The craft of paper quilling is a fun, inexpensive hobby that can elevate any card, gift bag, or photo frame. In addition to being a creative outlet, it can also improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. It also requires attention to detail, and learning the process of rolling and pinching can boost cognitive function over time — a skill that can translate into other areas of life.
Though the exact origins of this historic art are unclear, it became popular during the 16th and 17th centuries when French and Italian nuns used it to decorate religious items as a cheaper alternative to metal filigree. Today, paper quilling has made a big comeback on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, with many talented artists showing off their modern takes on the technique.
One such artist is Yulia Brodskaya, who creates sculptural three-dimensional works out of paper. Her work is a wonderful collision of contemporary style and age-old technique, and she frequently shares videos of her process on her Instagram page.
To get started with your own paper quilling projects, all you need is long strips of colorful paper and a few other basic tools. You can either purchase pre-cut strips online or cut them yourself with a ruler and an X-Acto knife or scissors. If you’re serious about improving your quilling skills, invest in a slotted tool with a needle around which the paper can be rolled. A tweezer is also helpful to get the precise shapes you’re after. Paper Quilling Art