Friday, May 17, 2013

DIY: Quilled Bird Necklace

You might remember this bird necklace I made a few years ago.

Quilled-Bird-Pendant

I still receive compliments whenever I wear it, so I'd like to share the how-to so you can make one too. Let's start at the very beginning...

If you're brand new to quilling, just a few inexpensive supplies are needed - a rolling tool, paper strips, and glue. Keep in mind my first tool was a cake tester from my kitchen drawer... in other words, any slim, stiff wire will do. Cut a sheet of copy paper into narrow strips to use for practice. If you decide to purchase a tool, there are two types - needle or slotted. The slotted tool is easiest to use; its only disadvantage is that the slot leaves a crimp in the center of a coil. If this bothers you, try an ultra-fine slotted tool or a needle tool. People usually find the needle tool is more difficult to master, but the reward is a perfectly round coil sans crimp.

You will need:

Quilling paper - gold-edge black, 1/8 inch (standard width) - Whimsiquills in the U.S. and J.J. Quilling Design in England stock it and other online suppliers may too. It isn't expensive (only looks that way!) and comes in a package of thirty strips. You'll be able to make about six birds/package.
Quilling tool - needle or slotted
Craft glue - I like to use clear glue, such as Martha Stewart Crafts All-Purpose Gel Adhesive
Ruler
Scissors
Tweezers
Toothpick, glass-head pin, or paper piercing tool - to apply glue
Plastic lid - to use as a glue palette
Jump rings (2) - 5mm
Jewelry pliers (2) - flat nose
Satin cording - bronze, about 48 inches

And now, the basics:

rolling-coil-with-slotted-tool

Roll a coil with a slotted tool: Slide strip end into the slot and turn tool with one hand while guiding strip with the other hand.

rolling-coil-on-needle-tool

Roll a coil with a needle tool: Dampen fingertips and roll strip around needle with the thumb and index finger of one hand while holding handle with the other hand. Be sure to roll the paper, not the tool, and apply firm, even pressure.

relaxed-coil-on-needle-tool

Allow coil to relax:

Whether using a slotted tool or needle tool, when the strip is fully rolled, allow coil to relax and slide it off the tool. This is called a loose coil, the basic coil from which many other shapes are made. For the bird pendant, you'll be making teardrop and shaped teardrop coils.

quilled-teardrop

Make a teardrop:Roll strip, slide it off the tool, and pinch to a sharp point.

 gluing-coil

Use only a tiny amount of glue on the strip end, applying it with a toothpick, pin, or tip of a paper piercing tool. Hold in place for a few moments while the glue dries.

Make a shaped teardrop: Use fingers to curve the tip of a teardrop coil.

Now that you've learned the basics, you're ready to roll!

Quilled-Bird-Pendant

 Step 1: Glue three 7 inch strips of gold-edge quilling paper, one on top of the next. If the stack gets sticky, wipe it with a damp cloth before the glue sets. When the glue is completely dry (a few hours or even overnight; otherwise the paper will buckle) fold the strip in half and shape the bird outline. Curl the ends away from one another around the handle of a paper piercing tool or quilling tool. Apply a small amount of glue where the top and bottom of the outline touch.

Step 2:
Make 3 head feathers (shaped teardrop coils) and glue them in place:
6 inches
5 inches
2.5 inches

Gilded-Bird-Necklace

Step 3: Make 5 tail feathers (teardrop coils) and glue them in place:
10 inches
8.5 inches (make 2)
7 inches
5 inches

Step 4: Make an 18 inch shaped teardrop coil. Glue it inside the body outline as pictured.

Step 5: Turn pendant over and reinforce all of the joins by applying a dot of glue wherever coils meet. Allow glue to dry before going on to the next step.

opening-and-closing-jump-ring

Step 6: Attach a jump ring to the largest head feather and a tail feather as pictured. To open the jump ring, grasp each side of the ring split with pliers. With a gentle twisting motion, push one side away from you while holding the other side steady. Slip ring through coil and reverse motion to close.

