Quilled Spill Tutorial

A quilled spill... funny name, but there really is such a thing. This life-sized branch was shown in my first quilling exhibit a couple of summers ago - the long, tapered stem is an example of a spill.

Quilled Blackberry Branch
Quilled Blackberry Branch

I don't know how the name originated, but can tell you that googling "rolled paper spill" mostly results in paper towel references (no surprise there!) but also gives the olde English definition - a piece of wood or rolled paper used to light a fire.

So how appropriate it is to use quilled spills as birthday candles!

quilled candles on birthday card

Recently I made a card for another one of our nephews (remember this quilled owl card?) who was having a birthday and snapped a few quick pics before heading to his party. Can you guess what I was intending with the design? The curve is supposed to be the top of a cupcake. Too abstract for a three year old? Or even an adult? Righto... I was afraid of that.

quilled candles

Spill Tutorial

1. Begin by cutting a square of light to medium weight paper of any size. As an example, the candles were made with 2.5 inch squares.

rolling a paper square on a sturdy wire to make a spill

2. Roll one corner around a stiff, sturdy wire (a cake/muffin tester will work just as well). You might find it helpful to begin by roughing up the corner a bit with your fingernail. This breaks the fibers and softens the paper.

3. Roll the paper firmly to the opposite corner and glue the end in place. The more tightly the paper is rolled, the stronger the spill will be.

Quilled Spill

4. Trim the angled ends. I chose not to cut the flame end, but it's just a matter of personal preference.

The flames are 3 inch quilled teardrops. Metallic gold-gilded paper adds fire-like shine.

What's very neat about spills, besides their versatility, is how incredibly strong they are. In additions to branches and candles, they can also be used as the spokes of a wheel, ribs in a hand-held fan, soda straws, or lollipop sticks. I hope you'll give them a try sometime - and I'd love to see what you make!

Recommended quilling and paper craft supplies can be found in my Amazon shop.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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