It happens to all of us…
You’re happily quilling along when … BAM!
You look closely and notice the biggest, most eye-catching, glaring mistake that has ever been made in the history of quilling paper.
Pause! Take a breath.
It’s probably not that bad.
I know it seems like the worst thing that could happen, but give yourself some grace!
Chances are most viewers wouldn’t even notice, but if you’re a perfectionist like I am, you want a fix and you want it fast!
This week, let’s cover 7 common quilling mistakes and how to fix them.
Too much glue
Excess glue can really make a mess of your quilling.
A great rule is “less is definitely more”.
It’s just paper, after all. It weighs next to nothing, so not much more than a small dot of glue is really needed.
But, if you find yourself having a hard time controlling the amount of glue you use, try using a needle-nosed bottle to apply it.
I use mine on every project and it’s a life-saver.
Another great tip is to keep a thin paintbrush handy to wipe away any extra glue before it dries.
Dried glue bits
My personal experience is that most unwanted dried glue is from gluey fingers.
It can be really helpful to keep a moist towel around to wipe your fingers clean every once in a while.
As for the glue that’s already on the outside of your coils ~ I’ve had some success with scraping gently with a needle tool.
It took me a little while of quilling before I realized the way to prevent uneven coils and shapes.
When you’re ready to shape your coils, hold the center with one hand while pinching with the other.
This keeps the center of the coil where it belongs instead of moving to one side or the other.
If you want to make consistently equal coils, think about using a quilling template workboard to keep them from moving too much as they expand.
The reason that the background of quilling work gets wrinkly is that the paper being used is too thin to hold up to the glue needed for attaching your work.
I’m a huge fan of using thick mat board for mounting my quillings.
It’s super strong!
Another tip ~ use very little glue. Try tiny dots instead of covering the entire piece before mounting.
If you’re looking for a more decorative backing, try adhering patterned scrapbook paper to mat board first using spray adhesive or matte Mod Podge.
The color and pattern possibilities are endless!
Crooked on backing
There is nothing worse than thinking you’re completely finished with a project, then realizing it is sitting a little crooked on its backing.
Is it just a tiny fraction off?
Try trimming the background slightly. If the finished piece is going to be framed, it will not be noticeable.
Another option is to try to remount the quilling.
Using a craft knife, cut around the entire piece including the backing and remount.
It may sit much higher, because of the additional backing. But that may be preferable to a lopsided quilling.
Next time you’re ready to mount a finished work, try using a ruler below the quilling to make sure it’s centered.
I’ve also used multiple rulers to get everything juuuuuust right!
Quilled shapes have dried unevenly
It can be difficult to make sure that all your pieces are perfectly level as they dry on your work board.
Sometimes you may not notice that a section has popped up until it’s too late!
This is a situation that happens to me pretty often, and my solution is to use a craft knife.
I gently (very gently!) move the blade between the two shapes that are giving me trouble.
They break apart and I just have to reglue.
I wouldn’t recommend this solution for the faint of heart, however.
There is a good chance that the coils accidentally be cut or misshapen.
The best practice is to use a straight edge or a finger before the pieces dry to check for evenness and avoid this problem altogether.
Double-thickness strips have bubbled
I mentioned in the post last week on making quilling paper mittens that I like to make double-thick quilling strips to use on edging work.
While the most important step in making these strips is applying steady glue all the way through, there will be times when there’s a gap.
And that gap in glue will lead to a buckled spot in your strip.
It’s usually something you wouldn’t notice until you’re using the strip on a project.
And by then, you’re not going to want to pull the whole piece out, right?
I’ve found a great solution is to use those tiny scissors and snip the bubble. Add another tiny spot of glue to the remaining ends, and use your tweezers or a pin to hold tight until it dries.
Good as new!
Do you have any tips to fix quilling mistakes?
Leave them in the comments below.
I’d love to learn some new secret tricks!