Finally time for a new tutorial! Feels like it has been forever.
I made this paper quilled star using transitioning as a smaller first project for the Little Circle’s quilling contest. I figured it was too small to use on its own for the contest, so I ended up making something larger, but using some of the same elements. Click here to see the project that I made.
I first saw, and was instantly mesmerized, by the transitioning technique as introduced by Erin Curet from Little Circles. You can learn about the technique in her free tutorial that you can download here in her shop.
I have used the transitioning technique to make some smaller pieces of jewelry, but this was a bigger piece and it was fun making it more detailed. I like the transitioning technique because it creates a smooth transition between colors that are too different. Sometimes you can have enough shades of a color that if you want to go from light to dark, you can just use all your different shades. But sometimes you don’t have all those shades, or sometimes you want to transition between different types of colors like red to green. That is where transitioning comes in!
Basically you are starting with one color, then adding a small strip of your second color for the next row or section. You continue adding longer lengths of the second color while shortening the lengths of the first color, until you are just doing the second color.
I’ve had the idea for this project for awhile, but hadn’t done anything about it. I like using the Border Buddy in combination with other styles.
So I made my triangles with the Border Buddy and played around with them until I decided what to do. Today I’ll share with you the materials and tutorial for this project. I think there are many ideas that can branch off of this one!
Materials Needed: (for one star pendant or ornament)
- 6 colors of quilling paper, approximately 4-5 strips of each. I used cool colors for this star
- black quilling paper for the borders (or color of your choice)
- Border Buddy
- Quilling Cork Workboard and pins (I used the Quilled Creations brand as it has a six sided template on top)
- Needle Quilling Tool or Slotted Quilling Tool
- Craft glue (I love and use matte PPA)
- Sealant if you want your project to be water resistant (click here for all of my sealant posts, or see below for specific quick directions and suggestions)
- large jump ring if you want your star to be a pendant
Are you new to quilling? If so, first check out this free beginner’s tutorial for the basics!
- First you’ll need to use your black (or other border color) to make the triangles. I used 24″ strips of black on the largest level of the Border Buddy. Make 6 triangles.
- Arrange your triangles evenly into a six sided star shape and pin into place. Use a toothpick or needle tool to apply glue between the sides that are touching to glue the shape together. This quilling workboard has a template on top so you can easily make 4, 6, or 8 sided star shapes, as well as concentric circles and a square grid. Very helpful! If yours doesn’t, you can make a 6 sided template with a compass and a protractor. Yep, back to geometry class! Or you can just eyeball it until it looks right.
- Now it’s time to get the paper ready to fill in. I decided to use rolls that were 4 inches long (10cm). So for each triangle I was dealing with three colors – the main color for the triangle and the two neighboring triangle main colors to transition into. For the main color I tore strips that were 4″ long. Then I had some of the main color that were 3″ long along with strips of the neighboring colors that were 1″ long. Lastly I had the main color 2″ long plus neighboring colors 2″ long.
When you make the rolls that have multiple colors, stack the pieces one on top of the other. I use a needle tool to roll, but you can use a slotted tool as long as it’s not too tight. It can take a little while to get used to using the needle tool, but it does make a nice small middle! After you roll glue down the ends (if your strips were the same size, you’ll need to glue both ends down. If your inside strip was smaller you’ll just have one end to glue. Then shape as usual. This following photo is from the free tutorial for cosmic triangle earrings.
- Start with rolling one of the 4″ strips into a solid circle and placing in the outside corner of the triangle. This can be used later for a jump ring or string to use as a pendant or ornament. Then roll six more 4″ strips of your main color. In the photo below you can see these six pieces of pale blue paper down the center of the triangle. On the right you can see where I rolled a 3″ strip of pale blue with a 1″ strip of sky blue. On the left you can see where I rolled a 3″ strip of pale blue with a 1″ strip of lavender.
- Continue rolling and placing your pieces as shown in the photo below. For the smaller pieces that you have to squish into the bottom like little triangles you might have to shorten them as needed to make them the size that will fit.
- Continue each triangle in the same manner. Here is the second triangle. Since the color that I was transitioning to on that side of the first triangle was lavender, I started with lavender as the main color of the second triangle. Then I transitioned back to pale blue on that side, and on to purple towards the third triangle.
- Here are all the triangles done!
- Pins off. Now it can be used as is, or you can add sealant to it so it is water resistant and sturdy. It makes a great pendant, or a beautiful ornament to hang from your window, on a Christmas tree, etc.
For this piece what I did was paint on a layer of sealer first. I painted a layer on one side, then let it dry, repeated for the second side, let dry, and finally did one last layer, getting my brush into all the holes. I used Ceramcoat All Purpose Sealer which is one of my favorites
- click here to read my full review and tips about Ceramcoat Sealer!
You can also use Americana Multi Purpose Sealer which does a great job as well. It is thicker, though, so you may want to thin it with a touch of water first
Using the sealer will help make your piece stiff and somewhat water resistant, but for extra protection I like to add a topcoat or glaze! This time I used one of my favorites, Diamond Glaze, mixed with a touch of water to make it easier to apply.
Some other glazes and top coats that work well are 3D Crystal Lacquer (my review is here), Mod Podge (my review is here), Crystal Coat Glaze, Triple Thick Glaze, Perfect Paper Adhesive in matte or gloss, and many more!
Make sure you paint both sides and all the inside and outside edges with your glaze or topcoat. Lean it against something to dry fully. You can do one side at a time so you don’t have to worry about a wet side sticking on something while it dries.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for a paper quilled star. Have you used transitioning in any projects yet? I look forward to using other colors in similar designs like this.
- Click here to view more free paper quilling tutorials!
- For paper quilling tips and tricks, Click here!
- 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!
*All products and supplies mentioned in this post I purchased and/or made on my own.
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