Pretty Paper Curls are Perfectly Pleasing


My mom’s birthday was just a few weeks ago and I had no idea what to get her. For the past couple of years, I’ve always included a handmade card in her gift but this year I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to give her something I made to reflect how much she means to me.

Just before Pinterest became an addiction, I had discovered quilling. Quilling is the process of rolling strips of paper into shapes and using them to create art. One artist in particular, Yulia Brodskaya, just amazed me with the magic she creates out of paper. Here is just a small sample of her amazing work that can be found through Pinterest



If you want to be more amazed click here to go directly to her website (but please come back).


Since discovering Yulia and quilling, I’ve made a few attempts at it and had some decent success with a card here and there. But this is Mom’s birthday, I had to do something special! I had seen quilled letters around the internet, but I used  a great tutorial from Kara at



I didn’t cut my own strips of paper like Kara did,I already had with this quilling kit. I  crossed my fingers and gave it a try.


First I  printed an N on to a plain sheet of paper. In Kara’s tutorial, she glued the the colored paper directly onto the paper that the letter is printed on. I was afraid the printing would show through so I took a different approach. I had learned from watching diffrerent videos on quilling, that using a foam board like this is good to hold things in place until you’re ready to glue them down. So, I folded strips of white paper from the quilling kit, following the outline of the letter and used the pins to hold it in place instead of glue.


Once I had the outline done, I glued it to a large piece of white paper and started filling it in with colorful curls of paper. The curls are made by coiling different lengths of  paper around a quilling tool and then shaping them. Each piece is  glued down by just barely dipping the edge  into white Elmer’s glue.  The tweezers help hold the small pieces when dipping them into the glue and setting them in place. It is amazing how little glue it takes to hold them down.



I continued to fill in the N with no specific plan. I just made different kinds of shapes and used lots of  bright colors.




I worked on this project over a few evenings. I think if I added up all of the time it was probably close to 4 hours. I probably could have finished faster but I fussed over the quilled shapes a lot. When it was done, I framed it in a shadow box type frame that is made to hold 12″x 12″ scrapbook pages. The frame has space between the glass and the back so it didn’t crush the paper.  I bought the frame after I started the project and got lucky that it fit. I would recommend buying the frame first.




I rate this Pinterest inspired project……





I’m really happy with how it turned out and it was fun to make!  Best of all, Mom, aka Ninfa, seemed happy to receive it. I see more quilling in my future. I may never reach the likes of Yulia but that wont stop me from trying! Will you give quilling a try?


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Cynthia Sanchez
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