There’s a saying that was making its way around the social media world last week.
On a few occasions, I saw some variation of “It’s past midnight on Halloween so that means only one thing … Merry Christmas!”
That’s sort of how I feel with this post.
I’m moving right into the winter crafts!
Sorry, Thanksgiving. I’ll try to think of a great turkey post next year.
But, for now, I’m sharing how to make quilling paper pine needles!
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Quilling paper pine needles are formed with something called the zig-zag technique.
If you look around for some information about this, you’ll find little help.
But it’s no real mystery. It really is just a variation of husking.
You could use a husking board if you have one. If not, pins and a corkboard will work just fine.
That is how I’m going to demo quilling paper pine needles today.
First, cover your workboard with a sheet of wax paper. You’ll also need a good amount of pins.
Before you get to the needles, you’ll need to make the brown shaft for the needles to sprout from.
I made a double-thick strip of Quilled Creations’ Light Brown to make sure it would be sturdy enough to handle all the extra weight.
When the strip is dry, pin it down to your workboard.
Next, grab your green of choice!
I’m using Leaf Green from Lake City for this demo.
To start the needles, make a loop on one end of a strip of your green paper.
Different types of trees have different lengths of needles, so if you’re looking to make a specific type of pine or fir that you’ve done research of, make your loop the size you need.
This will be the center needle that grows from the middle of the brown stem.
Using a touch of glue, secure the loop to the top of the stem, letting the rest of the strip lay to the side.
When that is set, start building the rest of the needles.
You’ll be making all the needles on one side of the shaft.
The idea is to pull the paper strip up and away from the center stem at a pretty steep angle.
The length of this will vary depending on the shape of pine needles that you’re looking for, but I would try to keep them about the same length as your original loop.
Use a pin to keep your paper in place, and pull the strip back down towards the stem.
Add a dot of glue on the brown strip to keep the green secured there.
Place another pin to keep the green strip flush against the stem.
Pull the green away from the stem again, following the same pattern, making more and more needles as you go.
The idea is – pull the strip away, wrap it around a pin, bring it back to the stem, glue, and pin. Repeat!
Try to keep the same angle and length of needles.
Continue until your pine branch has as many needles as you like.
You can always add more strips if you run out of paper.
There will be a whole bunch of pins, but that is ok!
Once your glue is dry, remove your pins carefully.
You’ll start to see where the name “zig-zag” comes from!
Now on the the other side!
Make another loop in a new strip of paper, just like the one that was made in the first strip.
But, instead of gluing this loop right at the top, this loop will be the first needle in the row.
Be sure to angle this needle as a mirror opposite as the first on the other side, so your branch will look even and realistic.
Loop, glue and pin….loop, glue and pin…..
When you take all your pins out, it might not look exactly like a branch of pine needles but…
…this is the most important step!
Squeeze all your needles towards the end of the branch.
This will make all the loops in your zig-zag pointed and pine-like!
Try short needles or long.
Add loads to make bigger branches or just a few for a more subtle look.
You could even make entire pine boughs.
Add two shorter branches to the sides of a larger stem.
A few red berries complete the winter look!
I hope this post takes some of the mystery out of quilling paper pine needles and the zig-zag technique.
I’m sure these branches will find their way onto some holiday crafts in the very near future.
And I’d like to send an official apology to one of my lovely email subscribers who asked for advice on this project a few weeks back.
I’ve done a lot of practice since we talked about this and clearly, this way works a lot better!
As always, if there are any questions about this tutorial, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Happy crafting everybody!