Valentine quilling

This lacy paper keepsake will show how much you care.

Quilling: General instructions

Looking for a new, elegant and inexpensive craft to pick up during the winter months? Joyce Gillelan of Weston, Ont., wrote to us with the perfect suggestion: the delicate craft of quilling. It's easier than you think! Simply roll thin strips of paper around a toothpick or needle to form decorative furled shapes, then use these to create three-dimensional designs with the lacy look of filigree.

Joyce's instructions for the basic techniques begin below. Once you've mastered these, try your hand at a pretty quilled photo frame, card or keepsake box for your special Valentine. With a little imagination and enthusiasm, you can go on to more challenging and intricate designs.

Valentine quilling
General instructions

You need:
• 3 mm (1/8-in) wide precut quilling paper strips available at craft supply stores OR cut your own from sturdy paper using scissors or a paper cutter (the paper should be thin enough to curl but sturdy enough to hold its shape)
• Round wooden toothpick, hat pin or corsage pin (for curling)
• Piece of corrugated cardboard
• Quilting pins, 4 cm (1-3/4 in) long
• White craft glue
• Toothpicks (for applying glue)
• Tweezers
• Waxed paper
• Masking tape
• Tracing paper
• Muffin tin (optional)
• Damp cloth
• Clear acrylic sealer

To make basic quilled shapes:
1. To learn the rolling process, use scrap paper strips to practise coils. Lightly dampen fingertips and end of a 10 cm (4-in) paper strip. Fold end of strip around toothpick or hat pin. Grip fold between thumb and index finger and roll tightly to begin with, keeping edges even. Loosen tension as you continue to roll but make sure the centre coil does not unwind.

For a tight coil, remove toothpick or pin and glue the outside end of the paper strip to.the coil with a dot of glue applied with a toothpick (Diagram 1). For a loose coil, let the coil unwind until it is the desired size then glue end (Diagram 2). For an open coil simply. let it spring free (Diagram 3).

2. Once you've mastered the basic coils, practise quilling these shapes with a 10 cm (4-in) strip of paper.

Page 1 of 3 -- Learn how to make a heart scroll on page 2

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