Hi friends! It has been so long since I have posted, yikes! I have been doing some quilling and I have a few good posts that need to be written, so I’m starting today by sharing a large paper quilled peacock frame that I made as a custom order for a wedding. The lovely couple displayed this colorful frame at the entrance table to their wedding.
Besides some paper quilling I have been busy with my three kids (wow, baby number three has really taken away almost all of my free time!) as I homeschool my two girls. We also took a month long vacation to the US to visit family and friends, which was awesome! I’ve been doing a few other projects at home as well, which has left this blog sadly a bit neglected. I think about it EVERY DAY because I LOVE this blog! I love this space where I can share my quilling, share tutorials and tips, and more. At the same time I need to accept that there are so many hours in the day. I will continue to update this blog, just not quite as often as I was the first few years, and hopefully in another year or two I’ll be able to get back to devoting more time to it.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this peacock project!
How it Started
So this couple messaged me asking me if I do custom projects and they told me what they were looking for. They wanted a pair of peacocks along with some specific text that they requested. So I came up with five sketches of various peacock designs (the tails were all very different). I am only sharing the ones they decided on as I might want to use my other ones for designs in the future 😉 It was a lot of fun getting my markers out and making the sketches. I’m not the best at drawing, and I didn’t want to spend hours on the sketches, but it was fun coming up with different tail designs.
The couple chose the tail from the photo on the left above, and the body from the one on the right. They liked the way those two bodies came together to make a heart. They were all about the romance in this design! Who can blame them 😉
Time to Get to Work!
I started the project by placing the body sketch under the plastic sheet on my workboard (I put a fresh plastic cover on my reliable workboard. Click here to see how I do that). I put pins around the body and wrap the outline paper around it. I wanted the paper to be sturdy, so I glued two strips together. If you have cardstock or on edge quilling strips (you can get them here from Little Circles) it is much easier! But I didn’t have that color in card stock strips, so I just doubled up. Still worked!
My next step was to make the tail pieces. I tried several different methods, but finally settled on using this quilling board with pins to make the tail pieces. I have more photos of this process, so I’ll post them in my next post specifically about using that tool. It was my first time using it and I loved it!
Next I made some double layer magenta quilling strips to make some hearts. Here is how I made my hearts, I made several different sizes:
- Cut a strip of paper and fold it in half.
- Use a quilling tool to slightly curl each side inwards
- Pin the bottom and sides in place.
- Curve one side inwards and use a pin to hold it where you want it.
- Bend the second side in to meet the first. Adjust as needed until the heart is the shape that you like.
- Dab some glue where the two edges meet and let dry. I like to use PPA matte so that there is no shiny residue once the glue is dried. It does take some time to dry fully, though, so be patient.
- Once the heart is dry, pick it up and use fine tip scissors to trim any excess from the midpoint of the heart where the two edges met.
- I wanted a background color on the heart, so I glued the heart to pink paper and cut around it with fine tip scissors and an exacto craft knife.
I wanted some more pieces that had color background. I have seen other quilling artists do this style, but I have no idea how they do it. I figured the easiest way with small shapes like this would be to glue the shape onto the background paper and then cut it out. It turned out to be both more difficult and easier than I expected. The difficult part was cutting out the hearts! With the curves and angles, it was quite tricky. I couldn’t just use the fine tip tweezers. I had to also use an exacto knife to get into the top crevice part. I put the shape down on a self healing mat (you can see it in the photo below, I’ve been using it for about 17 years) and used the exacto knife to trim the places that I couldn’t get smooth with the scissors. Afterwards I thought maybe another option would have been to trace the heart onto the background paper, cut it out, and then glue the shape onto the background. I’ll try that another time!
With the small circle and teardrop shapes, it was quite easy to use the fine tip scissors to just quickly cut around the shape evenly and smoothly. To make these teardrops I used dowels (I use these awesome bamboo dowels from Little Circles) and a Border Buddy to make open circles. Then I pinched them into teardrops before gluing them to the background paper.
I made all of the solid pieces and placed them in the peacock outline as I wanted. I then made a bunch of scrolls to fill in the spaces.
For the tail I placed the colorful pieces I had made where I wanted and then made loose scrolls for filling up the space.
The frame that I used was from Ikea, I’m pretty sure it was 30x40cm without the matte. It already has the inset shadowbox frame, which makes it handy! Here are some similar size (16×20 inch) shadowbox frames on Amazon.
The couple was happy with the paper quilled peacock frame design (it made me super nervous to see how the couple liked the final product as it was such a big project for me to finish!). I had been sending photo updates throughout the project so I could make tweaks in the design and colors as they desired.
This is the biggest project I have done so far! The most rewarding part of making this paper quilled peacock frame was seeing the final product of course! The most challenging was making sure that it was what the customer wanted, as certain parts cannot be undone easily once they are glued on!
After finishing this I went on to make my first mosaic project, a wedding gift for my sister. So stay tuned for photos of that project, and for another mosaic after that!
Have you done any large projects? What did you find rewarding? Challenging?