Quilled Monograms -Cheap, Easy, No Special Equipment




Introduction: Quilled Monograms -Cheap, Easy, No Special Equipment

About: I am a propmaker in Canada, with a penchant for the geek. I play ukulele, I have a Scotty Dog and I am usually found with a smile on my face if I am building something!

Recently I have been greatly inspired by Yulia Brodskaya, an amazing paper quilling artist and I decided I would make some Monograms in her style of quilling. As I have never done quilling before, I didn't want to spend money on special quilling paper ( truth be told I couldn't find any at craft stores near me!) or a quilling tool. So I bought 10 different colours of card stock and cut them to size.

I had a couple pictures of Yulia's work, and I tried to make wavy patterns like she does on her stuff, but really It felt like doodling. Once I got how to work with the paper figured out, it took me half the time of the first one I did.

This is quite a fun relaxing craft and can feel quite zen like once you get the hang of it! I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Step 1: Supplies

You will need :

- Round Toothpicks, I used about a dozen
- 10 sheets of different coloured paper ( I used card stock because that is what I could find in interesting colours)
- Paper cutter, or a ruler and exacto blade
- Elmer's Glue ( or tacky glue would be better but I used what I had)
- Computer and working printer
- 6-7 small weight things ( I used some paint containers and apoxie containers, and a package of sweet chili thai sauce... it was what was on hand...)
- Patience

Step 2: Cut Your Paper

I cut my paper in 1/4 inch widths. I believe the traditional quilling width is 1/8th but my paper cutter wasn't really made to cut things that small, I cut about half of each piece of  8-1/2 by 11 coloured paper and that was just about enough for 4 letters.

Step 3: Design Your Monogram

I did this on my word processing program. It took awhile to pick the fonts I wanted. For the M and the P I used "Anderson Four Feather Falls". For the C and the R I went with Times New Roman ( believe it or not this was after extensive research into which font looked the best, Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason)

I actually think that the C and the R work better for this because the font has harder lines which contrast really nicely with the swirls and spirals of the quilling.

When I centered this both vertically and horizontally on the page, I then set the font to just an outline. I also made the font colour a faint grey, so that should I miss the line it won't stand out terribly.

Step 4: Lay Down the Outline of the Letter

This part is the trickiest bit about this whole process.

I did a dry fit of the entire letter before putting any glue down. The reason why it's crucial to wait until the whole letter has been figured out before gluing  is you need the whole flat surface to play with to get the paper to go where you want it to, if you limit the space  by gluing sections down, it is more difficult.  ( I learned this the hard way...)

The best way I can say to work with paper is to let the paper do the work for you. By that I mean, don't depend on the glue to keep the shape that you want.  By Folding and Curving you can get the paper to sit almost exactly on to your letter outline.If you can't get it to do that, you may have to hold the paper down on to the glue for a bit longer.

To curve the paper, I gently ran my finger along it, much like you would do with scissors and ribbon to get that to curl. 

To get the hard corners I worked from interesting point to interesting point. By that I mean, if there was a curve in the letter I would hold my hand down on that curve and go to the the next point, such as seen at the bottom of the letter C. I then used a pair of needlenose pliers to hold the paper where I needed to fold the paper. This allowed me to get nice crisp corners.

When you buy quilling paper it is much longer than 11 inches, so if you use that paper there aren't as many seams as I had to create. 

Once you have your letter outline fit to size, then begin gluing down. I used a toothpick to apply glue on the outline of the letter. I laid down a section at a time holding it in place until I felt it would stay ( 30-40 seconds).  When I was attaching two pieces of paper together I made sure there was about 1/4 inch of overlap and glued between them.

Let this FULLY dry. Give this about an hour. As the base paper I was using was just cardstock it did start to warp when it dried. I highly suggest using some weights to hold down the paper to prevent the warping.  If you don't wait  for the glue to dry you run the risk of pushing your letter out of shape when you fill it in.

Step 5: Fill It in With Swirly Waves and Spirals!

This is the fun part!

