How to: Make a Modern Quilled Snowflake Ornament

If you're looking for a simple, yet stylish paper craft to make this holiday season, let me show you how to create modern quilled snowflakes. Hang them on the tree, in a window, or dress up a package... a little gift on a gift! If you prefer, turn a paper snowflake into seasonal wearable art by adding a jump ring and necklace chain.

nine colorful and modern quilled snowflakes

Just like in nature, none of these snowflakes are exactly alike. And guess what... all were made with combinations of the same five basic quilled coils - ring, marquise (eye shape), diamond, tight coil, and oval tight coil.

two metallic quilled snowflakes and silver necklace chain

This tutorial is specifically for the small snowflake shown above (diameter is 1 5/8 inches or 4.13cm), however, instructions are included so you will be able to make all of the designs in the top photo by referring to it for the number and placement of coils. These small snowflakes were made with shiny silver and gold edge quilling strips that are so convincingly metallic, they're ideal for creating jewelry.

in progress making of a quilled snowflake ornament

There is no need to buy specialty supplies to try your hand at quilling. The designs only require narrow strips that can be cut from a sheet of printer paper. Use a ruler and cocktail stick to score before cutting. You'll also need the cocktail stick to roll tight coils, as well as dowels in two sizes for other coil types, glue, scissors, tweezers, and a ball head pin - that's it!

supplies for making quilled snowflakes
Quilling tools left to right: fine slotted tool, slotted tool, paper piercer, needle tool, cocktail stick
 
Supplies:
  • Quilling paper strips - plain or metallic edge, 1/8 inch (3mm) width, length varies by manufacturer, but one package is usually enough to make at least several snowflakes
  • Quilling tool - needle or slotted, your choice
  • White glue or clear acrylic gel
  • Plastic lid - to use as glue palette
  • Small scissors
  • Ruler
  • Large dowel - 3/8” (10mm) diameter
  • Small dowel - 1/4" (6mm) diameter
  • Ball head pin - to apply glue and shape tight coils
  • Tweezers
  • Wax paper or acrylic sheet - to protect work surface
  • Damp cloth or paper towel - to keep fingers glue-free
  • Fine metallic ornament cord 
  • Optional: paper piercer, cocktail stick, jump ring, jewelry pliers, necklace chain
Supply tips: Metallic edge quilling strips are produced by JJ Quilling Design in England and can be ordered directly from the company. These U.S. suppliers carry the JJ brand in limited colors: Custom Quilling by Denise, Quilling Supply, and Whimsiquills. A Bamboo Quilling Needle Forms set of dowels is sold by Little Circles. Additional quilling supplies I recommend can be found in my Amazon shop.

seven quilled snowflakes made with five basic coils

Good to know:

Dowels: I used the handles of my needle quilling tool and paper piercer, but pens, knitting needles, crochet hooks, makeup brushes, wood dowels, etc. can be used as substitutes provided they have a slick enough surface to allow a rolled coil to slide off easily.

Gluing: My favorite method is to place a small dab of glue on a plastic lid, then dip from it with the tip of a pin as this controls the amount. Quilling requires far less glue than you might expect.

Rolling a strip on a dowel: Allow the starting end to show by angling it slightly so you can easily count rotations. This will give your coils a consistent thickness.

Tear strip ends before rolling a ring coil or tight coil because torn ends blend in best when glued for a smooth look. Use strips with blunt cut ends to make marquise and diamond coils. 

green quilling strips and six quilled shape examples
Five basic shapes (marquise is shown in two sizes) 
Instructions:

1. Make the Center Ring Coil

a. Wrap a strip (approx 4.5 inches or 11.43cm) five times around a small dowel.

b. Tear off any excess strip without allowing the coil to expand and glue the end in place.

c. Slide the coil off the dowel and glue the inner end in place.

hand showing a rolled paper coil on small dowel, a paper piercer tool
 Rolling a ring coil on the small dowel (paper piercer handle)

2. Make Six Marquise Coils (eye shape)

a. Wrap a strip (approx 6.5 inches or 16.52cm) five times around a large dowel and slide the coil off without allowing it to expand.

b. Pinch the coil at opposite points, placing one of the pinch points where the initial strip end is located inside the coil as this will hide it.

c. Trim excess strip and glue the ends in place.

hand showing a rolled paper coil on quilling needle tool
Rolling a ring coil on the large dowel (needle tool handle)
3. Make Six Diamond Coils

a. Wrap a strip (approx 4.5 inches or 11.43cm ) five times around a small dowel and slide the coil off without allowing it to expand.

b. Pinch opposite points as for a marquise, then turn the marquise 90 degrees and pinch two more points to create a square.

c. Compress the square between your thumb and index finger to make a diamond shape.

d. Trim excess strip and glue the ends in place.

fingers making a quilled marquise
Pinching a ring coil to make a marquise. Turning it 90 degrees and making two more pinches creates a square that can be compressed slightly to form a diamond.

4. Make Six Tight Coils

a. Roll a 2-inch (5.08cm) strip on a quilling tool (or cocktail stick); don't allow it to relax.

b. Glue the end and slide the coil off the tool.

rolling a green quilling strip on a paper piercing tool
Rolling a tight coil on the tip of a paper piercer, a quilling needle or slotted tool substitute.
Optional:
1. Use tweezers to compress a tight coil to make an oval tight coil.
2. For a dimensional look, curve the top of a tight coil by pressing the ball head of a pin against one flat side to create a dome. Apply a small amount of glue inside the coil to preserve its shape.

Five quilled snowflakes made with metallic edge and plain quilling strips
Gold, silver, and turquoise snowflakes have domed tight coils, hot pink has oval tight coils, and white has plain tight coils.
5. Assemble the Snowflake

Tip: For the neatest look, hide a coil's glued end by butting it up against another coil.

a. Handling the coils with tweezers, glue each marquise to the center ring coil, evenly spacing them around it.

b. Glue a diamond between each marquise so that the side points of the diamond touch the side midpoints of the marquises.

c. Glue a tight coil to the tip of each diamond.

d. Turn the snowflake over and apply tiny dots of glue at each join as reinforcement.

e. Thread about eight inches of fine metallic cord through one of the marquises and tie a hanging loop.

Tip: If you choose to wear your snowflake as a pendant, treat it as you would any fine jewelry... last thing on, first thing off, and store it in a safe, dry place.

 

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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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Comments

  1. You DO have the best tutorials! And I love the metallic edged papers, which you put me onto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you, Traci, I'm glad you think so! I love writing them and yes about the papers... they turn the ordinary into something special.

      Delete

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