Introduction: Quilled Paper Dandelion Poof

About: My name is Kristen and I am a quilling artist. I began quilling by accident, I had purchased a children's quilling book and found that it was too complicated for my child and instead I began making him little …

I created this Quilled Paper Dandelion Poof project because I wanted to challenge myself to create a project that nearly anyone could do with very few supplies and without any real quilling background. I pushed myself to come up with as many simple variables or optional steps for a few different reasons.

The first reason is I wanted this Quilled Paper Dandelion Poof project to be a VERY inexpensive way to give quilling a try while still being appealing enough that a seasoned quiller would want to give it a go.

Secondly, I wanted to make sure that the supplies I used could be easily substituted for other items one may have in their own house. One aspect that I paid particular attention to was making sure that this project was capable of being “finished” without requiring framing or any crazy additional expenses.

Lastly, I chose to make this Quilled Paper Dandelion Poof project with one shade of paper so it was easiest for those who wanted to try this project, however, this is a prime example of how you can tweak the project. You can choose your own color schemes for your project and be as bright or as monotone as you like.

Just a note on the last bit… I decided to make a different version of this piece using “specialty paper” to show what the project could look like using different paper and different colored paint.

I used quotes around specialty paper because in the quilling world the term specialty papers can be any of the following, metallic edge paper, vellum, pearlescent, shimmer, two toned, graduated, etc. If you would like to know more about specialty papers I wrote up a “Paper Type Tutorial” on my website, you can find it here.

I had to come back and add this little piece after I decided to try this Quilled Paper Dandelion Poof project with black paper. I want to really stress how much more forgiving white paper is for people who are new to quilling. It masks the glue errors and other imperfections. You may decide that you like quirky pieces and end up using all of the misaligned or crooked pieces. I know that for me, I have become fond of variations and when I let things just progress naturally, I end up really liking my finished project. Find where you're comfortable with this project and roll with it.

I hope you enjoy making this Quilled Paper Dandelion Poof project as much as I did and I would love to see your versions of this project! I have also never written a tutorial like this before so I would love to know what worked and made sense and more importantly what didn't work or what needed more instruction.


Step 1: Supplies You WILL Need...

What you will need:

4”x4” stretched canvas (or equivalent) You can find these super small canvases in a pack for a dollar or two at any craft/superstore/online retailer


Paint brush

Quilling paper (you can cut your own paper or purchase/use pre-cut quilling paper)

Slotted quilling tool

Circular forms (I have a tool I use, however, you can find round objects in your house to use in place of a purchased quilling form)

Sharp Scissors


A way to hang or display your finished piece, I will go over five different ways to display your piece.

Step 2: Supplies You MAY Need...

What you may need






Sawtooth Hanger

Magnetic tape or magnets you can glue

Display stand or display easel

Step 3: Getting Started

Getting started is easy! You’re going to be painting your canvas of choice. You want to do this first and get it out of the way because you can quill and work on all of the other parts of this project while your canvas is drying.

One thing I would like to point out on this step is that I am using a stretched canvas that does NOT have staples around the sides of the canvas. Most larger stretched canvases have staples around the sides because they are meant to be framed. You CAN frame this piece but we are going to work on the less expensive version of not needing a frame.

Step 4: Choosing Your Quilling Paper

For my Quilled Paper Dandelion Poof canvas I used, 23 regular pieces of quilling paper to make the 9 round poofs and 6 pieces of card stock paper which is equal to 18 strips of standard paper

I want to take a quick minute to explain the different types of paper I am using. First, I personally use precut quilling paper from it’s the only brand I use because I get the most colors and supplies all in one place. You can get your quilling paper from various places online and I did happen to find some quilling paper at a Hobby Lobby store on one occasion. There is also the option to hand cut paper to your preferred width.

