I think quilling must be one of the most accessible crafts because it's cheap and so easy to get started with, and I do have a preference for crafts that anyone can try.
This tutorial shows you how to use the quilling technique to make 3 different simple earring designs. These are suitable for complete beginners to quilling, and all three can be made in under an hour!
I hope you enjoy this Instructable :)
To complete the earrings, you will need:
- Slotted quilling tool
- Needle quilling tool or a cocktail stick
- Quilling board; If you don't have one of these you can draw out circles on a piece of paper and use those as a guide instead.
- Paper & a paper cutter; If you don't have a paper cutter, you can cut the paper strips using an X-acto knife and a cutting mat OR you could buy pre-cut quilling strips.
- X-Acto knife & cutting mat
- Book pages; If you want to make the beehive earrings, you will need 1 or 2 pages from a book. Make sure to take the pages from a mass-produced book that would otherwise be destined for recycling
- Metal ruler
- PVA glue
- Black card; If you want to make the floral stud earrings
- Tweezers (optional)
- An Awl
- Gold acrylic paint and a paintbrush (optional); For the beehive earrings.
- Super glue
- Jewellery findings; I used gunmetal earring hooks and jump rings, plus rhodium-plated earring posts
- Jewellery pliers; For attaching the jewellery findings. I used flat nose and round nose pliers.
- Wire cutter; For the beehive earrings
Step 1: Design 1: Starting the Beehive Earrings
For the beehive earrings you will need to take 1 or 2 pages from a book, and then cut off the plain border to leave just the text.
Then use a paper cutter - or an X-acto knife, metal ruler and cutting mat - to cut them into strips of equal widths.
Find a guidance line on the paper cutter to help you cut identical strips with parallel sides. My paper strips are normally 6 mm wide or so.
To prepare for the next steps, put a little PVA glue on a scrap piece of paper/card or in a plastic cup of some sort.
Step 2: Design 1: Make the Coils
Take the slotted quilling tool and insert the end of a book page paper strip into the slot.
Rotate the tool in order to coil the paper. Use your other hand to hold and control the paper strip as you wind it. Try and keep the top and bottom edges of the strip lined up, and keep the coil tight.
Once 1 paper strip has been completely wound into a coil, use your quilling needle tool (or cocktail stick) to transfer a tiny amount of PVA glue to the paper strip, just under the end. Then glue this end down onto the coil to keep it in place.
Next, attach another paper strip to this coil by glueing one end to the coil just after where the previous paper strip ended. Wind this paper strip around the coil, rotating the tool in the same direction as before.
Once that paper strip has been fully wound, once again glue the end down.
Repeat these steps to add more paper strips until the coil is the size you want it; the bigger the coil, the bigger the earrings.
You will most likely want the coil to be 2-3 cm across. I used 6 paper strips for the coil I made.
Once you have made one coil, make another one that's identical for the other earring.
When the glue has dried, use your fingers and the slotted tool to push each coil up from the centre to manipulate the coils into beehive/rounded cone shapes.
Use a cheap paintbrush to paint a thin layer of PVA glue onto the inside of each beehive to set the shapes in place. Leave to dry.
Step 3: Design 1: Embellishments
Cut a handful of bee/insect shapes out of the book page paper, and then paint a line down the centre of each one with gold acrylic paint and a paintbrush. Leave to dry.
Obviously, the design of the embellishments you add are up to you.
Step 4: Design 1: Adding the Jewellery Findings
Push an eyepin up through the centre of each of the beehive shapes, so that the 'eye' (loop) part of the eyepin sits inside the beehive shape.
If you need to, use an awl to make a hole through the centre of the beehives first.
Use your jewellery pliers to make a bend in the eyepin a short way (approx. 4 mm) above the beehive, then use round nose pliers to make a loop in the wire at this point.
Hold this loop with one pair of pliers whilst using another to wrap the remaining wire a few times around the upright section of wire beneath the loop.
Cut off the excess wire, and make sure there isn't a sharp piece of wire sticking out from the earrings; tuck any wire ends in.
