Quilled Earrings Tutorial - Three Styles + a Bonus

It's been way too long since I last shared one of my quilled jewelry tutorials. I'm making up for that right now with three - no, make that four - new styles of gift-worthy paper earrings. The beauty of this how-to is that each of the designs is quite different from the others, yet all are made with the same two types of quilled components... the teardrop ring coil and the domed tight coil. Let's get started:


three styles of quilled earrings displayed on wooden surface

SUPPLIES [includes Amazon and Etsy affiliate links]

supplies for making quilled jewelry displayed on wooden table

Quilling supplies (L to R): ruler, quilling strips, clay modeling tool, long tweezers, 

glass head pin, super-fine slotted tool, plastic lid, detail scissors, clear glue

Quilling paper - I used silver-edge ivory and gold-edge blue strips (1/8", 3mm) to make these three pairs of earrings. If you are new to quilling and would rather cut your own paper instead of ordering specialty strips, choose light to medium weight paper and cut strips by using a craft knife, metal-edged ruler, and cutting mat.


fingers holding blue quilled earring above wooden surface on which additional quilled earrings are placed

The earrings in the first photo that are shiny gold on the front surface are actually blue when viewed from the sides and back... a nice surprise that will cause people to say, "Wait, are your earrings made of paper?"


Quilling paper note: Quilled Creations and Quilling Supply have quite a few choices of shiny metallic edge quilling strips and also colored edge quilling paper that is essentially tone on tone... a shiny blue edge on blue strips or magenta on magenta, for example. I used A Touch of Silver ivory strips for the two pairs that look plain ivory in the photos. The silver edge is more subtle than shiny metallic edge strips, but still pretty, especially when seen in person. 

Quilling tool - slotted tool or needle tool or even a stiff wire such as a cake tester from your kitchen drawer 


Quilling tool notes: My favorite slotted tool has a super-fine slot (the bright blue tool, as pictured). The center crimp that results from its slot is barely noticeable. You can read more about the tool here and how it saved my hands. It is available via Etsy shop Quilling Maggie located in Japan, although shipping is currently slower than usual due to Covid restrictions. Contact Maggie via her shop link or email her at info@e-bison.co.jp for ordering details.

Alternatively, Quilled Creations makes a Savvy Slotted Tool that produces almost as small a crimp as the Japanese precision tool.


A needle tool is more difficult to master, but has the advantage of producing no center crimp.


Glue - I like Elmer's Clear School Glue or Scotch Clear Glue. White craft glue that dries clear is another popular choice with experienced quillers.

Detail Scissors   


Long tweezers

Clay modeling tool - to make ring coils, position coils, apply glue, etc.


Glass head pins - to apply glue and hold coils in position while glue sets



Non-stick surface - use as a work board. Examples: acrylic sheet, waxed paper, or Styrofoam tray.


Plastic or foil lid - use as glue palette

Damp cloth - sticky fingers and quilling don't mix

Jewelry pliers - flat nose (2)

Open jump rings - sized by mm; I used 4 and 6mm; silvertone, goldtone

Pierced ear wires


Clip on earring findings



Notice that the smallest silver-edge ivory earring pair uses two sets of three teardrop rings coils with a large domed tight coil positioned between the two sets. 


pair of ivory paper quilled earrings with silver ear wires displayed on wooden table

The gold-edge blue design has four sets of three teardrop ring coils with three large domed tight coils placed in the center. 


pair of gilded paper quilled earrings with golden earring clips displayed on wooden table

The largest silver-edge ivory pair also has four sets of three teardrop ring coils, but just two of the large domed tight coils are placed in the center along with eight small domed tight coils placed around the perimeter.

pair of square ivory paper quilled earrings with silver ear wires displayed on wooden table


quilling strip wrapped around handle of metal tool and held in place with index finger

