What is Quilling?

Perhaps you have seen the fancy scrolls in a magazine advertisement or upon the the front of a notecard you passed by at a craft fair.  You’ve heard the word quilling but what exactly is it? Quilling, in the simplest manner is the act rolling thin strips of paper around something cylindrical into spirals.  Once rolled, the spirals can be glued and manipulated into various shapes that can be used to create more complicated art. 

Art by Yulia Brodskaya  

Tools & Paper.

One of the reasons quilling has been so popular in the distant past and is enjoyed by thousands of creative people worldwide today is how simple it is to learn and enjoy.  Very few tools are needed and most can be created from items you probably already have at home.  The most popular tools used by quillers are quilling paper strips and a quilling tool.  It is very easy to cut your own paper strips by hand or using a paper shredder, however you can conveniently buy quilling paper strips that are pre cut and can be ordered in dozens of colors, lengths and widths and delivered to your doorstep.  Likewise, you can easily make your own slotted quilling tool using the eye of a needle and a corkscrew, or split toothpick, but many have come to enjoy the modern tools available and sold with comfort grip.  With so few items to purchase prior to learning the art of quilling, there is nothing holding you back from giving it a go.

Modern Quilling.

Traditionally quilling was created by ladies of leisure to decoratively adorn frames and furniture.  Churches used gilded paper to create scrolls and embellish religious artwork.  Today’s quilled art and projects are made using the same methods that have been used for hundreds, possibly thousands of years.  Traditional quilling and methods are thriving in the craft world but today we get to enjoy a new type of quilling that is emerging on the scene.  Modern quilling is bright and bold.  Texture and variance are being used and traditional themes are being broken. Quilling today knows no rules and for the first time since the beginning of the craft we are seeing new tools being created and new methods being shared.  Quilling patterns and tutorials can be found on the internet that are bold and beautiful. Artists are using the medium to create pieces of statement and substance. This art has expanded into three dimensional form, is being recognized in galleries around the world and is even being worn.  And for an art form that is ancient, it feels like a new beginning.

 How to Quill.

To learn quilling, you will first need to learn how to roll and manipulate all of the quilling shapes.  You can learn how to quill by following our free basic quilled shapes tutorial.


You can find out all about the tools you need to start by watching this quilling supplies video.


Try and enjoy your new skills by visiting our free projects & tutorials projects page.


Have any questions? Visit our quilling forum or email us.  We are always here to help a fellow quiller.

Happy Rolling!