Travel & Leisure

Quilling: Of Loops and Quaint Paper Strips

Quilling: Of Loops and Quaint Paper Strips

Have you ever wished you can build something pretty with your own bare hands? For people gifted with drawing skills, that’s simply a piece of cake. However, if you’re one of those who can’t draw a stick figure to save your life and are maybe looking for other fun yet equally creative outlet, then you've come to the right page. You may want to try Quilling.

“Wait. Quilling, what?” you may say. Sure, it’s not as popular as the latest trends like Adult Coloring but once you get a hand (or both your hands) on it, you might not want to stop.

(ALSO READ - Adult Coloring: Bring Out the Fun and Zen in Hue)


Basically, Quilling is defined as the use of narrow strips of paper that are looped, curled, rolled, twisted and glued together to create decorative designs. Also called paper filigree, Quilling originated from the Renaissance period when the intricate details were used on metal doors which then evolved to paper art.

It is for everyone interested to try something a little different and fun while impatient people, on the other hand, may also develop an ability to stretch their patience as this activity takes time and requires attention to details.

Having a remarkable commitment and passion for Quilling, twenty-four year old Vireza Yu or Vire as her friends call her shares, “I especially love using paper because paper is so versatile that you can almost do anything with it. Paper Quilling was introduced to me when I was in elementary. I learned how to make basic shapes to create flowers and animals. And from then on, it was my favourite!”

And she wasn’t kidding with that. She even used Quilling as her chosen technique when she did her thesis to re-illustrate a children’s book. From then, she continued to create more pieces which helped improved her style and enabled her to make some income from it. Of course, that didn’t come without challenges. Along the way, her craft encounters different levels of acceptance.

She expresses, “You need to always be open for criticisms to be better (criticisms are everywhere and never-ending). You just learn to choose which to keep in mind and which to forget along the way.” And with love and commitment for what she does, she successfully takes on Quilling as a full-time endeavor.

To help get you started and see if you would like it as much as she does, Vire reveals a few tips and notes to bear in mind.

  • Don’t be discouraged if you can’t sketch. You can always find printable outlines from the internet which you can use as pattern for your artwork.
  • Organize your materials e.g. paper strips, glue, scissors, etc. for less hassle and easier access.
  • Have enough room for your workspace enough to let you move around freely.
  • Look around and find inspiration in your surroundings. You might surprise yourself with what you can do after enjoying a rooftop scenery.
  • Since Quilling can be a little intense with repetition, it’s crucial to take breaks once in a while to avoid burnouts.
  • Once you get the basics, explore other styles and experiment from there.

Overall, Quilling is like a painting. Vireza adds, “You need to have a clear picture in mind on what you want to create. It starts with sketching, to preparing the colors, and making it until finished.”

But the bottom line here really is…


 Photos by Vireza Yu of Twists and Curls Unlimited 




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