animals in her book.

Happy Twirling, everyone.


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