One of the first things I would like to point out is that I use 1/4” quilling paper. For people who don’t quill, the 1/4” refers to the width of the paper. Most places sell 1/8” paper and they label it as “standard”. I started with 1/8” paper and I am glad I did because I don’t think I would have ever been able to use it if I started with a wider strip of paper. That being said, I rarely, if ever use 1/8” paper anymore. It is a personal choice what size paper you use, I can tell you many reasons why I use 1/4” but all of my reasons could be why someone would choose not to use my preferred width. In the end use the width of your choice.

The next difference in paper that I would like to point out is that I use two different types of paper in my project. I will explain how to complete the project using only rolling weight paper.

Rolling weight? Good question! When you go online or in store to purchase quilling paper, most often the weight of the paper wont even be mentioned. There is a simple explanation for this… most quillers and especially people who are brand new to quilling only need a standard rolling weight for their projects.

So what is the other type of paper? Another awesome question! Some quillers make projects that require them to outline a shape that they will put small quilled pieces in to. It is much easier to outline a shape or create a thicker line of paper in a project without having to meticulously glue strip onto strip onto strip to create the same effect. The best bonus of using a card stock weight paper is the time it will save you from having to spend that time making sure each piece is glued properly as well as making sure all of the edges match up perfectly. Another bonus to using card stock paper is that you will experience less buckling of your paper when shaping strips for your piece.

So, how do I know what types of paper to get? There are a few answers to this question. When quilling strips are sold they are all rolling weight unless noted otherwise. Until recently, the only way to get card stock weight paper was to go and pick out the desired weight and cut your own strips. The supply shop at has recently changed the game by adding a new line of paper called “On Edge”, this line of paper is specifically for outlining and not rolling or quilling. That is where the term “rolling weight” fits in. If I were to roll or quill a piece of card stock or “On Edge” paper it would look terrible. However, if I am outlining something I have saved myself some SERIOUS time. One strip of “On Edge” paper is equivalent to three pieces of rolling weight paper.

Moving forward with this project I will be sure to point out where I used different types of paper and how to substitute only rolling weight paper.

Step 5: Making Your Stems

We’ve painted our canvases which should either be drying or dried. It is up to you to decide how many coats of paint you would like to apply to your canvas. I have found one coat works just fine for this project.

Hopefully you have selected your color(s) and width(s) of paper that you are going to use and you ready to get going.

I use “Culture Pop” and “On Edge” both are available at (No, I don’t get anything by mentioning them, I just exclusively use this brand). I’m bringing this up again because if you are buying precut quilling strips you will find that different companies offer different lengths of paper. It’s important to note because if I say I used one half strip of paper, it’s one half strip of Culture Pop paper which comes in strips that are 17” in length. Most quillers just snip off the ends of their paper where they are bound,so for this reason I will use 16” as measurement for my strips so they are more easily converted into sections.

The first section we are going to do is the stems to the large poof and the stems to the smaller sections. This requires us to glue strips on top of each other to get the desired width. You will need about 3 full length layered strips to be cut down later to proper size.

If you’re using card stock paper you can glue two strips together three different times.

If you’re using rolling paper weight you will glue six strips of paper together three different times. Just a quick note here… You could get away with only doing two layered strips and not three but I always make a little extra in case I find that I need it later on.

I have been quilling for some time now but I find that sometimes, regardless of how hard I try, the strips end up not being glued together the way they should be to be esthetically pleasing. I always make sure I have some backup paper in case my strips are wonky in one way or another. This is a particular issue when you are gluing six strips together vs. two strips together.

The trick here is to make sure you spread a very thin layer of glue along the length of the strip you are gluing so that the sides are securely glued to the neighboring piece and once dry they will be firm.

You don’t want to over glue (this is still sometimes a hard rule for me to remember even after all the time I have been quilling) because it can look sloppy.

You don’t want to under glue because the strips will separate and may pucker or buckle when shaping the glued pieces later.

Once you have glued three separate lengths of layered pieces, or two if you’re super confident, you can place them aside to dry. When you lay them to dry make sure they are flat so that they become firm and straight.

