You never know when inspiration is going to strike.
I had a lightning moment a few weeks ago while watching HGTV.
Whatever show it was had a quick scene where it panned across a revamped room, and Bam!
For a split second, I caught a glimpse of an abstracted leaf print and I immediately had an idea of something similar I could make out of quilling paper.
I’ve been trying to figure out some sort of artwork for our powder room since we moved into our home two years ago, and I knew this idea would be perfect.
So, this week, I’m sharing the leaf design I’m going to make, and I’m going to include some tips for gluing quilling to a background!
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This two-toned leaf design is pretty simple to put together.
It doesn’t have loads of frills and swirls, but, often, a basic shape repeated over and over can make a dynamic impact.
To start, make the stem of the leaves.
Make a single strip stronger and thicker by folding it in half and gluing the entire length, then folding in half again.
Glue these halves together as well.
Set it aside to dry.
If you’re making the exact pattern that I’m demoing here, you’ll need to repeat this step for about 3 strips.
I wanted the leaves to be colorful, but modern, so I chose 5 colors.
I used Lake City Craft’s Light Blue and Tan, Paplin’s Celery, and Quilled Creations’ Pale Yellow and Blush.
First, roll an 8″ strip into a coil.
Pinch into a teardrop.
Then, make a second point on the other side, but keep it off-center.
Make a whole bunch of these using a mix of whatever colors you’ve chosen.
I needed a total of 30.
The brown stems should be dry by this point.
Snip them into pieces about an inch and a half long.
Attach one colorful leaf shape to the end of a brown stem.
Add a second leaf half of a different color to the other side.
Pinch until dry.
Use all your quilled leaf pieces, mixing the colors as you go.
Now let’s talk about mounting quilling for framing!
I have a few tips for gluing quilling to a background.
First, choose the size of your backing sheet.
To make my life very easy, the majority of the quilling that I sell for home decor is mounted to the same exact size, 5″ x 7″.
I purchase bulk orders of mat board that fits my favorite frames.
I prefer mat board because it is very sturdy and doesn’t wrinkle under the glue.
If you’re looking for a more colorful background, think about covering mat board with colored or patterned paper.
My favorite frames also include a double-mat.
The double mat allows for loads of space between the 1/8″ quilling paper that I use and the glass in the frame.
I like to remove this and line it up on my mat board.
This ensures that the quilling I’m mounting fits comfortably inside the space allowed inside the frame once it’s all put back together.
Another tip is to lay a couple rulers over the top wherever you want your quilling to end up so it stays straight.
For larger quillings, I like to apply glue directly to the back with a needle-nose glue bottle.
If the quilling is small, like these leaves, you could try dipping your quilling right in a little glue using tweezers.
Either way, you need very little glue.
Line your quilling up using the rulers, taking care not to bump them.
The ruler trick works where ever you want to place your quilling.
I use rulers to make sure large quillings are centered on my mat board, too.
TIP: It’s also a good idea to keep a small paintbrush handy. You’ll need it to wipe away any glue that seeps out from under your quilling paper once it’s on the mat board.
Keep adding your leaf quillings in the same way, lining them up with the rulers as you go.
I tried to stagger the colors as I went, but I think it’s perfectly imperfect.
I also like to put a bit of weight on my quilling as it dries.
You can use a light book or another piece of mat board.
I like to use one of my corkboards with a glue bottle or two on top.
This helps your quilling dry flat.
Just let this sit for a little while to ensure all the glue is set, and you’re ready to frame.
I can’t recommend these frames from Michaels enough. They are perfect for quilling!
Whether you choose to be inspired by these two-toned leaves, or you recreate this project from start to finish, these tips for gluing quilling to a background will really come in handy!
The same ideas can be helpful when making cards, envelopes or gift tags.
Do you have any tricks for mounting your quilling?
Leave a comment below!
Deb Booth says
Another great tutorial – thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and talents with us. I always pick up a new tip, whenever I look at your blogs. Blessings on you!
Thanks so much Deb! I really appreciate your kindness!
Debasish Das says
……after a long time I chanced upon to visit this site……aaaaaand was mesmerised ! ….simply beautiful creations which touched my heart and tastes…..Thanks again to you for providing me this opportunity to visualise such beautiful creations of yours !….with all the best wishes …Meredith !…….Debasish from India, Kolkata.
What lovely words, Debasish! Thank you so much!
Your work is beautiful!! What kind of glue is used to glue down the quilled pieces? Thank you so much!!
Thank you Melanie! I usually just use regular white glue for mounting to a backing. I do have a few other tips in the post about gluing quilling to a background that I wrote a few months back. There is a box to search for topics on the sidebar, if you’d like to check that post out too.
What kind of material do you glue your finished product onto? Have you ever tried glueing in onto fabric?
I would think that unless you had your fabric stretched into a frame the quilling would fall off. But if you were to put a lovely piece of fabric in a frame with a cardboard backing, some quilling details could look really cool on top. I have a really large piece of fabric in a modern floral design stretched across an old wooden frame as art in my dining room and I always think about reproducing the flowers in quilling. I say go for it Susan! Let me know how it turns out!
Katherine Kambouroff says
I’m new to quilling. Hoping you could help me with 2 things. Why does it always seem to be that quilling is always on a white background? And when I make loose coils all the coils to to the outside ring. Can’t seem to keep coils even Got any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Quilling can be on any background you wish. I usually use white mat board in my tutorials because I just want to focus on the techniques I’m showing and white helps the color pop. As far as keeping your coils centered, I would try to use a thicker paper with more weight to it, or maybe try to make sure that your really wrapping your paper around your tool tightly as you roll. If the eye of your coil isn’t staying in the center as you form your coils into new shapes, make sure you hold the coil still with one hand while you pinch with the other. I go over this in more detail in this video 👉 https://youtu.be/8W_HLWVkD_0. I hope this helps!
I’ve been playing around with quilling for about a year now and was asked to create something that ended up being 12″x8 1/2″ big! It was made on a cork board. My question is: what is the best method to glue this onto a stretched canvas?
I’ve used paint brushes to apply the glue to smaller finished things before adding a backing but feel my glue would dry before i finished covering the project with the glue for this one.
That is big! You probably don’t need to completely cover the entire surface with a thin layer of glue. Thicker application in fewer areas may do the trick. Be aware that it will be heavy so you might consider a stronger glue. In the future, you might consider breaking your work into smaller sections and assembling them together on your finished surface if that makes it easier.