I began by cutting my paper into about 3 inch pieces. I then pre-curled a number of them before starting.  This is where people who do quilling all the time might shudder! Here is how I curled my paper -Round Toothpicks! The quilling tools you can buy are either a piece of wood with a round metal bit on top, or they are a piece of wood with a round metal bit on top with a slit in the metal round bit.  This is where you would slide your paper in and begin turning the wood to get a nice tight curl. I found that I could do the same thing just wrapping the paper around the toothpick. I focused on turning the paper tightly around the toothpick, instead of focusing on turning the toothpick. It seemed to work really well for me. 

The other way I shaped the paper was as I said before, gently using my fingers to curve the paper. Again with this, you want the paper to do the the work not the glue, so get your shape exactly as you want it before you glue it down.

I wanted my monograms to be reminiscent of Yulia's work so I focused on wave like shapes, and filling the letters in with great sweeping curves that all come from the same point. I don't know if you can see that in what I did but it was really quite straightforward, I was really quite uptight about the first monogram that I did but after that, it became a cinch! It really did feel like doodling. I put a swirly there, a wave over there, and a bunch of spirals over there. Pretty neat stuff. It was kind of zen like to do this actually.

Step 6: Outside Swirls and You Are Finished!

I put a couple of swirls on the outside of the letter, continuing lines that existed on the inside of the letter. This is largely inspired by Yulia's work.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! I had a lot of fun making these and it really became a matter of becoming comfortable with the paper and then it was kind of like a little click! Suddenly it was very simple! I highly suggest this craft as it is really satisfying and quite easy. If you like doodling this is going to be fun for you!

Comments and Criticisms are welcome!



    • Game Life Contest

      Game Life Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    31 Discussions

    I really want to try this... Can't wait to get started. Thank you for the clear instructions.

    Many years ago I worked on some quilling projects. I put my design under glass (with tape) and worked on my pattern. Do you think I could glue the letter onto glass and work on the design on the glass. When it is done, I could remove it w/ a straight edge razor blade (carefully). Do you think this would work?

    2 replies

    I am not sure.. I think if you had enough points at which it was strongly joined then you could probably retain the shape easily enough. I might add tabs to some of the pieces, so there is a bit more bonding the paper to the exterior shape, but yeah, go for it. If it was me, I would probably start with something small, just so that if it didn't work out, then I wouldn't have spent a lot of time on something when the technique didn't fly. I have seen some really successful things done with putting a piece of stryofoam down and the pattern on top of that and then cellophane on top of that. Then, by using toothpicks around the exterior of the shape you can keep the paper in shape without having to glue it down to something, just gluing the sides or the edges of the paper to each other. I would love to see it, if you do try it out though!

    I'll let you know. I'm afraid by working directly onto the paper, the paper will be a mess before I'm finished. The Monogrammed outline is the only part I'm really worried about. Thanks for replying.

    I think I may use this in my local groups craft get together. I just ordered an awesome quilling kit, but I like the idea of wider strips, and I have a bunch of card stock and a paper cutter. I think I will get canvas boards to do these on. Your letters are so whimsical. like ocean waves. thanks for sharing this.

    Just found quilling and loving it. Your tutorial was really good and answered questioned that I had and couldn't find answers for like the paper warping. Looking forward to more tutorials by you!

    I have never heard of quilling before. I have to say, I am impressed. This looks like a lot of fun! You did a great job, it turned out beautiful! I'm definitely going to give it a shot!

    You did a beautiful job!! Wat size was the font you used?

    Do you mind if I use one of your photos of your amazing work along with a link to your instructable in a "where to go from here" step at the end of a beginner's Quilling instructable I have been trying to make for about nine months?

    2 replies

    I have just stumbled upon this beautiful craft and would like to ask, what would you recommend using to "seal" the completed art? A spray lacquer or a clear acrylic perhaps?

    This is beautiful, thank you very much for posting.

    That's great. I've done, more or less 10 years ago, with the same style, a simple (a lot simpler) greating card with flowers, but it was broken after a while. Maybe too little glue. This is very handsome, congratulations!

    1 reply

    I have no idea about the longevity of this. I just used regular school glue. I guess time will tell!

    These are absolutely gorgeous! After I finish all my projects for clients...I'm going to try these!! I love letters for decorating...so this will be so fun. Thank you for such a great I-ible. : )

    Quilling is so pretty. I saw this -ible posted by a friend's friend on her Facebook wall. Congrats!

    I love your creativity. It's so wonderful you are up there! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!