Do the same for each beehive, add an earring hook to each wire loop, and then you've finished!
Step 5: Design 2: Interlocking Hoop Earrings
These are the simplest and quickest earrings, and the only extra item you're going to need is something like a glue stick, around which you can form the hoop shapes.
Use your paper cutter to cut 4 pink paper strips and 2 yellow paper strips, all from the long edge of A4 sheets of paper. Around 6 mm wide is a good size.
Wrap a pink paper strip around the glue stick (or other small cylinder) once to form a hoop, and glue the end of the paper strip in place to hold that hoop shape.
Then keep wrapping it around until you reach the end of the strip, and glue down the end onto the hoop.
Glue another pink paper strip onto this hoop, wrap it around keeping it inline with the previous hoop shape, then glue the end of this paper strip in place. Repeat these steps for a separate hoop, to make 2 identical hoops, each from 2 pink paper strips.
Then feed 1 yellow paper strip through 1 pink hoop, shape it into a yellow hoop shape with your fingers, and then glue the end of the strip down to keep that single hoop shape in place.
Use your fingers to continue wrapping that yellow strip into a hoop, then glue down the end of that strip. Repeat for the other earring.
All that's left to do is to use the jewellery pliers to add a jump ring and an earring hook to each earring.
And then they're finished!
Step 6: Design 3: Starting the Floral Stud Earrings
Once again, the first step is to cut out the paper strips. You will need 12 pink paper strips, and 2 yellow paper strips.
Step 7: Design 3: Making the Coils
You will now need to make a coil from each of the 12 pink paper strips.
So, first place one end of a pink paper strip into the top of the slotted tool.
Rotate the tool whilst keeping the paper quite tight in order to make a coil from that paper strip.
Once all of the strip has been wound, carefully take the coil off the tool, making sure to keep it in the coil shape.
Place the coil onto your quilling board, inside a circle shape in the 2nd row up. This circle is approx. 10 mm in diameter.*
The coil will expand to fill the size of that circle. Then pick it up and glue the end of the paper strip onto the coil to keep the coil this exact size.
Then repeat all of these steps for all of the remaining pink paper strips, so you'll end up with 12 paper coils the same size.
*If you don't have a quilling board, you can draw a circle on a piece of paper and use that as a guide instead. Just hold onto the coil as you put it in the circle, let it loosen a little to fill the circle you've drawn, then glue the end of the coil in place.
Step 8: Design 3: Make the Teardrops
Take each of the coils you have made, and pinch one side between your finger and thumb. This will form a teardrop shape.
Step 9: Design 3: Make Tight Coils
For each of the 2 yellow paper strips, you need to once again make them into coils, but this time you keep the coils tightly wound whilst you glue the end of the strip in place.
The resulting coils turned out to be nearly the size of the circle guides in the 1st row of my quilling board.
Step 10: Design 3: Glue the Flower in Place
Cut out a square of black card and arrange the flower shape on top. Each flower consists of 6 pink teardrops and 1 yellow tight coil.
Use tweezers if you're finding it too fiddly to arrange the parts.
Then use your needle tool to apply a very small amount of glue to the bottom of each shape and attach it to the black card. Make sure the flower shape is how you like it, and then leave it to dry.
Step 11: Design 3: Cut Out the Flowers
Once dry, put the piece of black card on a cutting mat, and then cut closely around the flower shape with an X-acto knife.
Angle/rotate the black card as you cut, rather than angling/rotating the knife. Always draw the knife towards you, and of course keep your fingers out of the way :)
You may need to cut a couple of times to get through the card.
Then repeat all of these steps for the other earring too, so you'll end up with 2 quilled flowers mounted on black card.
Step 12: Design 3: Finished!
As a last step, simply superglue earring posts to the back of the flower shapes. Because the flowers are quite large, glue the posts to one side rather than in the centre.
And that's it, you've finished!
The last photo shows the variety of earrings I have made using quilling techniques.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and I hope you'll now get creative with paper :)
Participated in the
1 Hour Challenge