By Ann Martin
Learn to make two types of quilled bows to decorate a Christmas card. Even a small amount of quilling will add a touch of elegance. You’ll be able to create a batch of cards quite quickly, especially if they are made assembly line style. I find it makes the job go faster when I prepare the essentials in stages – cut and fold all of the card blanks first, cut squares and rectangles of velvet paper for the packages, cut strips of ribbon, etc. When the components are ready, affix them one type at a time to all of the cards before going on to the next step.
Because the bows and buttons are quite flat and surprisingly sturdy, the cards should go through the mail without any problem or requiring extra postage. If you feel better adding a layer of protection, place a rectangle of bubble wrap over the card front before slipping it into an envelope.
Cardstock, black, cream, white
Velvet paper, red, green
Quilling paper, 1/8 inch – white, silver, gold
Glue stick or tape runner Craft glue, one that dries clear and is suitable for paper Glass head pins
Non-stick workboard, can be a Styrofoam tray or cork covered with waxed paper
Paper piercing tool or toothpick, to apply glue
Plastic lid, to use as glue palette Paper cutter
Ribbon, 3/8 x 4 inches (2) metallic gold
Buttons or stickers, snowflake (2), 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch
Pliers, to remove button shanks
Chalk, gold metallic
Gel pen, white or gold to write a message inside card
Quilling tool, an ultra-fine slotted tool produces a smaller coil center than a standard slotted tool, but even a toothpick or long needle can be used as a substitute tool.
Note: If you don’t have access to quilling paper, use a paper cutter to cut lightweight paper into 1/8 inch strips. I used regular computer paper for the bows, and silver and gold “trim paper” as ribbon on the packages. Trim paper is available from many online quilling suppliers.
Step 1: Score and fold a 10″ x 7″ piece of black cardstock to make a 5″ x 7″ card. Cut cream cardstock 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. Glue a piece of ribbon diagonally across the upper left and lower right corners of the cream card, fold excess around edges, and glue to back of card. Adhere cream card to center of black card with glue stick or tape runner.
Step 2: Cut out packages.
red rectangle – 2 1/4″ x 1 3/8″
green rectangle – 3″ x 1″
white rectangle – 1 5/8″ x 2 1/2″
red square – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″
Step 3: Glue strips of quilling paper on packages to resemble ribbon. Cut strips slightly longer than needed; fold excess behind package and glue ends.
Red rectangle: white quilling paper
Green rectangle: silver quilling paper
White rectangle: gold quilling paper
Red square: silver quilling paper
Glue packages on cream card with glue stick or tape runner.
Step 4: Use pliers to snap shanks off snowflake buttons. Glue buttons to packages. Stickers are even easier.
Step 5: Quilled teardrop (make 5): Slide one end of a 5 inch white quilling strip into tool slot and roll tool evenly, winding the paper.
Allow coil to relax and slide it off tool.
Step 6: Pinch coil to make a teardrop shape. It may help to use a straight pin to pull the coil center to the rounded bottom of the teardrop and then space the coil inner rotations evenly with the pin before pinching the tip to a sharp point.
Glue end of strip in place and trim excess paper at point.
Step 7: Working on a non-stick surface, glue teardrops together to create a bow shape, positioning with straight pins until the glue dries. (I like to use an overturned Sytrofoam tray from the grocery store as a workboard.) Glue bow on top of red square package: Spread a thin layer of glue on a plastic palette, such as the lid of a large yogurt container. Use tweezers to hold the bow and lightly touch its underside to glue, then place bow directly on package.
Step 8: Quilled bow loop (make 2): Wrap white quilling paper 4 times around the handle of quilling tool, or any object with a diameter of approximately 1/2″. Glue end.
Pinch to make loop.
Step 9: Bow knot: Roll a 3″ strip of white quilling paper. Glue end without allowing coil to relax. Slide off tool and pinch with tweezers to flatten coil to an oval.
Step 10: Bow tail (make 2): Make a ¼ inch fold at one end of a white quilling strip. Make a loose loop around this fold, encircling it.
Wrap paper 3 more times around these loops, making each loop slightly larger than the previous one. Glue strip at bottom and trim excess paper.
Step 11: Hold at glued end and pinch loops between thumb and index finger to make a narrow, curved shape. Each bow tail will be about 3/4″ long.
Step 12: Working on a non-stick surface, glue all five components together to form a bow, holding in position with pins until glue is dry. Glue to top of red rectangle package using same gluing method as for the teardrop bow.
Step 13: Dab gold chalk on the cream card with a fingertip, working around the embellishments. Smudge the chalk with fingers for an overall metallic glimmer.
Ribbon Tree Holiday Cards
About the Author:
Ann Martin of all things paper is a quilling enthusiast who loves introducing the craft to others. She teaches, designs projects for books and magazines, and is especially hooked on making paper filigree jewelry.