By Ann Martin
Paper pendants composed of colorful quilling strips are fun and inexpensive gifts to make for young girls on your birthday or holiday shopping list. Children as young as nine or ten might also enjoy making them for their friends. The supplies are simple: a slotted quilling tool and pre-cut quilling strips in assorted colors, both of which can be found in most craft stores. For a dressier look, beautiful metallic strips are available from online suppliers.
Wear a pendant on a necklace chain or cording, or cluster a few together as charms. They can even be hung as ornaments on a miniature Christmas tree. Because there are a zillion ways to mix colors and to shape the paper discs, no two pendants need be exactly the same. They’re a great exercise in expressing creativity.
My best tip is to not roll the paper so tightly that the discs can’t be easily shaped. With a bit of practice, you’ll determine the right amount of finger tension to get the desired result.
To apply glue to the paper strips, I find it’s easiest to first put a dab of glue on a plastic lid. Dip from it as needed, using the tip of a paper piercing tool or a toothpick. Use less glue rather than more, as it takes a surprisingly small amount. Keep a damp cloth handy to wipe fingers. The rolled paper can also be gently wiped with the cloth, should it become sticky when assembling the components.
The finished pendant measures about 1 1/2″ long x 1/2″ diameter.
1/8″ quilling paper (standard size) , light blue, black, light pink, dark green, purple, medium blue, aqua. Available at Lake City Craft Co..
Glue, any type suitable for paper
Paper piercing tool or toothpick to apply glue
Plastic lid to use as glue palette
Slotted quilling tool
Paper shaping tools such as pen cap and pencil point
2 pairs of jewelry pliers
Small container to hold glue/water mixture
Jump ring, select size to accommodate necklace of choice
Necklace chain or cording
Damp cloth to wipe fingers or paper
The pendant shown here is the one we will be making.
Step 1: Make extra-long strips of quilling paper by joining strips together before rolling: Apply a small amount of glue to the torn end of one strip and lay the torn end of another strip on the glue, overlapping strip ends slightly. Allow glue to dry. Make three 40″ long strips (purple, dark green, and light pink).
Step 2: Roll a disc of each color using the three 40″ strips. To make a disc: Feed one end of a strip into the quilling tool slot. The strip end doesn’t need to extend beyond the slot. Roll the strip using even tension. When the strip is fully rolled, apply a small amount of glue to the torn end and glue it in place. (A torn end blends better than a cut end.) Allow the glue to set for a moment before sliding the coil off the tool. If the disc surface is uneven, smooth it by placing it flat on a table and rolling the quilling tool handle back and forth across it a few times, as if using a rolling pin.
Step 3: Connect 20″ of aqua quilling paper to 20″ of medium blue paper. Roll the strip onto the tool beginning with the aqua end. When the disc is fully rolled, glue the torn blue end and slide the coil off the tool.
Step 4: Use the rounded end of the quilling tool or a pen cap to press against one side of the aqua/blue disc to shape it. Apply a thin coating of glue inside the coil to preserve its shape using the tip of a paper piercing tool or toothpick.
Step 5: Make a small disc using a 9″ black strip. Shape it to a point with a paper piercing tool or pencil point. Apply a thin coating of glue inside the coil to preserve its shape.
Step 6a: Roll a 24″ black disc. Shape the disc with your fingertip or the rounded end of slotted tool. Apply a thin layer of glue to the inside of the shaped coil.
Step 6b: Before the glue dries completely, make an indentation at the top of the coil by pressing down on it with a pen cap or the handle from your pliers. This is where the light blue ring coil will later be secured.
Step 7a: Make a small ring coil by wrapping a light blue strip around the handle of the slotted tool 4-5 times.
Step 7b: Slide the coil off the handle, trim excess paper, glue down the end, and pinch two opposing points to create a marquise ring coil.
Step 8: Assemble the pendant: Apply a coating of glue to one flat side of the purple disc. Position the dark green disc on top and repeat with the light pink disc. Take care to line up join marks where strip ends were glued (this will be the back of the pendant). Glue the aqua/blue coil to the underside of the purple disc. Center and glue the small black pointed coil to the aqua/blue coil. Center and glue the rounded black coil to the top of the light pink disc.
Step 9: Position and glue the light blue marquise ring coil to the indentation in the rounded black disc.
Step 10: Attach a jump ring to the light blue marquise ring coil. To open the jump ring without distorting the circle: Position the ring with the opening at the top. Grasp each side firmly with a pair of jewelry pliers. With a twisting motion, pull forward on one side and push back on the opposite side. Slip the open jump ring through the marquise ring coil. Close the jump ring by reversing these steps.
Step 11: Glazing protects the pendant and makes the colors more vibrant. To glaze: Blend a small amount of glue with a few drops of water. (A prepared product such as Mod Podge or Liquitex Varnish can be used instead.) Hold the pendant by the jump ring and brush on a thin coating of glaze. Suspend the pendant on a necklace chain or cording that has been taped across the rim of a cup. Allow the pendant to dry completely. Wear and enjoy!
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.