1. Wrap a quilling strip (approximately 4.5 inches) five times around a tool handle that measures approximately 1/4-inch in diameter. I used the handle of a clay modeling tool.
2. Slide the coil off the tool without allowing it to relax and pinch one point to create a teardrop shape. 
3.Glue the strip at the point and trim excess paper.
For designs with large domed tight coils, use a 2 1/4-inch quilling strip to make each one.
For the small domed tight tight coils, use a 1 3/8-inch quilling strip for each.
1. Roll the strip on your quilling tool all the way to the end. 
2. Apply glue to the strip end while the coil is still on the tool, hold the coil for a moment while the glue sets, then slip it off the tool. 

thumb and index finger of two hands hold ball head pin that is placed against a quilled tight coil
3. Press against one flat side of the coil with a glass head pin and/or a smaller ball head pin (pictured: this is the type sometimes used by manufacturers to package men's shirts) to create a dome. Apply a tiny bit of glue inside the dome with a pin to hold the domed shape.
three pairs of quilled earrings displayed with quilling supplies on wooden surface
Assembly in progress - bottom left pair is not yet glued


My gluing method is simple... I pour a small puddle of glue onto a plastic or foil lid and use the tip of a glass head pin or clay modeling tool to apply glue to the end of each coil. 
Quilling requires far less glue than you might expect. Strive for just the right amount; not too much.
Long tweezers and a clay modeling tool come in handy when positioning and gluing the components together on a non-stick work surface (I use an overturned Styrofoam tray).
quilling supplies for making quilled earring displayed on overturned Styrofoam tray


1. Working on a non-stick work surface, position and glue components to one another using the tip of a clay modeling tool or a glass head pin. Use small amounts of glue, but enough to hold the coils together securely. No excess glue should show on the front or back of the earring.
2. Begin by gluing teardrop coils together into units of three, then place one, two, or three large domed tight coils as the central elements, depending on the earring style you've chosen to make. Finish the largest silver-edge ivory earrings by adding small domed tight coils to the perimeter as shown in the photos. 
3. Your earrings may be smaller or larger than mine depending on your strips and tool, but to give you an idea of finished sizes, the smallest silver-edge ivory earring (findings not included) measure 1 1/8" x 1/2", the gold-edge blue earrings measure 1 3/8" x 1 1/4", and the largest silver-edge ivory earrings measure 1 1/4" x 1 1/4".


If you notice a small gap between the rotations in the completed coil, turn it over and apply a tiny amount of glue in the gap with the tip of a glass head pin. Then pinch the coil with tweezers at the glued area for a moment while the glue sets.
Always hide the glued end of a domed tight coil by butting it against another coil.
Use the tip of a clay modeling tool to round out the slotted tool crimp that is left behind in the center of a domed tight coil.  


I usually find that no fixative is required when making quilled earrings because they generally receive very little handling and stay out of harm's way when worn. Also, many fixatives will likely lessen the metallic shine. However, if you must to use a fixative - perhaps you live in a very humid climate, for example - brush a light coating or two on the back of the earring. I have occasionally used Liquitex Matte Medium which works well.
Use the jewelry pliers to twist open and twist close the jump rings. Open the 6mm jump ring and slide it onto one of the end teardrop ring coils. Close it. Then open and slide the 4mm jump ring onto the 6mm ring and also onto the ear wire or clip earring. Close the jump ring. 
Enjoy showing off your new earrings!
pair of decorative gold edge ivory quilled earrings displayed on wooden surface and shown with skein of gold-edge quilling strips

This gold-edge ivory design is made up of the very same teardrop ring coils and domed tight coils as the other three patterns, yet it has quite a different look. This is done by gluing the teardrop ring coil trios with the points facing outward instead of toward the center. Also, instead of a trio of teardrop ring coils on each side of the center domed tight coils, just two teardrop coils are used. This style of earring is the longest of the four, measuring 1 1/2" x 1".
two different quilled earrings on wooden surface with clay modeling tool
Just one of the many surprises I love about quilling is that there is practically an endless number of ways to arrange coils, all of which result in pretty designs. Have fun coming up with your own... I'm positive you can!


Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. Just lovely to see another tutorial! And I just happen to have some metallic edged strips....Yea!

  2. So beautiful, Ann! Thanks for your tutorial.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I try to respond to questions within 24 hours, so please check back.