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This tutorial will show you how to use the technique of quilling to decorate a vase in a simple but effective way, with paper teardrops in a gradient of colours. You don't need to have done quilling before, so this is a great beginner's project, and the tools/materials are inexpensive.


What you willl need:

- A vase: I used a simply shaped bud vase in ceramic, which worked really well. You need an opaque vase, not too big, that has no extreme curves...only smooth and gentle curves.

- Paper strips in a gradient of colours: Search Ebay/Amazon or a paper craft shop and you'll find sets of paper strips sold cheaply in a vast array of colours. You'll only need one set for a small vase like mine.

(Or you can make your own if you have a guillotine.)

- Glue: Must be able to stick paper to ceramic. I used Aleene's tacky glue.

- Quilling slotted tool: This is a rod with a slot at the end basically and is cheap to buy.

- Quilling needle tool: You could use a cocktail stick instead, or anything with a point that can apply glue accurately.

- Quilling board (optional): Very handy to have so that you can make sure the teardrops are the same size. Could use a ruler instead though, or just draw a circle on a piece of paper to use as a guide!

Handy to have: Tweezers for moving fiddly items, and cotton buds to clear up stray glue.

Step 1: Roll the Paper Spirals

Starting with the darkest colour of paper you are going to use, put the very end of one paper strip into the slotted tool.

You want to rotate the tool whilst holding the paper strip so that the paper wraps tightly around the metal rod.

It's not vital, but the paper strips have one smoother side and one rougher side, so try and keep the smoother side on the outside of the spiral.

As you rotate the tool, keep the forming spiral resting on a finger to control it and keep it from becoming loose or getting into a mess.

Once you have made the whole strip into a coil, put the coil into a circle on the quilling board and let it slowly unfurl to fill the hole shaped guide. I used the third hole down which is 17mm across.

If you don't have a quillling board, you could use a drawn circle guide or a ruler and carefully let the coil become looser until it gets to the size you want.

Then you need to put a tiny bit of glue at the end of the paper strip, on the inside, to hold the coil in that shape. You can use a quilling needle or cocktail stick to apply the glue accurately.

Step 2: Form the Teardrops

You need to take each of the coils you make and then turn them into teardrop shapes.

This is really easy and all you need to do is lightly squash half of the coil between your finger and thumb, and pinch one end to make a sharp fold.

It's up to your what sizes you make your teardrops and depends mostly on the size of your vase. I made 4 rows of one size and then made teardrops of a smaller size for the top row.

Step 3: Add the Teardrops to the Vase

Make a handful of quilled teardrops to start you off. Then start gluing them to your vase, starting from the base.

Just apply a little glue to the back (mainly at the top and the bottom), and hold the teardrop onto the vase surface for a short while. It should stick pretty quickly.

Once you have completed one row, you can repeat all of the steps with a different colour and make the next row. And then just repeat this all of the way up your vase or until you want the design to finish.

I did 5 rows and stopped before the vase started to curve outwards at the top. Concave curves like that are hard to decorate but it can be done using smaller quilled shapes.

Step 4: Finished!

You have now finished your pretty quilled vase!

Thanks for reading my tutorial, and I hope you found this project fun to do :)

Are the quills protected against water? How do you keep them clean?
Hi!<br>You could apply some kind of sealant to the paper (like Mod Podge) to keep them splash-proof, but I am not putting water in the vase so I haven't made them waterproof at all. I'll be just putting artificial or paper flowers in the vase.<br>Just a gentle dusting should keep them clean :)

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Bio: Multi-crafter, jewellery maker, card designer and frequent procrastinator.
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