Tag Archives: markers

QUILLING: Techniques, Tools and Definitions

QUILLING: Techniques, Tools and Definitions




Quilling (also known as paper-scrolling) is a paper art whereby multicolored strips of paper are shaped, scrolled and pasted to produce various shapes and objects. Assemble and grouped together, they form a work of art. Historically, paper quilling dates back to ancient Egypt.

Buy or paper strips make them from paper that is flexible. Other considerations are weight and thickness.

3mm width is the standard and preferable width. Larger works may need 6 mm width while 1.5 mm is preferable for embellishments and smaller pieces.

Thick colored paper or watercolor paper is referable for the background. When using colored paper, organize the background color so that it contrasts or blends with the colors of the composition. The paper that is thick, smooth and stiff is ideal.


Slotted tool – This is used for scrolling the strips; insert paper strip into the slot and roll or use the handle for bigger coils.

Small bamboo knife – Use it for smoothing and scrapping the paper strips.

Straight pins – These help fix shapes of the designs.

Glue – Use it for pasting strips, etc. on the background.

Curved tip tweezers – Use them to grip, place and fix small pieces or strips.

Needle tool or toothpick or other applicator – Use them to apply glue on paper strips.

Scissors – They are used for trimming and cutting.

Paper shears – Shears are used for special effects’

Utility knife –  A utility knife is used to cut.

Tweezers – They are used to hold paper while quilling or gluing.

Ruler – This is used to measure the paper.

Dowels – Dowels are used to help make various coils (fingers work, too).

Markers, watercolors, paints and brushes – These materials and tools are used for coloring and/or designing your papers.

Board/card stock – These are used for pinning or gluing the coils in place.


Smoothing  – Hold one end of the strip between your left thumb and index finger. Use your right hand to smooth the strip with the bamboo knife with your right thumb on top. This will create a curl. This can also be done by using only your right thumb and finger.

Scraping – Using the bamboo knife, scrap the strip very hard between your thumb and knife or scrape hard with your thumb and index finger.

Scraping and smoothing require using different strengths. Smoothing is the preparation before shaping, scraping and scraping is part of shaping.

Bending – Bend the strip with both hands to create a curve.

Scrolling – Use a slotted tool or small cylinder to scroll the strip to form a coil.

Pulling – Stack several strips and glue one end. Use one hand to loosely hold the middle of the stack and use the other hand to pull the strips into different lengths to create a shape.

Pasting – Pasting fixes the processed strips to form basic shapes and for mounting those shapes on the background. Proper placing and mounting of the last composition is important for overall effect.

Pinching – After scrolling the strip, use your finger to pinch the coil. This creates many variations and shapes.

Pressing – Use thumb and index finger to press the strip or coil to form a shape.

Stacking – Stack several “elements” to crate layering and three-dimensional effects. Add more layers as needed.

Adjusting – Adjust basic components, strips, shapes and compositions to create the best effect.




Share Button

Summer Camp: Paper Bag Animals/Paper Bag Pets

Summer Camp: Paper Bag Animals/Paper Bag Pets


Paper Bag People and Animals

Paper Bag People and Animals


Lunch size paper bags, brown or white

Newspaper (or similar material)



Scraps of construction paper

Paste or glue

Ribbon and/or yarn

Sequins, buttons, seeds (for eyes, nose mouth)

Crayon and/or markers and/or colored pencils

Clip art


Pipe cleaners (for whiskers)

Wiggle eyes

Rubber Band




  1. Choose the pet or animal you will make.
  2. Stuff 1/3 of the bag tightly with crumbled or strips of newspaper (or similar material) to form the head (about two or three sheets).
  3. Gather the bag at the base of the head. Tie it securely with string or yarn.
  4. Stuff the rest of the bag with more newspaper and tape the bottom of the bag closed.
  5. Cut eyes, nose, mouth, and paws from construction paper or use sequins, buttons or seeds. Use pipe cleaners for the whiskers.
  6. Tie a ribbon or piece of yarn around the neck.
  7. Add buttons or other decorations to dress up you paper bag pet or person.

Alternative Projects:

  1. Make a paper bag person. Use yarn for hair and wiggle eyes. Follow the directions above.
  2. Stuff only the top 1/3 of the bag. Insert a long stick (like a ruler) into the head and secure with string, yarn or a rubber band. Use as a puppet and put on a play for your friends! Read the books below for more ideas:

Gauch, Patricia Lee. Poppy’s Puppet

Marsh, Valerie. Puppet Tales




Share Button

Summer Camp: One Way to Make an Abstract Design

Summer Camp: One Way to Make an Abstract Design


Abstract Design

Abstract Design





Construction or bond paper


  1. Find interesting objects in your home and trace them.
  2. Arrange them on construction or bond paper creating an abstract design.
  3. Trace the objects with markers or pencils or crayons. Trace one object at a time, adding objects as you go or lay them all down and trace them.
  4. Remove the objects from the paper. Choose three colors or two colors plus black. Now add patterns to the traced objects: dots, stripes, zigzags, checks or color some of the areas in the design.
  5. Mat the abstract design and display it or use it as a cover for a favorite book.