Step 6: Creating the Large Circular Poofs

The next part that we will be working on are the ends of the poofs. This is where my circular form comes into play and where you can cheat by using circular shapes from around your own house. Working from the largest to the smallest this is how my shapes measure out…
I use the eighth circular shape on my tool which creates a circle that is approximately 3/4” in diameter.

I was able to fit nine poofs on my canvas so I need to make at least nine circles for this project. I say “at least” because I always manage to have a shape or two that just doesn’t look right and I like to make a few extra pieces so I have something to fall back on. I would also like to point out now that when it comes time to cut them… sometimes, one gets cut too far or crooked and can’t be used for a specific project. Hence why I like a few extra pieces.

If you have limited supplies or complete faith in your skills you can just use 9 single strips in total.

When you find your circular form you can begin gluing these strips, and this is where having a steady hand and some patience will pay off.

Take your strip and wrap it around the form add some glue to the end of the strip so that when you wrap the strip completely around the form it will match up and secure itself to the glued section.

Hold the strip for a few seconds to make sure the strip is secure.

Now the idea here is to make a circle that will end up being stiff and will hold its shape even when it is cut. The way to do that is to lay the thinnest layer of glue along the length of the strip as possible. This is what makes the shape firm. Over gluing can lead to sloppy sides and in quilling the sides of the paper is the first, and sometimes the only piece of the paper people see. That is why it’s important to make sure you use enough but not too much and exactly why I always make sure I have back up pieces.

Once you have glued the entire strip you will want to gently pull it from your form and set it aside to dry and firm up.

Repeat this step eight more times if your precision is epic add a few more if you’re human and have a feeling you may want to have a few back ups.

This part is tedious but it’s worth it in the end.

Step 7: Creating the Small Circular Poofs

The next step will allow us to create the smaller circle that we will glue into the centers of the larger circles when we get closer to finishing our Quilled Dandelion Poof canvas.
I use the third circular shape on my tool which creates a circle that is approximately 3/8” in diameter.

Again, I was able to fit nine poofs so I need at least nine small circles. Each of these small circles will use 1/2 of a strip of quilling paper or a strip that is 8” long.

The same steps above apply here, I have pasted them below for anyone needing reminders.

When you find your circular form you can begin gluing these strips, and this is where having a steady hand and some patience will pay off.

Take your strip and wrap it around the form add some glue to the end of the strip so that when you wrap the strip completely around the form it will match up and secure itself to the glued section.

Hold the strip for a few seconds to make sure the strip is secure.

Now the idea here is to make a circle that will end up being stiff and will hold its shape even when it is cut. The way to do that is to lay the thinnest layer of glue along the length of the strip as possible. This is what makes the shape firm. Over gluing can lead to sloppy sides and in quilling the sides of the paper is the first, and sometimes the only piece of the paper people see. That is why it’s important to make sure you use enough but not too much and exactly why I always make sure I have back up pieces.

Once you have glued the entire half strip you will want to gently pull it from your form and set it aside to dry and firm up.

Repeat this step eight more times if your precision is epic add a few more if you’re human and have a feeling you may want to have a few back ups.

This part is tedious but it’s worth it in the end

Step 8: Creating Quilled Closed Coils to Top Off Your Poofs

While your circles are drying you'll have plenty of time to make the small circular ends that will be glued to the cut circles later on.

If you’re new to quilling you may not know that some shapes have universal names. In this instance the shape we will be making is referred to as a “closed coil”. This means you will most likely use a “slotted quilling tool” or a “needle tool” if you have crazy ninja quilling skills. The slotted quilling tool is used by most all quillers and can be easily found in any quilling store at a super reasonable price. There is also a way to make your own version of a slotted tool using a sewing needle and a cork.

For this section lets assume that you have a slotted quilling tool and you are ready to proceed. Each of the circular ends of the piece have four small closed coils. Each poof can be made with one strip of quilling paper.

Start by cutting your quilling paper into four equal lengths. I used 4” strips for this part. Slide one end of the paper into the slotted quilling tool and roll the paper tightly around until you get to the end, add a small amount of glue to the end and secure it to the roll you have created. Hold the paper for a bit to make sure it is secure. When you slide the coil off of the slotted quilling tool be sure to pull gently and do not allow the coil to spring open. If your coil expands you will have to roll the paper again if it is salvageable.

