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Create ornate paper art with quilling

It’s never too early to start on holiday gifts, right? Having an ambitious spirit, I always think this will be the year I hand make all my holiday gifts. (Spoiler: it is never the year I hand make all my holiday gifts.) But maybe if I combine handmade gifts with learning a new craft, that will help! Enter quilling.


Basic quilling tools and quilling paperPaper quilling is an ancient craft that uses strips of paper that are rolled, shaped and glued together in ornate designs. While the beginning of the craft is debated, people think quilling originated in ancient Egypt or ancient China. Much like needlework, quilling was popular in the 18th century as an artform for noble and gentle ladies. Thankfully being gently bred is no longer a requirement to learn the craft.

My first quilling project

Since I wanted to try to make gifts or cards for the holidays, I checked out the ebook Quilled Christmas. I was immediately struck by the beginner project Holiday Lights Tree. Many, many, many years ago, I received a quilling kit (I never used it, sigh) so I knew I had the materials to make a similar project. I gathered my quilling tool, paper and glue and got started.
The project went better than I hoped! I very much enjoyed the process of twirling the paper strips around the quilling tool and shaping them into mini lights. I could easily see myself working through other quilling projects, Quilled Mandalas book, I’m looking at you. First I have more Christmas tree lights to make.

Best quilling resources

In addition to books with quilling projects, you can check out a quilling arts and crafts kit. The kit gives you supplies for a couple starter projects to experiment with. This will give you a good idea if you like quilling. Then you can tackle more intricate designs.

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