Introduction: DIY Heart-shaped Paper Quilling

In this Instructable, I am going to show you how I made a heart-shaped paper quilling. The end-goal of this project is to give it to my-25-years-old-self, to remind me that self-love is also important. Spread love, not hoax :D


Supplies I used:

  • Paper strips: various colors; 0.5 cm to 1 cm; 80 to 300 gsm
  • A4 color papers, if you don't have them, I'll show some paper hack :D
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • PVA glue
  • glue applicator

Step 1: Sketch the Heart Shape

The heart design is up to you, of course. I made my "heart" to have a double heart shape. As usual, I used a pencil to sketch my design. If you want to print the design, feel free to use my design. Don't forget to set the outline to slightly transparent or faint color so the outline won't stand out too much under the paper strips. Original size: 6.5 x 6 cm

Step 2: Outlining

Paper I used: White paper strip 300 gsm, 1 cm width. A5 white paper as a base paper.

For the outline shape, I preferred a 300 gsm white paper strip as this paper will take the strain of the elements being filled inside the heart shape outline. I used a pencil to curve the paper strip, but you can also use your fingertip. I also used a glue applicator (made from plastic straw, you can use a toothpick) to help me apply a little amount of glue on the base paper. The 300 gsm paper tends to need more time to stick on the base paper (especially when it comes to the curve line) because of their rigid property, so make sure to hold a little longer until the paper stick completely.

Step 3: Fill In: Zigzag Fold

Paper I used: Various colors, 80 to 300 gsm, 1 cm width.

This technique is inspired by Yulia Brodskaya's paper quilling artwork. This technique basically folding paper continuously, following the shape of the paper quilling outline. You are going to need to measure the outline over and over as the paper strips need to fit in the space. After you are sure the paper strip fits properly, apply glue under the paper strip or the base paper. Sometimes when I use a 200 gsm paper strip, I need to use a paper clip to make the strip stays in place before it sticks properly to the base paper. But for 80 gsm paper strip, I didn't need a paper clip.

Step 4: Fill In: Tube

Paper I used: Various colors, 80 gsm, 1 cm width. Paper to make Cylindrical tool: any color, 300 gsm, 1 cm width or above.

You're going to need a cylindrical tool such as a pencil, pen, etc. I used my glue applicator (plastic straw).

But you can also make your own cylindrical tool. You just need a paper strip with a size above 1 cm, then roll the paper strip with your finger until it meets the desired size and then apply a little glue at the end of the strip. Why above 1 cm? because it will be easier for you to pull the cylindrical tool out of the paper strip.

Making the tube is very simple, you can see the picture in this step

Step 5: Fill In: Paper Teardrops

Paper I used: Various color, 80 gsm, originally A4 sized.

First thing first, I sketched the desired teardrop on A4 color paper, then cut them. In addition, I want to make some gradation on the paper teardrop. If you have watercolor, marker or even crayons, then use it. But I don't have any of those markers, so in this project, I rather use my paper strips to add some gradation on the paper teardrop. I picked a paper strip with bolder color than the paper teardrop (the paper teardrop was pink and paper to add gradation was magenta). I just dip the magenta paper strip to a little bit of water, then tap on the paper teardrop.

You can glue this paper teardrop on the paper strips that already fill in the heart shape. Or rather you can add stand paper by using tight coil (rolling the paper strips, then glue to secure the coil) and place it under the paper teardrop, and than glue on the base paper (see picture). The paper strips for stand paper can be 0.5 or 1 cm in width.

If you don't have an A4 sized color paper, you can use your paper strips as you can see in the second picture.

Step 6: Fill In: Teardrops, Tight Coils, and Swirls

Paper I used: Various colors, 0.5 to 1 cm width, 80 to 300 gsm.

Other ornaments are quite easy to make, I just need to roll or swirl the paper strips and then glue down on the base paper.

Now you have your own heart-shaped paper quilling! Give them to your love ones, or even your self :D

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