How to Quill a Butterfly




Quilling is a fun and rewarding experience. Remember, experimentation is the key to perfection here!

Step 1: What You Need:

1. Quilling strips
2. A quilling needle
3. Quilling or craft glue
4. Toothpicks
Wax paper can come in handy, too, but you don`t need to have it. Sewing needles can un-clog the glue bottle, if you need it.

Step 2: Thread Needle

Thread a quilling strip through the slit in the needle.

Step 3: Twirl

Start twirling the needle away from you.

Step 4: Tight Coil

Continue twirling until you get a tight coil.

Step 5: Gluing Coils

You can glue the coil now as a "tight coil", or...

Step 6: Gluing Coils

...release it on your work surface and let it expand to a "loose coil", then glue it. From there you can pinch it into shape or leave it a circle.

Step 7: Start Butterflies

To make a standard butterfly, you need these lengths of strips.

Step 8: Twirl

Twirl those strips into loose coils. Just DO NOT twirl the 1-2" strip. Fold that into a V.

Step 9: Final Steps

Glue together as shown. Put thin films of glue in the general area where you will attach them, then hold together gently, but firmly. Do not handle them too much while the glue is wet, or they will fall apart, and the glue job will be messy.
Curl each end of the V as shown, and glue to the butterfly!

Step 10: Ta Da!

This is the finished standard butterfly. You can almost never make a mistake with creating your own now. You don`t even have to use the specified size strips! Plus, don`t only make butterflies- make whatever you want!

Step 11: Farewell!

I hope you liked this project, and I also hope that you will continue study on this art. It is very fun as a hobby, and you can make money off of it, too. Remember, have fun!Farewell!

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14 Discussions


1 year ago

Thank you this was so very helpful for a beginner.


12 years ago

It is possible to do this while subsituting the quilling strips with construction paper, no?

1 reply

Reply 12 years ago

Well, it depends... construction paper is actually thinner than the strips I use in this instructable. Thick can be easier to work with. But if you felt like putting up with cutting nice straight strips from construction paper, then first of all you have a very good cutting hand and second of all it would be a nice way to get a different texture. Good Idea.


12 years ago on Step 3

Your notes are _incredibly_ detailed. I like it, good job.

1 reply

Reply 12 years ago on Step 3

I've finally made another instructable. Search for "powhatan."


12 years ago on Step 3

Thanks. Sorry for waiting so long to reply. I know that the contest awards are given for detail. I'm making another instructable really soon. Hopefully just as detailed!


12 years ago

I've always wanted to get into quilling. Thanks for posting this!

1 reply

Reply 13 years ago on Step 11

That`s another good idea. It`s neat how people always see different things in different projects.


13 years ago

I like them. Have you thought about filling in the spirals with something?

I seen these plastic pellets that have a low melting point, as part of a craft stain glass window kit. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Or maybe some of the stuff used in this instructable

You could make an awesome mobile with different coloured sections of your paper butterflies.

1 reply

Reply 13 years ago

Yeah, I know what you mean. That`s a good idea. Actually, the original butterfly idea was much larger, and they were window hangers, but without the plastic.