Crafternoon: Paper Quilling

September’s Crafternoon theme was Paper Quilling, though the end of summer is a busy time for everyone so only I had managed to get quilling supplies. No matter – we chatted and enjoyed snacks while we learned about each other’s WIPs.

I had ordered the Darice Beginner Quilling Kit, as I had expected to just make a lot of random bits and bobs as I was learning the process. However, once I sat down with google image search to find inspiration, I decided I wanted to make a tree. This one was my inspiration:


I am not really a hearts person though, so I simply used circles in mine. I am pretty proud of the outcome, considering it was literally the first time I had ever tried quilling!


Oh, my, is that a heart in the middle of the tree? How did that get there? Alright, so when I decided I was digging this project enough to quite possibly actually display it somewhere in my house, I thought about what artful trees mean to me – and they mean family.

Boy and I do not really have things around the home celebrating ourselves but I expect this to change soon. I have always planned to print photos of our elopement for our bedroom, but our current bedroom has been “temporary” (can I use that word still? for five years?) so once we move to the new room, I imagine I will finally get them printed. Plus I have had ideas for my dining room, but that has kind of been under construction for quite some time, too. Soon, the rehab contractor people will be out fixing this house up and afterward I think I will finally feel like it’s ok to hang some photos!


My favorite thing was a true inspired moment. I was mentioning to the gals about how I like the look of mixed textures. Ink and quilling paper, for instance. So I had decided I wanted to perhaps draw a swing. But then the idea came: if this tree meant family, and I wanted a swing, well, at  my gramma and grampa’s, I feel like I practically lived on the tire swing, so ta-da! (Mixed media being a yellow cord – just like the one on their tire swing!) The tire – Goodyear whitewall and all –  dangles freely. I absolutely love it.


What I did not expect was for my paper to get wavy from the glue’s moisture (I used Elmer’s glue on parchment looking cardstock). I think once I frame it, that will not be noticeable. In fact, I have a frame that once upon a time the glass got broken, so I think it will be a perfect pair.


Of course, none of my spontaneous crafts like this are well-planned so the art does not fit the mat board. I’ll have to take off about a quarter inch on the left and right so it might be some few weeks before I find a mat cutter. Meanwhile, I will find a place to display it! Another thing that I try to not think about is that I ran out of greens, so in the top middle portion, I had to start spacing them out further than I would have liked, and the tree didn’t get to be quite as full as I had originally imagined. If I ever get more quilling paper that matches, I will likely add to it some.

I learned a few things too. One, paper quilling like this is actually fairly easy. Two, you get glue all over. Three, you get paper cuts, but I didn’t notice these til I turned myself into a prune after a long hot shower. Four, originally I had tried to keep the outline of the tree very straight and not curve around the individual circles. Sometimes, I failed at this and as it turns out, I like the bumpy factor more than the straight edge and wish I had done that all over. Five, talk about time consuming!! Although I liked the process and am very proud of the end result, I am not sure I would want to do it again. At least not for myself, anyway. Our crafternoon started at 4pm, and I wrapped this up around 1am. Yeah – that’s normal for me. Once I start on something I am really excited to see finished, you cannot stop me from crossing that finish line. I’ll even forget to eat! But there is nothing more of a stress reducer than focusing hardcore on something creative, I tell you what.