If you look at all of my posts about using sealants and topcoats for paper quilling, you will see that there is no one size fits all answer.
- For one thing, not everyone can find the same products in their part of the world.
- For another, there are products that work better for different applications.
- Furthermore, there are different techniques that work for different types of quilling!
For example, if you are doing a large quilling mosaic, it is pretty easy to use a spray lacquer. But if you are making earrings, it is not practical to use that product.
Even for quilled earrings, there are some types that have open loose coils, and some that are very sturdy. Some that are small, while others are large. I have two posts that I have written about how to apply sealant for designs that have more open coils. This one uses a more liquid sealant and this one uses a thicker one (mod podge).
Today I’m going to show you how I apply sealant to my small sturdy quilled earrings (they are sturdy because they have no open coils). I use this for small round earrings, rose earrings, and many others. See below for photos and links to tutorials for the types of earrings that I use this method for. I actually use it quite a lot because I like making earrings that are sturdy!
So here is what I do!
- Put a bit of sealer or topcoat/glaze (I usually like to thin my topcoat with water for this type of design) into a small empty cap that is used just for this purpose. For larger earrings you can use the same method, but use a larger cap or use a small paintbrush to help apply the sealer/topcoat.
- Use tweezers to turn around and flip over the piece in the sealant while holding the cap at an angle to make sure the piece is in the puddle of sealant.
- Use tweezers to hold the piece and tap it against the inside of the cap (still holding the cap at an angle) to get rid of excess sealant. This will often cause bubbles in the sealant, which can be a little annoying when you are doing many pieces, so you’ll also have to use the blowing step in number 5 to get rid of these little bubbles.
- Still using the tweezers to hold the piece, dab it on a tissue to get red of the rest of the excess sealant.
- If necessary, blow gently onto the piece to get rid of any sealant that is inside of the holes (the sealant likes to make a stretched film inside of the petals of this design, for example. A light blow will get rid of that. If you don’t get rid of that it can dry like that as a stretched film or little bubbles. If you like that, it is fine. If not, blow to get rid of that. If your topcoat is kind of thick you might need a needle tool to pop the film.
- Let dry completely (see below for how to let it dry)
- Now, if you used a sealer for your first coat, you will now need to repeat the whole procedure using a topcoat/glaze. If you used a glaze or topcoat that you thinned with water, you will also want to do another coat. For these earrings, for example, I did this process three times. First with a sealer, then with thinned diamond glaze, and again with thinned diamond glaze. I could have just done it one time with diamond glaze that was not thinned, but as I talked about in my previous post, it is a LOT easier to get a smoother coat when you thin your glaze with a little water (only works if it is a water based glaze!) Click here to learn how to thin your glaze with water and which ones worked for me.
Letting Your Piece Dry:
There are two ways to let your quilled earrings dry without getting big flat shiny spots on them. The first way is to attach your hook onto the earring before applying the sealant/topcoat. Then you hold onto the hook while you use a paintbrush to get the sealant/topcoat on the piece. Dab it with a tissue and then hang it to dry on an earring stand.
The downside to this method is that often the sealant/topcoat gets into the jumpring, so you’ll have to pick it off with a tweezer or needle tool when it is all dry. Also you will most likely never be able to change the jump ring because it will be glued into place. This may or may not be a problem.
The second method is to lean your piece against a plastic surface, on a plastic surface, after it has been dabbed well. You have to make sure there is nothing dripping for this method to work, since it will drip down and make a blob of dried sealer or topcoat at the bottom if there is excess. I use one large plastic storage box and put a smaller plastic storage box on top of that and lean my earrings as shown in the photo below:
Which Sealers and Topcoats to Use:
Sealer: It is optional to use a base sealer for quilled jewelry, but it does make it much more sturdy, so I always use it. The two products that I have so far tested and work great are Ceramcoat All-Purpose Sealer (I have a full review with tips here) and DecoArt Americana Multi-Purpose Sealer (review coming soon).
Topcoat, Glaze, etc: Adding a topcoat on top of your sealer will give an even greater water resistant finish. Some of my favorites are:
- Diamond Glaze (my review and tips here)
- PPA Gloss (one of my posts here)
- PPA matte (a post about it here)
- 3D Crystal Lacquer
- DecoArt Triple Thick Glaze
- Crystal Coat Glaze
Have you used any of these products? Any that you prefer over the rest? I have some preferences, but they are all great products! I have more full reviews coming.
Here are some of the designs that I use this method for. All of these are linked to tutorials.
Stick around, there is lots to see around the blog! Here are some places to start:
- Click here to view 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!
*All products and supplies mentioned in this post I purchased and/or made on my own.
*This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase products through the affiliate links I get a small percentage (at no extra cost to you!). I only link to products that I believe in and/or love to use myself. Thank you for supporting my blog!
Thank you for this. I am just getting into quilling and learning a lot from your tutorials!
This is such a unique and beautiful design. really beautiful and impressive.
I want to make holes on the quilling jhumka to put beads at lower side how it is possible??? I don’t know the name of the tool which can be used to make holes on jumkas!!!!
Hi 🙂 I have a tutorial for that, it is here: http://www.honeysquilling.com/how-to-make-paper-quilled-jhumka-earrings-with-dangles-free-tutorial/
The tool is called a punch plier. They come in different sizes (to make different size holes), so choose a nice small one
Hi….I need help with making my quilled earrings sturdy. I live in the US and used scotch tacky glue to bond the strips. I find the hoop earrings are very delicate and c outdoor loose shape if I don’t do anything to make it sturdy. Would Elmers craft bond fabric or elmers glue all multi purpose glue coating help to make it stiff? If so, do I need to mix equal parts of glue and water to give the coating?
If not, then which sealant would be the best ? I intend only to stick with jewelry. Looking forward to your response.
Hi Anupama – using watered down glue can work in a pinch, but it is not as water resistant as actual sealants. In this article near the end you’ll find links to some of the sealants and topcoats that I have used and tested, so you can give those a try!