Remember to be cautious with your glue as this part only needs a tiny dab. DO NOT glue the whole length of the strip. A closed coil will already be firm so you don’t need to have a layer of glue to create the shape for you.

Math time, I have nine poofs on my canvas so I need 36 tight coils. This is one part you don’t need extra pieces on hand. As long as you are careful with your glue and the paper is aligned you can skip over making any extra tight coils. YAY!

Step 9: Creating a Quilled Half Circle or Marquis Shape

We are getting close to actually putting all of these pieces together. Exciting!

There is one more shape you need to create before we start the next part. I have no idea what to call this part of my dandelion because this is an artistic interpretation of a dandelion and not a true to life dandelion. So its going to be the half circle shape that holds the individual stems to the large stem of the flower.

Although this piece is super easy to make in theory, I think I made about four of them before I ended up with one that I liked and that worked in this particular piece.

So this time we are going to take a half a strip or 8” section of paper and roll it into an open coil. To create an open coil you will insert an end of quilling paper into your slotted quilling tool and roll the length of the paper. Holding the paper in a tight coil, gently pull the paper from the slotted tool and then allow the paper to spring open.

When you allow your paper to open you want it to be a “controlled” opening because you are making a small half circle piece and you want the shape to be concentrated or dense.

Once you have a small open coil you will put a small dab of glue on the end of the paper and secure it to the coil.

Next you need to shape the open coil into a half circle or semicircle shape. You do this by pinching opposite sides and keeping the top side round while flattening the bottom side. This sounds tricky but if you just give it a go it’s actually much easier to do. Have a few practice pieces if you’re new to quilling or if you’re like me and you need just the right piece and you want to choose from a few options.

If this shape ends up being to difficult you can make a marquis shape which is much easier. You repeat the same steps of rolling an 8" piece of paper, slide it from the tool and allow it to open slightly. Pinch the shape on opposite sides allowing the middle to keep a circular shape and the glue the end to the shape.

If that is still tricky you can actually just pinch the shape right in half and make sure to give the points an extra squeeze to lock the shape in and glue the end down.

There are many different quilled shape tutorials, where people explain in great detail how to make all of the different commonly used quilled shapes. Here is a link to my favorite ultimate shape tutorial.

Step 10: Creating the Cut Circles for Your Poofs

Congratulations you got this far, now it’s time to disassemble most of what you just made!
Before you cut anything please make sure that you have a sharp pair of scissors for this next part. This is not something to take on with sewing snippers, dull scissors or curved scissors.

Once you have all of your DRY and FIRM circles gathered you can start the process of trimming down your pieces.

TIP! This is a great time to look at your circles and determine if you have any “trouble spots” or sections that don’t quite line up.

The reason it’s great to find any spots that stick out now is so that when you begin trimming you can actually eliminate those spots from your final pieces. I like to make sure that I cut out the sections of the circles where the ends of the paper are glued. On both the inside and out.

First you want to cut the circle once. Eventually you will turn this piece into a shape somewhere in between horseshoe shape to half circle shape. Whichever shape you like more you should go for. I found that I preferred a bit longer than a half circle.

Once you have made the first cut you will most likely notice that it has pinched the paper and the cut isn’t as clean as you would like it to be. This is why trimming down the circle is the way to go. I would not recommend cutting the circle exactly where you expect it to be in the end. Although you can if that is what you would like. I find once you make the first cut the subsequent cuts are cleaner and straighter. You want the ends to be as straight as possible so you can glue the closed coils to the ends.

You will need to cut all of your circles down to the desired shape. Try to cut off any off center pieces and the area in which your strips end.

Step 11: Gluing Your Poofs Together

Get your glue back out it’s time to assemble!

It’s time to gather all of your pieces and start piecing them together. Each small cut circle will be glued into the center of each large cut circle. You can glue all of those together now.

