Making a Quilled Paper Chess Set with Light-Up Board

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Making a Quilled Paper Chess Set with Light-Up Board


We’ve posted a number of popular pieces recently on “quilling,” aka “paper filigree.” This is a method of paper craft where you twirl, twist, and fold paper to make decorative shapes. It’s amazing to see some of the elaborate projects people have managed using quilled paper.

In this impressive quilling project, Instructable member Linda Rose, of Linda Rose Design, documents how she made this gorgeous chess set and light-up chess board (and storage box) using paper almost exclusively. The frame for the board and storage box are wood, the board is covered in plexi, and she used LED strips for the lighting, but the rest is nothing more that lovingly twisted and shaped strips of colored paper.

quilledChessSet_9The Instructable is quite long, documenting first the construction of the simple wooden box and the LED lighting. From there, Linda shows you how to quill. In this set of images, you can see how the three components that make up a pawn are made and then put together.

quilledA few more examples of the finished pieces. Here is a finished Knight.

quilledThe finished Blue Queen.

quilledThe Blue King.

quilledBeginning work on quilling the squares that will make up the chess board.

quilledThe final squares ready to be installed inside of the frame.

quilledThe board assembled and slotted into the storage box. Everything fits neat and tidy.

quilledThe Blue forces are in position and ready to challenge the army of the White King.


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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