Thursday, December 4, 2014

Quilled Snowflake Ornament Tutorial

The #1 most frequently searched term here at ATP is quilled snowflake. In the past I've posted traditional rolled coil patterns here, here, and here, so this time I decided to make a snowflake from folded strips of paper instead. The beauty of folding, or more precisely, alternate side looping (in quill-speak), is that you don't need a quilling tool - just use your fingers!

Quilled Snowflake Ornament or Flower Pendant Tutorial
 gold holofoil edge

JJ Quilling Design in England produces edged quilling strips in a variety of metallic colors, pearl, and holofoil finishes. Several American online suppliers stock the JJ brand too. I used white 1/8 inch (3mm) strips with gold, silver, pearl, gold holofoil and silver holofoil edging to make a flurry of snowflakes; each type handled beautifully. Of course plain white quilling paper makes pretty snowflakes too, and you could even cut your own strips from a sheet of computer paper.

Supplies

Quilling paper - 1/8 inch (3mm) - you can make several ornaments from one package so this is an inexpensive project
Slotted quilling tool - to roll the center coil; substitute a stiff wire/cake tester/cocktail stick if you don't have a tool
Glue - I use Martha Stewart Craft Gel Adhesive. White glue that dries clear would be fine too.
Plastic lid or contact lens case - use as glue palette
Paper piercing tool or cocktail stick - to apply glue
Scissors
Ruler
Tweezers 
Straight pin with ball head
Ornament cord - gold/silver

Instructions

For each layered snowflake, you'll make 18 snowflake arms in three sizes - small, medium, and large, 6 of each. (what? you didn't realize snowflakes have arms? oh they do!) My three sizes measure .50 inch (13mm), .75 inch (19mm), and 1 inch (25mm), and the completed snowflake is a bit wider than 2 inches (5cm). You'll also need to make one quilled tight coil to tidy up the center space.

Snowflake Components

Perhaps you've noticed there are only 17 arms in the photo. That's because we're going to make the last one together!

(See what I did there? I made it sound like I photographed 17 on purpose. So not true, ha!)

steps 1-4

Let's get started... (it will seem like a lot of steps, but they they go fast.)

Step 1: Make the snowflake arms.
a. Begin by making a fold at one end of a quilling strip. The fold should be as long as you would like the finished arm to be, for example, 1 inch for the large arms.

b. Without cutting the strip, bring it up from the bottom of the fold to make a loop to the left that isn’t quite as tall as the fold.

c. Make a second loop, this one to the right of the fold. Continue making pairs of loops in descending sizes, as many pairs as desired. I made three pairs for my large arms, two pairs for the medium arms, and just one pair of loops for the small arms.

d. Encircle all of the loops with the same continuous strip to create a collar. 

steps 5-8

e. Glue the end in place and gently pinch the top of the collar to create a point at the tip.

steps-9-10

f. Trim excess strip at the bottom. Tip: If you run out of paper while making loops, glue and trim excess at bottom, then glue the end of another strip in place and carry on making loops and collar.

steps 11-12

Step 2: Make a tight coil center.
a. Slide one end of a 3-inch quilling strip into the quilling tool slot. Turn the tool to roll the paper into a tight coil. Hold the coil end in place and pick up a tiny amount of glue from your plastic palette with the tip of a paper piercing tool or cocktail stick. Touch the glue to the strip end, hold it in place for a few moments, then slide the coil off the tool. Tip: A torn strip end blends/looks better than a sharply cut end.

b. Press the ball head of a straight pin against one side of the tight coil to create a small dome. Apply a bit of glue inside the dome to preserve the rounded shape.

Step 3: Assemble snowflake.
a. Glue 6 of each arm size in a circle as shown above; allow glue to set, then apply glue to the under-center of the medium arm layer and stack it on top of the large arm layer, taking care to stagger arms so they aren't positioned directly over one another. Repeat with the small arm layer. Tip: Tweezers help a lot at this stage of the game.

b. Glue the domed tight coil in the center of the snowflake.

reinforcing-layer

c. Fold a short strip of quilling paper in half and glue it as a reinforcing layer around the collar of the arm you've chosen to be the ornament top.

Quilled Snowflake Ornament Tutorial
  white pearl edge - subtle, but pretty

d. Fold a 10-inch piece of metallic cord in half and slip loop end through the reinforced collar and longest loop. Slip the loose ends through the loop and tie ends in a knot. Hang the ornament on your Christmas tree or in a window to enjoy all winter long. You could even attach a jump ring and chain instead of the cord and wear it as a necklace.

Are you curious about the second most frequently searched for item on this blog? Folded book patterns! Kate of Kate's Creative Space shared how to make several really nice folded books last year so I'll send you over there to get the full deets.

Folded Book DIY

Lastly... The Paper Assembly international giveaway of a dozen large sheets of decorative artist paper for collage, bookbinding, box making, and even gift wrapping is underway through Sunday, December 7, 2014. If you win, you'll get to choose your papers!

25 comments:

Michelle said...

Those are gorgeous, Ann! I've never see that style before.

Ann said...

These are really pretty.

Belindq C. said...

This is beautiful! I know quilled but never know it can folded into a pretty snowflake.

Ann Martin said...

Thank you, Michelle!

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Ann, I'm glad you like them!

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Belindq, folding can be fun for a change. Some papers tend to crease instead of loop... you just have to experiment to find a look you like.

Jan Castle said...

What a gorgeous snowflake....thank you for the tutorial Ann...will have to play with this technique! That paper is stunning!
Jan

Anonymous said...

that is really pretty thanks for the tutorial sheila

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Jan, I hope you'll make some!

Ann Martin said...

You're very welcome, Sheila!

Paper Zen said...

Scintillating and mesmerizing, Ann! Just lovely - thanks for showing us all those paper options and examples.

Anonymous said...

Fantasti work!!! I'm starting now with quilling and I hope to learn to do fantastic flowers like yours!!! Grazie mille!!! Alessia from Italy- Venice

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Cecelia!

Ann Martin said...

Thanks for visiting all the way from Venice, Alessia - have fun quilling!

Angelin said...

This is Gorgeous Ann ..i made one with different measurements using mothers union book pages :) i can call it a recycled snowflake :)

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Angelin! I'd love to see if you get a chance to blog about it.

SUGANTHI said...

I learnt the alternate side looping method from your blog when I started out ! Adding an extra layer of paper on the arm is such a clever tip. You think of everything. Thanks for always sharing your talent with us.

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Suganthi, I've learned so much from you too and echo what you said. :)

Nupur said...

These are so beautiful Ann! You do everything with so much perfection! Have learnt so much from you over the past years!

Ann Martin said...

Thank you, Nupur, that's so nice of you to say. You make lots of pretty things!

Handmade in Israel said...

This is beautiful! You are very clever!

Heather OCain said...

Gorgeous! I must try this!

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Lisa and Heather, I'm glad you like it!

yuli said...

Beautifull.. how to make the paper is stiff,so its not crumpled or tear up when i hang it on necklace?
Thank you.

Ann Martin said...

I'm glad you like it, Yuli! When I wear my quilled necklaces or earrings I handle them with care, just as I would with any fine jewelry. A good rule to remember is "last thing on, first thing off." The paper is surprisingly sturdy when it is rolled or folded and the metallic edge adds strength too.

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