The next step is gluing on the small closed coils. That is four small closed coils to each poof. I took the small closed coil and found the line where the paper was glued and that is where I put a dab of tacky glue onto the closed coil and then pressed it against one of the cut ends of the semicircles.

TIP: I found that using tweezers allowed me to control where I was putting the pieces together because I have super big hands and super delicate steps generally become more difficult for me.

Letting these dry completely is important because there is so little glue holding these parts together that you don’t want to move them until they are dry because the small closed coils will shift around and end up a little lop sided.

Even better tip: I made many versions of this project to make sure I could answer any questions or address any problems that did not come up on my first run through. I found that it was BEYOND easier to glue the small tight coils to the cut circles BEFORE you glue the small half circles into the large half circles.

Step 12: Cutting and Gluing Your Stems on to Your Poofs

For this next step we will be going back to the long strips we glued together back at the beginning.
These should be firm, flat and dry full length strips of paper. If you used rolling width paper you will have six strips glued together. If you are lucky enough to have card stock paper you will have two strips glued together.

If you remember back to the beginning I suggested making at least three of these full length glued strips. Even as a seasoned quiller, I still have sections that just don’t look right for one reason or another. That is why I like extras.

So each half circle needs a stem or a shoot whichever you would like to call it. For each piece I glued I made sure that the stem length was a bit longer than I expected it to be so I could trim it down to the right size as I assembled it. 14 The longest stem was just under 2.5” and that was the center shoot. In theory I wouldn’t need any more than about a strip and a half but I like to play it safe.

I cut the paper lengths down to about 2” each with the exception of the middle stem that was originally 2.5” and that was almost too short for that stem.

Now take each of the pieces you just cut and put glue on the cut width of the strip and gently place it against the center of the largest semicircle. I did this nine times for my piece.

Trust me… Let these dry completely.

Step 13: Adding Your Pieces to Your Canvas

Everything is dry and you’re ready to complete your Quilled Dandelion Poof!
On my original piece I variegated the circles so I could fit as many on my canvas as possible. By making two different levels of poofs I was able to pack them in.

Originally I thought that the stems would be more spread out along the quilled half circle I made. Instead I found that the piece looked better with all of the stems meeting at one point in the center and then gluing the quilled half circle to that instead of vice versa.

This is where you want to lay out all of your pieces on the small canvas BEFORE you cut the pieces for the final time. Once you figure out where each piece should go I recommend working from the largest center stem out to each side.

When you are ready to commit to the placement of your pieces you want to take your individual poofs and look at both edges of the paper and determine if there is a more visually appealing side. If there is (and there generally is) you want to apply glue to the side you would rather not see. Make sure that you put a light coat of glue along the entire edge that will be against the canvas. Begin working your way out from there. Each stem should touch its neighbor at the point where you will glue your quilled half circle.

Once you have all of the pieces glued and laid down glue the quilled half circle to the pieces and then all you have left is the stem.

Step 14: Shaping and Gluing Your Stem

I liked making this piece at an angle. It allowed me to fit the most pieces and it makes it more interesting to look at, in my opinion anyways. I wanted to add a little curve to my main stem so I could go from the meeting place of my other pieces to the corner of my stretched canvas.
But wait… didn’t we make all of our strips firm, flat and straight? Good question! Yes, we did, but, there is an easy way to add a little curve without having to make any new pieces.

Take a length of the stem paper and pinch it between your index finger and your thumb and pull the piece through with your other hand. Repeat this steps a few times to gently add a curve. The light heat from the friction of the paper will soften the once firm paper and allow you to add a little curve and character to the main stem.

If you decide you want a straight stem just add a straight piece on and wait for it to dry.

Regardless of how you like your main stem, make sure that when you glue it down the length is longer than the canvas so you can cut it to size when it is dry.

Step 15: Pat Yourself on the Back

First off, Congratulations! Whether you’re a brand new quiller or a seasoned quilling veteran, you have completed all of the paper elements of this piece.

