Quilling 101 – How to Start Paper Quilling – A Free Tutorial

Here is a tutorial a long time coming – I have been asked for a tutorial for basic quilling techniques and shapes.  I will break this into a couple posts, with some more advanced shapes in the second part.

So you want to start paper quilling?   First you need some supplies!  This post will teach you how you can use supplies you have around the house to start quilling.  This one will show you some of the basic tools and the differences between them.  But you need more than tools, so here is a post that outlines the basic supplies you need if you want to purchase them.  And lastly, there are many fun, but not necessary, tools for quilling.  This post outlines some of those.  Here is the whole list of tips and tricks to browse through.

So now you have your basic supplies!   To do the shapes here you will need paper strips, a tool (preferably a slotted quilling tool for ease of use), and some glue.  Optionally you can also use a workboard, a circle sizing guide, and pins.

To start quilling, you need a paper strip and a tool.  When I first started quilling at age 10 I used a toothpick until my parents bought me a slotted tool about a year later.  It works, but you get a might tighter and neater coil if you use a proper tool.  Insert your paper into the slot of your tool and then hold the paper with even tension while you turn the tool.  Some people turn it backwards, I turn mine forwards.  Turn it whichever way feels most comfortable to you.  I like to place my thumb and forefinger on either side of the paper strip as it is being wound onto the tool so that it keeps it nice and even, as you  can see in the middle photo.  When you get to the end of your paper strip, it is time to take it off the tool!  If you have wound it tightly, you may find it a little tricky to take off.  It will take some practice to wind with the right tension (and sometimes you want it wound tightly and sometimes not so much, depending on the look of the coil you want).  One way to ensure the coil comes off the tool without unraveling is to press your thumbnail on the barrel of the tool tip as you  are taking it off.  Also, you can let  the coil expand before you take it off the tool, but only if you want to make a loose coil shape.  If you want your coil to be tight, then don’t let it expand before taking it off.

Quilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling


Once your coil is off your tool you can just glue it so you have a tight roll.  OR you can let it expand.  Once it is expanded you can leave it open, that is called a scroll.  Or you can glue it shut, and you have a loose circle coil.

Beginner Quilling instructions from Honey's Quilling

Now you can turn that loose circle coil into lots of different shapes!  Here are just a few to get you started.

TeardropQuilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling


Curved Teardrop:Quilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling


Marquis or Eye: Quilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling 

Leaf:Quilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling

Triangle:Quilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling

Square:Quilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling


Rectangle:Quilling 101 - Beginning Paper Quilling Instructions - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling


Crescent:Beginners Quilling Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling 

Semicircle:Beginners Quilling Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling 

Tulip:Beginners Quilling Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling 

Heart or Arrow:Beginners Quilling Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling

Scroll Shapes:

Scroll shapes are made by twirling the paper, but not gluing the end.  You can just roll the whole paper up, or you can roll the paper from one end part way and then the other end part way, you can fold it and then roll both ends, you can roll each end in a different direction, there are so many possibilities!  Here is just a small sample of some scroll shapes you can make:

Beginners Quilling Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling


Quilled circles and scrolls can be made into innumerable different shapes!  Just a little pinch here and a little pinch there can transform it into any shape you need for your unique design.  There are some other methods to get cool shapes in quilling which I will be going over in future posts, so stay tuned!  In the meantime….

Click HERE to view many more tips and tricks for paper quilling, divided into subjects!

Click HERE to view free tutorials for paper quilling projects!

Click HERE to find where you can purchase paper quilling supplies – many sources listed from around the globe!

Quilling 101 - A Beginning Quilling Guide - Free Tutorial from Honey's Quilling

What do you think?? I love reading all of your comments and suggestions!

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    • Hi Kaviya 🙂 Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope this post helps you on your start in paper quilling. Let me know if you have any questions!

  1. Hi Honey,

    very neat demo. I am really very eager to start my quilling after seeing your wonderful tips.
    Thank you very much.

  2. Honey.. All your tutorial blogs are very very good. Everything is explained so well in simple language with beautiful pictures. It has really helped me to make paper quilling jewelry.

  3. hey Honey!!
    Great help for starters…m using yer tutorials to guide my son age nine to make sme projects.
    Thanx a ton!!

  4. Hi Honey, I am very glad that you provide useful tips.

    I am not compfortable in doing earings as i am not getting the similar output of the pair.
    Please provide a tip to get the same size pairs

    • Hi Shereen 🙂 Do you mean that you make two earrings but they are different sizes? As long as you use circle sizers to make sure your rolls are the same size, and use the same length and type of paper for both earrings, they should be fine. If they are the same size but you can’t get them quite the same shape, I recommend using a cork board and pins so that you can make sure they are the same shape while drying.

  5. hi honey mam i have completed my o level and during my vacation i am so eager to do something interesting. my mom had bought me a quilling set and i find it really amusing. however i do not know to use much of it. it would be helpful for me if you suggest some tips

  6. Hi Honey, my daughter’s job is nothing but stress….many years of office work. Now she has found paper quilling! She is SO excited and totally loves doing this! Couldn’t wait to get home for the weekend so she can relax with quilling! She wanted me to check it out so here I am! Wow, such beautiful projects, especially the jewelry! Do you guide us to where we can find the earring/rings that we can use to attach our paper designs? Also the paper and other such needs?
    Thanks! And thank you for the tutorials!

  7. Hi honey,i m interested to. Learn quilling art but I dont know the basic of quilling or abt the material &tools .

    • Have a look around the blog – you will find articles about the basic tools you need, simple tutorials, etc. There are some nice tutorials on YouTube as well (not from me yet)

  8. Hi Honey .. very much happy you have showed how to start for the beginners..just looking into to start the paper quilling.. give me some more tips to further proceed.

  9. I am new to quillwork but I have practiced a little and I am having trouble making my coils unravel pretty! They just don’t unravel very much. Am I wrapping them too tight?

    • It could be that you are wrapping too tight. Experiment with different tensions to see. What paper are you using? Thinner paper is less likely to open up well.

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  12. Hi honey …I’ve been following your blog for sometime now. It has such a detailed description on every aspect of quilling be it basic shapes or intricate designs or quilling supplies. Thanks for making your blog so informative.

  13. I’m Deepu Singh Sultan ……
    I like paper quilling design….
    It’s so sweet and easy art…

  14. hlw! you are doing suxh a gr8 job and i’m really impressed i need to ask u which is the best quilling art protector from water can we use transparent nail paint

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