Paper Quilling

Learn how to quill paper with your MFA art kit or materials from home

The decorative art of paper quilling has been around since the 15th century, possibly longer, and crafted by people all around the world! Quilling involves rolling, twisting, and bending thin strips of colorful paper into shapes to make detailed designs, just like the flowers and leaves in the framed artwork above.

If you have an MFA art kit for this very activity, you already have all the materials you need! If not, start by gathering all the materials below.



You will need:

  • a pencil
  • strips of paper, about 1/2 inch wide and at least 8 inches long
  • a plain piece of paper
  • a glue stick

Step 1

heart drawn on paper with purplish colored pencil
Draw a shape on a piece of paper.

Step 2

strip of paper tightly wrapped around pencil
Wrap a strip of paper tightly around the pencil.

Step 3

applying glue onto strip of paper with glue stick
Slide the paper roll off the pencil and put glue on the inside end of the roll.

Step 4

fingers pressing on curled up strip of paper to make sure glue adheres the roll
Press the end of the paper down gently so the roll keeps its shape. Keep pressing until the roll stays together.

Step 5

applying glue to top left of drawn heart with glue stick
Put glue where you want the roll to go on the shape that you drew.

Step 6

curled up strip of paper placed on top of glue on drawn heart
Press the rolled paper onto your design.

Step 7

additional curled up paper strips applied to other areas of drawn heart
Make more paper rolls to fill in your drawing. Try making shapes by pinching or pushing on the sides of the rolled paper.

Step 8

drawn heart filled up with rolled up strips of paper
Keep adding! What designs can you make?