Honey’s Quilling – My History with Quilling
My history with quilling is quite a long one!
When I was about 10 years old I was looking through a Scholastic Book Club order form and I saw this kit for paper quilling. It looked intriguing! I didn’t have enough spending money to buy the kit, so instead I went to the public library and checked out a book about paper quilling. I was hooked from day one! I started out using a toothpick as my tool and cutting strips out of lined school paper with scissors (I colored the paper with marker first or painted on it with watercolor paints. Yes, I had a lot of time on my hands LOL). I remember that one of the first things I made was a pendant. It was made out of a piece of cardboard that I cut into a circle and I glued a quilled flower to it. Little did I know that about 20 years later I would be making and selling quilled jewelry! Some of the other early projects I made were greeting cards, and gifts for my teachers. One of my early projects when I was 12 was a gift for my 6th grade teacher. It was a 3D quilled cabin. I added quilled green grass as as yard, a pond, and even a little 3D quilled man who was fishing in the pond. I SO wish that I had a photo of that project!!! It was made of the paper that I colored myself with markers. Talk about a labor of love! Yes, I adored my teacher.
Around that time my parents found a proper slotted tool at a craft store and bought it for me. I still have it today, and use it as well! You can see a photo of it in this post.
I started cutting my own paper quilling strips out of colored paper when I was about 13 or 14. I used the method shown in this post. We only had a pack of pastel paper and a pack of neon papers at home, so those were the colors that I used for years! I have no idea why I didn’t ask my parents for a pack of regular colored papers LOL. I used to make greeting cards and gifts for my grandparents occasionally, but other than that didn’t do much quilling through middle school or high school. Later in high school I made a gift for my first boyfriend – a 3D quilled dragon! It was pretty awesome if I remember correctly (I don’t have a photo!!!) I first mashed up paper, water, and glue to make a mushy paper mache and I molded a dragon out of that. When it was dry I covered it with paper quilling. The body was neon green, and I used other neon colors for the rest of it. Wings, pointy scales down the back, pointy white teeth and a curly tongue, claws, the works! I’d love to do a similar project again some day.
When graduating high school I wanted to give gifts to my friends but I had no money to buy anything worthwhile, so I made them quilled gifts! For one friend I made a butterfly mobile to hang in the window. For another friend I made a large 3D flower with a rainbow butterfly sitting on it. A few years ago she mentioned to me that she still had it! So sweet 🙂
In college I made a few projects, and for the first time I invested in some quilling paper and tools! I bought a quilling cork workboard, some quilling paper strips, a soft grip slotted quilling tool, needle quilling tool, and a circle guide board. I ordered it all from Lake City Craft as that was the first company I found out about while googling. To this day I am using those same supplies I bought more than 15 years ago. The workboard and circle guide board that you see in the tutorials are those same ones. I’m so glad they have lasted me well! When I was student teaching I did a quilling project with a class of kindergarteners – that was fun!
After college I started teaching and didn’t have much time for quilling. The only project I remember completing is this frame that was a gift for my future inlaws. They still have it hanging on their wall! (click here to see a post about this project) After a year of full time teaching I moved to Malaysia, bringing my box of quilling supplies with me. I didn’t have a job right away, so I was able to do some quilling! I completed a few framed projects for gifts.
I taught third grade at an international school here in Malaysia for 4 years. For two of those years I taught an after school paper quilling art class for 9-11 year olds. During that time I also started making quilled jewelry. I had been inspired by a few pieces I saw online. There was VERY little information at the time about making quilled jewelry, so I did a lot of experimenting. (the only Etsy shop that I remember at the time that sold quilled jewelry was Twirled Treasures. They don’t sell anymore, but you can see the sold items) I sold earrings at a flea market at my school once, but other than that I didn’t really sell much, just enjoyed making them and wearing them. I had my first daughter and stopped working when she was a year old.
When she was 3 years old I finally felt like I had enough time to get out my quilling stuff again. I worked on a lot more designs, sold on forums, at craft markets, started my first blog, and opened my etsy shop. I learned a LOT from experimenting with designs. I had successes and failures and loved trying new tools and other supplies. At the end of 2013 I took the plunge and started my own self hosted blog, which you are reading now! I LOVE creating and sharing tutorials as well as sharing info on the different products I try and quilling tips. I haven’t put much focus into selling my own jewelry these days, though I do list it on Zibbet. When I first sold my quilled jewelry on Etsy there was VERY little else available. Now there is so much, which is really cool! Some of the designs that I created have been picked up and been used by many quilling jewelry artists, which is neat to see. It is pretty amazing to know that I was one of the early quilling artists specializing in and selling quilled jewelry and being an inspiration for others’ designs.
These days I am enjoying trying new tools and supplies, and creating new tutorials. I am excited to see how this blog grows in the next year or two. Quilled jewelry has really taken off in the past few years. I can’t wait to see what happens in the coming years. I’ll be there for the ride, and I hope you stick around as well!
Congratulations if you’ve read all of this info LOL Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Stick around to view some more great pages here!
- Click here to view more free paper quilling tutorials!
- Click here to view paper quilling tips and tricks!
- Click here to view a list of places to buy quilling supplies around the world!
- Click here to view some of my own quilling projects, with tips so you can make your own if you’d like!
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