Step 7: Cut cording in half, thread one piece through a jump ring and tie a single knot close to the bird. Repeat with the opposite jump ring. Finish off with an adjustable sliding knot so the necklace can be slipped on and off over your head. I used the sliding knot instructions found here. If you prefer, a length of necklace chain can be attached to each jump ring. Fasten with a clasp.

Quilled-Bird-Pendant

There - something new to wear tomorrow!

A little fyi... Quilling has been around for ages... centuries actually, and has changed very little over time except for all of the specialty papers that are available... graduated colors, two tone, pearlized, and even silver, copper or gold-edge like the kind used to make this bird. Not only is the metallic edging beautiful, but it lends extra strength. I have to say though, rolled paper is surprisingly sturdy on its own with or without a metallic edge, making it especially suitable for pendants or earrings.

If you don't have access to metallic edge paper, you can run a gold leafing pen along the edge of plain black quilling paper before rolling it or press the finished bird in a metallic ink pad, such as Galaxy Gold by Brilliance.

Any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Happy weekend!


30 comments:

  1. I do remember this necklace! I love it!!!!! Your work is always so neat and tidy lol, is it like that in real life too? I always feel as if I'm battling such a huge mess...

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    1. Hi Kim, thanks. :) It's funny; I'm very neat about some things, but definitely not all!

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  2. It looks perfect and very beautiful ! Thanks a lot for sharing step by step !

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  3. I remember this one , it's beautiful, did you use a sealer for it ?














    I remember this one, its beautiful, did you use a sealer?
    Paula






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    1. Hi Paula, I didn't use a sealer. It's quite sturdy as is. I usually apply extra dots of glue on the back of a pendant wherever the coils touch - this gives extra strength.

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  4. This is so beautiful!! thank you for the tutorial.
    http://www.kalasirjana.blogspot.in/

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  5. Wowwww...Thanks for sharing tutorial..Its been ur signature quilled bird..Hope u made a card too earlier with this quilled bird ...Loved it too :)

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  6. I don't think I've seen this necklace before but it is really pretty. thanks for the tutorial.

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  7. I've been in love with this bird for a while and appreciate the tutorial.
    I am also really curious about sealers for gilded papers - a couple I used in the past reduced the metallic sheen.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Zoe, thanks. I've not had good luck with sealers either. Pendants usually stay out of the way when worn, unlike a bracelet or ring, so I don't worry about using a protectant. As long as I'm not drenched in a storm, they're fine.

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  8. That's a beauty--thanks for sharing!

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  9. So nice of you to share the tutorial for your bird pendant Ann. thanks for answering about the sealant too. Sealers sometimes seem to give a stony look to the quilled jewellery.

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  10. Ann, it's no wonder that you always receive compliments on this beautiful necklace! How generous of you to share how to do it. Thank you so much! I'm sharing this!!!!

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  11. Just beautiful, Ann! I want to try this.

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  12. Utterly fabulous! I am sure you receive many, many compliments when you wear this!

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  13. Thanks everyone! I hope you'll give it a try.

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  14. No wonder it's a show stopper! Lovely :D

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  15. I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your necklace! You can see it here:

    http://funfamilycrafts.com/quilled-bird-necklace/

    If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

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  16. So lovely!! This is the first I have seen it and I am very inspired to try it.

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    1. Thanks, I hope you will give it a try!

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  17. How beautiful!!! Truly artistic and makes me want to try a craft that I have never considered before seeing this. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Christine, I'm glad you like it. :)

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  18. Hi. do you know some product to brush over the quiling and do it water resistand and give more hardness? Thanks.

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    1. I don't generally use a fixative, but have heard that Liquitex Gel Medium works well. I would recommend a matte finish rather than glossy so the paper still looks like paper (instead of plastic) when it dries.

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    2. Thanks a lot. Deia

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  19. This is very lovely Ann, I will try this some day

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