Introduction: Paper Quilled Grand Piano

The piano has always been one of my favorite musical instruments, though I can't play it myself as my hands are too small for the keyboard.

I like its melodious sound as well as its elegant and smooth design. Thus, I decided to make my own "piano" by paper.

This paper quilled grand piano not only can be a beautiful add-on to your desk or table top, but also serves as a great birthday gift for your friend who likes music or simply pretty hand-crafted little things! I made a smaller white piano (different version) and gave it as a birthday gift to one of my friends last year. She loves it!

The piano in this instructable is approximately 5 cm tall (top board closed), 10 cm wide (measured from the front), and 13 cm long (measured from one side). The piano I made is mainly black with blue decorations, but please feel free to use whatever colors you like.

Step 1: Material Preparation

To make the grand piano, we need:

  • 5mm-wide strips (black, blue, etc.) for the body of the piano
  • 3mm-wide strips (black, blue, etc.) for decorations
  • quilling needle
  • quilling board
  • black and white cardstock papers (heavier than 65lb)
  • glue
  • scissors
  • pencil and eraser
  • sketch paper (optional)

You may need different colored strips according to your own preference.

In the piano I made, I used some metallic 5mm-wide strips for the body of the piano to make it look nicer (image 2). This is totally optional and you can use ordinary black strips instead.

Step 2: Draw Out the Base & Top Board

In this section, we need to draw out the shapes of the base of the body and the top board on the black cardstock paper.

The base has a length of 13cm and a width of 10cm. The top board has a length of 9cm and a width of 10cm. Also make a duplicate of the top board.

You may use a compass to help you draw the curves.

After drawing out the base, you may cut it and use it as a template to draw the top board. In this way, the shapes of the base and the top board will be consistent.

You should have one larger base and two top boards.

Step 3: Braid the Body

Now, let's start making the body! The body of the piano is made by braiding 5mm strips together.

We need:

  • Two full black 5mm strips and one full blue 5mm strip
  • Multiple short 2.5cm-long 5mm-wide black strips

First, cut out multiple 2.5cm-long black strips for use later.

Next, hold the three full strips together and start braiding the strips with the previously cut short strips (refer to the image). Leave a 0.5cm space at both ends of the short strips. You can cut out more short strips if you run out of them.

After finish braiding them, choose one side of the braided strip and start folding the tops of the even-numbered short strips in. For example, fold the tops of the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th... strips and glue them to the back of the braid.

The braid should eventually look like image 3.

Step 4: Attach the Body to the Top Board Duplicate

Attach the folded side of the braid to one of the top board duplicates and glue the braid to the base as shown in image 1. Make sure to completely surround the base. You may cut any extra length.

Step 5: Strengthen the Body

Take one full 5mm-wide black strip, line the upper part of the braid on the inside.

Fold and attach the tops of the short strips of the body to this strip.

When you are done, the body of the piano should look like image 3.

Step 6: Attach the Bottom Strip to the Base

Take one full 5mm-wide black strip.

Using your quilling needle, quill the strip to half a circle at 3cm intervals.

Reverse the strip and repeat the above step. The finished strip should look like image 1.

Attach this bottom strip to the larger base.

After the bottom strip is attached, glue the pre-made body to the base.

Step 7: Keyboard-- White Keys

Cut out a 2.5cm x 9cm rectangle from a white cardstock paper.

Take several 5mm-wide white strips and wrap them around the rectangular cardstock.

You should have a total of 18 white keys.

Step 8: Keyboard-- Black Keys

Cut out a 1.5cm x 6cm rectangle from your cardstock paper.

Take several 3mm-wide black strips and wrap them separately around the rectangular cardstock. You should make 13 black keys.

Take the black keys off the cardstock paper and attach them to the previously made white keyboard. The pattern should be: 3-2-3-2-3 black keys (please refer to image 2).

Step 9: Decorations 1

In this section, we'll need:

  • Six 5mm-wide black strips
  • Six 5mm-wide dark blue strips
  • Quilling board

Firstly, cut all strips to 2/3 length.

Then, use your quilling needle to make 12 coils using the strips and place them in the 12mm-diameter or 13mm-diameter circle. You should get 12 open coils with diameters of 12mm or 13mm.

Pinch one end of the coil to make a teardrop shape. You should have 12 teardrops in total, 6 black and 6 dark blue.

Arrange the teardrops in a floral pattern and attach them to the base.

Step 10: Decorations 2

In this section, we'll need:

  • Twelve 5mm-wide blue strips
  • Several 5mm-wide dark blue strips

Firstly, cut the 12 blue strips into halves.

Secondly, use the halves to make open coils with diameters of 10mm. Pinch one end to make a teardrop shape. You should have a total of 24 blue teardrops.

Then, attach 2 teardrops together. Surround them with the 5mm-wide dark blue strip to make one "petal". Cut any extra length. You should have a total of 12 "petals".

Finally, in a group of 4, make 2 groups of "flowers" by gluing the "petals" together in a fan shape. Attach the 2 flowers to the center of the base. Add 2 extra petals to each side.

The complete look should resemble image 2.

Step 11: Complete the Body

Attach the keyboard to the base.

Cut two 5mm-wide dark blue strips into halves. Use the halves to make 4 open coils with diameters of 12mm. Make 4 teardrops with these coils.

Glue the teardrops to the sides of the keyboard, 2 on each side.

The complete piano body should look like image 2.

Step 12: Decorate the Top Board

In this section, we'll need multiple 3mm-wide black strips.

Cut the black strips into halves.

Use your quilling needle to quill tight coils using the half strips. You may need a total of about 56 tight coils.

Use your fingers to pop the tight coils out a bit so they look like little "bowls". Apply some glue on the inside of the "bowls" to help them hold their shapes.

Take one of the cover duplicates and attach these coils along the edge of the top board.

Draw out your own design on the top board and further decorate it according to your own preference.

Step 13: Making the Legs

In this section, we'll need:

  • Three full 5-mm wide dark blue strips
  • Three full 5-mm wide black strips
  • Three full 3-mm wide dark blue strips

Firstly, make 3 dark blue coils and 3 black coils.

Next, use the quilling needle to pop the black coils out to make 3 cones. The height of the cone should be around 3.5cm-4cm. Also, make 3 dark blue cones around 2.5cm high. Apply some glue on the interior of the cones to stabilize the shapes.

Then, make 3 dark blue coils using the 3mm-wide strips and pop the coils out a bit. Apply some glue on the interior and attach the legs to the coils.

Step 14: Attach the Legs and the Top Board

Attach the legs to the base of the piano.

Using two 8cm-long 3mm-wide dark blue strips, make two hollow coils and glue them to the back of the cover as well as the interior of the base (refer to image 2).

For the pattern on the top board, you may draw out your own design.

Paint a 5cm-long stick black and use it as the top board prop.

Assemble the top board on the piano and we're done!

Enjoy your paper grand piano!

Step 15: Finished!

Paper Contest

First Prize in the
Paper Contest