So, let’s finish this piece up!!!

First make sure it is dry. Like let it sit overnight kinda’ dry!

Step 16: Display

One of my personal challenges for this piece was making sure this piece could be done on a minimum budget and with minimum supplies. One of the ways that I cut costs was by making this piece not require a frame. Should you choose to frame this piece the following steps are not necessary. Go forth and frame away. For those of you who would like to display this piece without the cost of framing I have a few options for you to choose from.

First and easiest option is to display your piece on a small wooden easel or small display stand. Either can be purchased super cheap and in some cases you can actually find a small canvas and small wooden easel as a set at a craft store or online.

Second is a super easy hanging method that I have grown uber fond of, the no nail sawtooth hanger. It is literally as easy as it sounds. All you have to do is turn your quilled canvas around, I wouldn't put the quilled side on a hard surface to insert the hanger. Instead, most small canvases are made with super soft wood and these no nail hangers can be easily inserted with enough pressure. If you must use something to bang the hanger in I would hold the piece in one hand to protect the quilled surface.

The other option with the no nail sawtooth hanger is to put it in before you start gluing your pieces to the canvas. I tend to not do this because I have previously scratched a very nice table moving my canvas around and it looked like someone took a fork to my table. AHH!

I’m sorry that I don't have one to show you, I guess I messed that one up… sorry.

Step 17: Magnetic Tape or Command Strips

Third option is always the amazing command hanging strips. If you’re unfamiliar with them you should really look into them. It is a no mess no fuss way to hang up many different things. It doesn’t matter in this case because your canvas will be super light, but you will want to make sure you get the right strip for the weight of your project.

If you have your strips all you have to do is apply a single strip, or more if you choose, to the backside of your canvas and then apply it to the wall. When you're ready to take it down a quick pull on the tab and you have no damage to your walls and you can move your art around as you please. Note that each strip can be used once, so if you’re moving your art around you will need more.

Fourth option I have is actually really cool. I purchased magnetic tape and it is as easy as it sounds. All I did was pull the tape and applied it to each wooden side on the back of the canvas and BOOM… piece finished and I have a new magnet for my fridge.

Step 18: Hanging Your Piece With Jewelry Wire

The last option I am going to talk about is an idea I came up with while making holiday decorations. This is also a great option if you have an endless amount of random crafting supplies lying around.

You’ll need a drill A thin drill bit Jewelry or Craft wire A pair of jewelry pliers or needle nose pliers A completed Quilled Dandelion Poof canvas

The idea behind this method is to create a wire hanger that you can hang on a nail or even make the wire large enough to loop over a doorknob.

Grab your handy dandy drill and throw in a thin drill bit. You’ll want the opening to just be large enough to pass a wire through. The gauge of your wire will determine the size of the bit.

I do want to caution people in advance… I have done this on at least a dozen canvases with NO problems. However, these small canvases are exactly that… small. We are crafting on a budget so lets be honest, they aren’t made with the most amazing wood. So you’ll want to drill slowly and be sure you’re drilling the hole exactly where you want it. I have not had any issues but to be honest I was surprised that one or two didn’t crack the wood. So make the holes as small as you can and put some width between the holes. My drilled holes are 1.5” apart from each other.

Once your holes are drilled you will want to decide what you will be hanging your canvas from so you can determine the amount of wire you will to hang the piece the way you want. For example I mentioned above hanging the piece over a doorknob, which would require a lot more wire vs. hanging the wire over a nail or hook.

Select your length and add an extra1”-1.5” on each side so that you can crimp the wire or create a knot so that the wire does not come out of the drilled holes.

To do this you will want to insert the wire into each hole and take the end of the wire with a jewelry pliers or a needle nose pliers and turn the wire creating a “wire knot” for lack of better explanation. This will stop the wire from coming out once it is hung on it final destination.

Step 19: You're Done!

Congratulations! You made it through the whole process. Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my very first Instructable! I hope you'll share any feedback and any pictures of projects would be amazing to see.

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Quilling Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Quilling Contest 2016