Guest Feature: Filigree Pendants
We’re delighted to present a quilling tutorial today contributed by Ann Martin. (If you would like to write for Folding Trees, see our Submissions page for details.)
Discover the art of paper filigree and make an elegant gold-gilded seashell or starfish pendant:
Find out how to make these projects with our tutorial:
You will need:
- Quilling paper, black with gold-gilded edge, 1/8 inch width (standard size). Specialty quilling paper is available from online suppliers, or you can gild plain black paper by running a gold leafing pen along the edge
- Quilling tool
- Glue (suitable for paper)
- Glass-head straight pin
- T-pin or paper piercing tool (to apply glue)
- Tweezers (to aid in coil positioning)
- Crimping tool
- Plastic lid (to use as glue palette)
- Non-stick work board e.g. waxed paper or Styrofoam tray (to assemble parts)
- Damp cloth or paper towel (to keep fingers glue-free)
- 2 flat nose jewelry pliers
- Jump rings
- Purchased necklace chain or satin cording
Basic Quilling Instructions:
If you are brand new to quilling, purchase a package of plain quilling strips or use a paper trimmer to cut strips from computer text weight paper – either will be fine for practice. You’ll also need a tool with which to roll the strips. Some quillers use only their fingers, but there is also the choice of a needle tool or slotted tool, available at arts and crafts stores or from online suppliers.
If you prefer that your coils not have the center crimp that a slotted tool produces, use a needle tool. It takes a bit more effort to learn to quill with a needle tool, but with practice you’ll soon be making evenly rolled coils.
To roll a coil with a needle tool, dampen fingertips and curve one end of strip across needle. Use the thumb and index finger of whichever hand is most comfortable to roll the paper around the needle. Use even pressure and be sure to roll the paper, not the tool. When strip end is reached, allow the coil to relax, slide it off the tool, and glue the end. This relaxed roll is called a loose coil and is the basic building block of many types of quilled shapes.
TIP: Always use the smallest amount of glue possible – none should show on the finished project.
To roll a coil with a slotted tool, slide strip end into slot; turn tool with one hand while evenly guiding paper with the other.
Rolling a coil with a slotted tool
If the coil end is glued while the paper is still wound snugly, this is called a tight coil.
TIP: A torn strip end (rather than cut bluntly with scissors) blends best to give a tight coil a perfectly round shape.
Wheatears are looped columns that make up the seashell body and starfish arms. To make a wheatear:
- Make a ¼ inch fold at one end of a 10 inch (approx) strip (see A, above).
- Loop strip completely around this fold; apply glue at the bottom of the loop to anchor it (see B, above).
- Continue making evenly spaced loops, holding wheatear at bottom anchor point while doing so. Each successive loop should be slightly larger (taller) than the previous loop. Shape loops gently as you go to form a column (see C, above).
- Glue end and trim excess paper.
1. Make 9 wheatears:
Make 2 with 3 loops
Make 2 with 4 loops
Make 2 with 5 loops
Make 3 with 6 loops
2. Glue wheatears side by side with tallest three in center; arrange remaining wheatears by descending height on each side of center loops.
3. Make shell base – roll an 18 inch strip to make a loose coil. Grasp at glue join and at opposite side. Pinch to create two points – this is called a marquise.
4. Shape marquise by holding both points and pressing toward coil center. Glue at base of wheatears.
5. Stack and glue two 3 inch strips to make a double strip for increased strength. If there is excess glue on outer edges, wipe strip gently with a damp cloth while glue is still wet.
6. Run strip through crimper when glue is completely dry. Apply glue to one side of crimped strip and press gently in place around wheatears to make shell shape. Trim excess.
7. Reinforce pendant strength by dotting glue at join spots on back side.
8. Use flat nose pliers to open jump ring; slip ring through top of center wheatear; close ring. Slide necklace chain or cording through ring.
1. Make five wheatears, each with 6 loops.
2. Stack and glue two 14 inch strips to make a double strip for increased strength. If there is excess glue on outer edges, wipe strip gently with a damp cloth while glue is still wet.
3. Run strip through crimper when paper is completely dry. Cut into 2 ½ inch lengths. Apply glue to one side of crimped strip and press gently in place around each wheatear. Trim excess.
4. Arrange wheatears in a star shape and glue at center point. Bend tips slightly for a natural look.
4. Make a 4 inch tight coil using 1/16 inch wide paper (cut 1/8 inch paper in half lengthwise). Gently press against underside of coil with ball of glass-head pin or head of T-pin to make a domed tight coil. Apply a little glue inside dome to hold curved shape. Glue to center of starfish.
5. Reinforce pendant strength by dotting glue at join spots on back side.
6. Attach jump ring to one arm and slide necklace chain or cording through ring.
I’m delighted to have this opportunity to share my love of handcrafted paper jewelry. I discovered paper filigree, also known as quilling, several years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Quilling has been in existence for hundreds of years and I’m happy to be a part of keeping the art alive by bringing a fresh, modern approach to traditional quillwork. I hope you’ll enjoy making these necklace pendants. They’re comfortable to wear and surprisingly sturdy, as well as great conversation starters. People won’t believe they’re made of paper! I enjoy blogging at All Things Paper about creative people world-wide who make fascinating things with paper and occasionally feature some of my own projects.
Thank you so much, Ann, for your introduction to quilling and your lovely pendant projects!
Would you like to write for Folding Trees? See our Submissions page for details!