When I first started sharing my quilling tutorials online, one of the first emails I received was asking if I could demonstrate how to do beehive quilling.
But not only did I not know how to roll beehive coils, I have never even heard of them!
Now I’m starting to see it more and more.
And, after some research and practice, I’m finally ready to share a quick introduction to the beehive quilling technique!
The beehive quilling technique was first created in 2011 by Susan of Susan Quilling.
Since then, it’s caught on like wildfire and quillers around the world have been using this technique to add all sorts of light and airy texture to their paper creations.
Simply put, the beehive quilling technique is all about using a single long quilling strip and a slotted tool to create many tightly rolled coils at one time.
It really is pretty simple to do!
Start with your needle tool a bit away from one end of your paper strip. For this demo, I started about a 1/2 inch from the end, but up to a full inch works well, too.
Once your tool is set, roll it towards the end. Essentially, the slotted tool will roll the quilling paper around itself, pulling in both ends of the strip at the same time.
The size of your coils will depend on the number of turns you make with your tool in each roll.
More turns will make larger coils, and fewer turns will make more of a wave shape to your strip.
When you take your tool away, you should have the first full coil.
After you’ve made your first coil, reinsert your slotted tool and continue rolling in the same direction as the first.
The key to the beehive quilling technique is to do the same number of rolls for each coil and also to keep the distance between the coils all the same length.
So for this demo, I moved my tool about 1/2 inch for each coil and turned my tool 4 times.
The result should be evenly sized coils that will not come unrolled right away.
With a bit of practice, these coils come together really quickly!
I also made a really short video for those who are having a bit of trouble visualizing all this!
Most often, it seems that quilling paper artists are using the beehive quilling technique to fill in large areas, such as flower petals or inside text.
To do this, mold your outline into whatever shape you wish.
Next, add a tiny dot of glue to the edges of each coil. Use your fingers, quilling tool, or fingers to place the strips where you’d like.
Keep adding strips of beehive coils until the space is filled. You’ll probably need more than you think you will!
I used some beehive swirls to fill in some leaves I made with my quilling comb. (Follow the steps I used to make this quilled shamrock to make these leaves!)
I also love the look of adding some coils to the outer edges of a paper swirl.
It looks like paisley to me!
Experiment with different sized coils or alternating the directions of your rolls!
You can roll two different colored strips at the same time, too!
I still don’t think I’ll really use the beehive quilling technique all that much, but I loved working with it and learning something new!
I might keep adding them to my swirls though!
How do you think you’ll add beehive coils to your quilling? Leave a comment below with any awesome ideas you have!
Gah! These are so pretty. This style would be fun to make whimsical animal shapes of.
That’s a great idea!
Oh my! That looks amazing! I love how it turned out!
Belle | One Awesome Momma
Thanks so much, Belle!
Jen Smith says
OMG! That’s beautiful! I’m like the least crafty person ever but that actually looks really easy!
Super easy and super quick! Thanks so much for stopping by Jen!
Sue Hadley says
Thank you! I’m New to quilling and your tutorial was very clear. Also like the visual. My project is a letter and I will use this technique to help fill space.
Great idea, Sue! I’m so glad you’ve found this helpful.
Wendy R says
After seeing your tutorial on Pinterest I want to thank you so much for sharing. This technique has taken me into a whole new level of quilling! Thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤
Wow, Wendy, this comment made me feel so happy!! I’m so glad you’ve found my tutorial!
Jane Boulton says
Very helpful and informative thank you so much
You’re welcome, Jane! I hope you find it useful!
What a fun technique! I made my first snowflake over the weekend, and I just tried a swirl and it turned out perfect, so I feel ready to take this on! BTW, I’ll be 71 this year which goes to show you, you are never too old to learn a new craft! Thank you so much for your tutorial and making it look easy to make 😉 I appreciate all of you who are willing to share your expertise and help those of us just learning. Blessings!
Hooray! I think if you can make swirls, you can handle this with no problem! So glad to hear from you Mid, and please let me know if you have any questions.
I am relatively new to quilling and can’t wait to add this to my projects. Love the idea of using it for outlining various shapes. Thanks so much for sharing!
You’re so welcome, Lynda! Let me know how it works out!
I have been quilling for several years but haven’t moved too far from the basics. My goal for this year was to learn some new techniques. I’ve always thought this was very fun looking but I thought it looked difficult. Thanks for showing me it’s not! Your instructions were very clear and I suspect I will be using this frequently. I agree with you that it looks great with the swirls!
So glad you’ve found this helpful, Kristy!
Thank you for sharing. I’m going to try it in a necklace.
Wonderful! Let me how it turns out!
ND GUNTER, says
Mine keep on unraveling. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated. 🙃
Some paper is thicker than others and won’t keep the curl as well. You can always try giving your beehive an extra twist, or use a dot of glue between the waves to keep them in place.
Paul M. Dohse Sr. says
I prefer a needle style quilling tool because a slotted tool does not make a tight center. But I suppose to do a beehive I have to have a slot tool. Oh, well. By the way this is Susan, not Paul.
I was right there with you Susan! I never preferred using a slotted tool either, but it is handy for somethings!
It’s been almost a year since college assignments drove me away from crafting. And finally in the middle of this pandemic, I’m still trying to see everything in more positive way and sometimes thanking in silence that I can do some more diy things while in self quarantine. I want to learn this beehive technique, and I know the place I should go is your website, Meredith. From the first time I read your direction, I keep on wondering. Can I use the common needle quilling tool to make this beehive coil, instead of the slotted tool? Thanks though Meredith and I wish you stay healthy
Hi Nora! I’m glad you’re able to find some time to do some crafting, although I really do wish it was under completely different circumstances. I’ve never tried to use a needle tool for the beehive, since the slot on the other tool is what grabs the paper to make the crimp. If you’re not in the market to buy a slotted tool, look into DIYing one. There are posts out there on making one from a large sewing needle and a cork!
Thank you for teaching how to do this! I’ve been trying to learn the beehive quilling, and your post is extremely easy to understand. I’ll probably introduce this technique into my future art. Once again, THANK YOU!!!
I can never figure out how you use the needle tool so easily! I keep trying and failing to get the first part to curl over so that I can then use my fingers for the rest. Any tips or tricks for getting the paper on the needle tool easily? You are my latest favorite crafter! You’re awesome!
Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic trick to make a needle tool easier. It really is a “feel” thing. I will mention that you use your thumb to push the paper around the needle when you’re trying to get the paper started. There is no shame in using a slotted tool, too! I know some quillers really don’t link the crimp in the center, but there are some tools that have a very small slotted end so the crimp is very small. I like the Savvy Slotted Quilling Tool by Quilled Creations because their working end is very small 😊