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Topic: Quilled Paper Snowflakes - with progress pics/tutorial  (Read 11354 times)
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« on: December 19, 2010 03:56:55 PM »

So, Christmas is here and my husband and I are flat broke. Two years of unemployment will do that to you. But we still wanted to give nice things to our friends and family. So I decided to try to make something for them, using materials I already had on-hand. I realized I have a TON of wrapping paper - I buy it every year after Christmas on clearance.

I googled "Paper Ornaments" and found a lot of great ideas, but the quilled ornaments really caught my eye.  And so it was settled - quilled ornaments it was. I used a silver holographic wrapping paper, which makes them nice and shiny, but you really could use ANY paper.  Here is a shot of three of the ornaments:

Sometimes I used a pattern,  but mostly I just played around with shapes to find patterns I liked. I wanted all my snowflakes to have six points. Because that's how a snowflake is formed. And I'm a geek like that.

There are some great videos on You Tube that show how to quill paper and make the different shapes.  This video was particularly helpful:


Here are some progress pics for one of my snowflakes:

Step one: make strips (no photo).  HOT TIP: At first, I was using a rotary cutter and ruler. Very tedious. Very slow... Then I realized my paper shredder made the PERFECT size of strip (")... so I started cutting 14" x 8" chunks of wrapping paper and running it through the shredder. It made things go MUCH faster! And an added benefit was that the strips came out micro-serrated. The holographic paper edges became a bit sparklier than when I was using a straight blade to cut them.

Step two: make the coils. I used a quilling board to make the coils all the same size. This snowflake has six large, loose coils. Six open hearts. One smaller, loose coil (centre of the snowflake). I don't remember the length of strips I used - no longer than 6".

Step three: pinch the tops of the six loose coils to form teardrops. Here you see four teardrops and two non-pinched coils:

Step four: glue the teardrops to the open hearts. This will make stylized arrows. Make sure they're straight. You'll see my fine-tipped glue bottle here. Not necessary but SO nice for this (you could use a toothpick or pin if you wanted). I used regular Aileen's Tacky glue:

Step five: glue the arrows to the centre coil. I used the lines on my cutting mat to make sure the spokes are sticking straight out from one another. The wax paper keeps it all from sticking to my cutting mat, if any glue should happen to ooze out.

All six spokes glued:

Variations: Like I said; I didn't really use patterns in most cases. I just played with the shapes before I glued them.  Here are two possibilities using the same shapes (a scroll between two teardrops). I decided to go with the one on the right:

This is a collection of snowflakes on my desk. This still isn't all the designs I came up with. The late afternoon winter sun casts a beautiful blue onto the paper. We're only two days away from the solstice and the sun will set at 4:30 today here in Alberta.

This is my favourite pattern. It's more intricate than the six-spoked snowflakes and more difficult to make (I had to pin it to a corkboard to keep it all in place while it dried).  It's not my design - this particular one belongs to a lady named Reese Dixon. She has a brilliant tutorial on quilling and how to make this particular design on her blog here: http://www.reesedixon.com/2008/12/quilled-snowflake-ornament.html

I made four ornaments for each couple we were exchanging gifts with. I used nylon filament and silver beads to create ties for each ornament.

I hope they like them.  C/C welcome!
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010 04:26:10 PM »

they are so gorgeous!

~shine shine shine~
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010 10:48:28 PM »

These are so beautiful! They look so professional!!!

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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010 01:24:25 AM »

Lovely !  Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010 12:07:41 AM »

Many thanks to all of you! I haven't given them out yet, so I'll let you know how well they were received!
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2010 08:33:44 AM »

Wow! These are amazing! I've always wanted to try quillinq. How long did it take you to do just one snowflake?  Did you make the coils for ALL the snowflakes before you started?

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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010 10:21:48 AM »

Wow! These are amazing! I've always wanted to try quillinq. How long did it take you to do just one snowflake?  Did you make the coils for ALL the snowflakes before you started?

Thank you for you kind words!

It took me about 45 minutes to do one snowflake, because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I like to fiddle and futz with the coils to make sure they're uniform.

And I worked each snowflake in stages - coiling and gluing each coil, then forming the ones that need to be pinched (the teardrops and eye-shapes), then assembling. Then I'd start on the next one (coil and glue, forming, assembling, etc.). 

The only thing I did all at once for multiple snowflakes was the shredding.  I'd cut a sheet of wrapping paper and put it through the shredder. It didn't come out perfect (sometimes it went in at an angle), so I'd have many, many strips of wrapping paper. I'd usually get about three snowflakes' worth of strips with each shredding.
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011 10:07:11 AM »

These are so beautiful. I realize these were meant as Christmas ornaments but you can take the same approach and make non seasonal crafts. Great work.

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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013 07:55:53 AM »

what a great tutorial...thanks for sharing

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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013 04:58:22 AM »

So pretty! Your recipients must treasure them!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013 04:59:18 AM by Phizzychick » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013 09:47:27 PM »

Those are very pretty. Another technique I must learn!
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2013 06:30:57 AM »

Very pretty, i have quilled hundreds of snowflakes over the years but never used holographic wrapping paper.  I usually shred glossy heave weight Hammermill paper sheets.  Those 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of paper make a larger snowflake than quilling paper strips but the snowflakes come out very sturdy.  I agree with you on the serrated edges for snowflakes too. 

Now you have me on a mission to look for some holographic paper.

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