Monday, January 26, 2015

Use Stencils to Make a Quilling Template

Hi everyone, it's Gwen back again today to share a fun new technique for using your stencils... paper quilling! At least ten years ago, there was a little mini-trend for using quilling in cards and scrapbooking. Never one to not at least try a new trend, I jumped in and learned the basics, used it a few times, and then put all my supplies in a box and didn't touch it again until now. That box somehow survived several very large supply purges (usually timed with large moves) but now I'm glad I held onto it!

Fast forward... I was browsing on Pinterest recently and came across a gorgeous paper peacock feather. I thought I could make something similar using my old quilling supplies, but I wanted some kind of template to follow. Light bulb moment! I took out my 6x6 Peacock Feather stencil by Kae Pea - absolutely perfect for this project. Here's what I came up with:
My quilling skills were pretty rusty, so I was really pleased with how well it turned out!

For those who would like to give it a try, here's a quick tutorial on how to do something similar.
I used paper, my stencil, 1/8" paper strips, sharp detail scissors, a quilling tool & needle, and a good adhesive. You can see that I started with Perfect Paper Adhesive, but it didn't take long before I found that I needed something stronger - Aleen's Original Tacky Glue worked perfectly. For paper strips, I just use quilling strips since the paper weight is perfect and the width is totally uniform (both are pretty important, but if you wanted to practice, you could cut your own strips - I've done that too.) The quilling tools are usually pretty inexpensive, but you can just use a toothpick if you want to try before you buy :) I used to see quilling supplies in big craft stores (I haven't looked lately,) and I know you can also get a great selection online.

To start, I used pencil and lightly traced my design onto watercolor paper (or any heavy paper, that was just handy) - I needed to have guidelines to build my shape. If you're trying it for the first time, you might want to go with a less detailed stencil while you practice (it would be really fun to take a large, open shape and fill it with paper doodles!) Then as you can see below, I started filling in from the middle out. The only "quilled" shapes were the center of the feather, and I just did loose circles and then shaped them into crescents to match the pattern from the stencil. The rest is all just loops.
I create the shape I want and then use a toothpick to dab on some glue to "close" it. Next I use tweezers to pick up the shape and dip it lightly into the glue (I just make a little puddle of it on scrap paper.) Then I put it into place on the design and use the needle (or a toothpick) to help manipulate it to match the pattern I traced from the stencil before the glue dries. Just hold it in place for a few seconds and it will set pretty well.

Above, you can see how I dabbed the glue to close the larger loops that filled out the feathers. For those, I just measured a strip of paper against the traced section and cut it, looped it, glued the end closed, and then dipped in glue and positioned with tweezers and a needle. It takes time (I did it while watching a Gilmore Girls TV marathon), but it's actually kind of relaxing and fun.
I put down mostly teal loops and then filled in with darker blue and green. When I finished, I mounted it on patterned paper and cardstock. Voila!
It's not perfect (I'm still picking off little strings of glue), but I really love how it looks.

I hope you enjoyed today's project - if you want to give it a try, please come back and post your results! I'd love to see what others do with this. In the meantime, I'm going to keep practicing :)

Until next time... thanks for stopping by!


  1. Such detail and precision -WOW WOW WOW!!

  2. I don't have the patience for this but what you've done is incredible.

  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! I enjoy quilling, but never thought to use my stencils as a template!
    Brilliant, Gwen!!

  4. That's really beautiful -- and what a great idea! I'm sure it can be used with lots of other stencils, too. Hmm ..............

  5. Love this idea even if I don't quill. Great idea.

  6. Seriously cool technique! I still have some of those quilling papers and I now know what I will do with some of them - thanks for the fabulous inspiration Karen x

  7. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.


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