Trace one object, turning the paper as you trace. Or overlap the object by placing it vertically, horizontally, upside down, etc.


Share Button

Summer Camp: Sponge Painting

Summer Camp: Sponge Painting
Sponge Painting: The Sun

Sponge Painting: The Sun



Household sponges in various shapes and sizes (Household sponges found in grocery stores can create interesting patterns and designs.)

Craft paints in various colors

Water jar

Paint palette or paper palette

Printing paper like bond or rice paper or sheets of canvas

Markers or colored pencils.

  1. Draw a design or picture on a piece of paper and use it as reference for the sponge painting. Or draw directly on the surface that you are going to paint, i.e., a sheet of canvas.
  2. Cut small pieces of the sponge from the larger sponge. To create an abstract design, snip tinier pieces from the divided pieces of the larger sponge.
  3. Squeeze the paints on the palette.
  4. Dampen the sponges and squeeze out the excess water.
  5. Dab the sponge in the paint and dab it on a piece of scrap paper to test the design and the amount of paint needed. A lot of paint on a sponge will create large blobs of color on the paper or canvas.
  6. With the design as reference, dab the paint on to the paper. Do not drag the sponge because that will smear the paint (unless smearing is the effect you want to create).
  7. Remember to wash and rinse the sponge to use again or use a separate sponge for each color.
  8. Continue until you have completed the painting. Add details with a marker or colored pencil when the paint is dry.

NOTE:  In the example above,  the central design was painted first, then the background.


Create a sponge painting on wood or stone.


Inspired by Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin

Share Button

Intro to Summer Camp: Paper Garland Sign

Intro to Summer Camp: Paper Garland Sign


Paper in various colors



Ruler or yard stick


Glue stick

Hole puncher

Pipe cleaners, string, paper twists or similar material

Number stencils or templates (optional)

One chain link fence

  1. Make a sign for your clubhouse or to celebrate the beginning of summer and the end of school. Make a loop for every letter of your sign and for the space between the words. Make a loop at the beginning of your sign which will be blank and a loop for the end of your sign which will also be blank. For example, a sign that says “School is out!” will have 11 loops for the words, one for the exclamation mark, two for the spaces between words and an extra loop at each end. That would be a total of sixteen loops.
  2. Use four or five different colored papers. Measure and cut the colored papers into six or more ½” x 8” strips.
  3. Glue one strip of paper measuring ½” x 8” overlapping the ends. Then glue a strip of paper measuring ½” x 8” through the first loop. Alternate the colors of the paper strips until you have the required number of paper loops forming a garland. Use the photograph for reference.
  4. Next, cut paper rectangles in various colors about 1 1/2” by 3.” Make enough to spell out your message.
  5. Trace a letter on each paper rectangle by using a template, stencil or free hand. Trace any exclamation, question mark or symbol, too.
  6. Punch a hole at the top of each paper rectangle. Punch a hole in the loops. Do not punch holes in the first and last loops and the loops that represent spaces between words.
  7. Cut string or pipe cleaners or similar material and loop it through the holes.
  8. Or use your imagination and glue seeds, glitter, sequins and other decorative objects!
  9. Tie a string through the first and last loops and tie them on to the fence. Don’t forget to add extra loops when you change the message!
Share Button

Our Imaginations! Part 2: A Tale of Two Umbrellas!

Our Imaginations! Part 2: A Tale of Two Umbrellas!
Yellow Umbrella

Yellow Umbrella

Read: The Yellow Umbrella by Caitlin Dundon

A little boy and his mother are hurrying to school and work. It is a rainy day and they are almost late. The little boy spots a yellow “umbrellow” in the gutter. “Umbrella,” his mother corrects him and hurries him along.

A gust of wind blows his mother’s black umbrella inside out and it breaks.

When they reach his school, the little boy sees all kinds of umbrellas: red ones, blue ones,  orange ones, umbrellas with polka dots and “shapes of all kinds.” There are “even ones with Mickey Mouses.” When his mother picks him up at the end of the school day, she has a surprise for him.

Project: Paint an old umbrella yellow (or any color you wish) and/or decorate it with dots or stripes or Mickey Mouses!


An old umbrella






Silk flowers



Paint in squeeze bottles


Additional Reading:

The Umbrella by Jan Brett

The Umbrella Day by Nancy Evans

Umbrella by Taro Yashima

*Copyright Art work by Marion Constantinides 2015

Share Button