Advent Challenge: Day 5 – Quilling

Day 5: Quilling – Poinsettia and Holly

I have only recently tried quilling. I got a quilling tool and some quilling papers (strips just 5mm wide) free with a magazine I bought at the start of November. These two cards show my first forays into quilling. I’m pretty pleased with them, apart from managing to get green ink all over random places on the holly one. But then that’s just me – I should have known it would be risky using a messy ink pad rather than my usual pens!

Poinsettia – to make this card:

  • Slide the end of a 15 cm strip of red quilling paper into the slot in a quilling tool, and wind the strip into a tight coil. Remove the tool and let the coil unfurl to a diameter of about 1.5 cm. Use a cocktail stick to place a drop of glue on the end of the strip, and stick it to the coil. Hold in place until it has set.
  • Repeat until you have 4 coils 1.5 cm in diameter.
  • Do the same with 4 strips of 10 cm red paper, but make the final coils approx 1 cm in diameter.
  • Take each red coil and pinch opposite sides to form creases. This will make the petal shape.
  • Make 2 leaves in the same way by using 15 cm strips of green quilling paper.
  • Take 8 strips of yellow quilling paper, 7.5 cm each, and glue into a tight coil.
  • To make the stem, take one 30 cm strip of green, fold into thirds, and glue the lengths together. As the glue dries, curl the stem gently with your fingers (careful – this bit is messy!).
  • Use tweezers to pick up each coil, dip the underside in glue, then place carefully into position on a green card blank. Place the smaller red petals horizontally and vertically. The larger petals fit between them, diagonally.
  • Once all coils have been positioned and left to dry, add a peel off sentiment, and a glitter glue border.


My favourite thing about this holly card is that it is a gatefold card – it opens from the middle. The holly is placed on a panel that is attached to the left side. It’s also a very small and cute card – the blank is just 10 x 10 cm.

Holly – to make this card:

  • Create 3 loose coils of about 2 cm diameter using 30 cm lengths of green quilling paper. Pinch opposite corners to a crease at three points around the coil. Use these 6 creases to help you form the holly shape using your fingers.
  • Make 3 very tight red coils using 10 cm strips.
  • Glue the holly and berries to the centre of a 6 cm square of white card.
  • Once the glue is fully dried, edge this card with a green inkpad for definition.
  • Mount the white card onto a 6.5 cm square of light green card using double sided tape.
  • Finally, mount the green card onto the left side of a 10 cm square gatefold card, again with double sided tape.
  • Try not to get your fingers in the ink and then get your fingerprints all over the card!

Quilling has so much potential – I do hope to spend a bit more time in the New Year have more of a play with it. However, I do have one gripe about it. As my quilling papers are 5mm wide, any card with quilling on is automatically classed as a ‘Large Letter’ by Royal mail. So the quilled cards I have made this year will be given by hand rather than posted. This is also something to consider if you’re putting chunky embellishments on your cards – often buttons and brads will push the thickness of card (plus envelope, don’t forget) over the 5mm limit allowed by Royal Mail, and cost you an extra 20-odd pence to post. As I’m such a cheapskate, before I write my cards I will divide them up into thick cards and thin ones – thin ones can be posted or given, but thick ones will generally be given by hand!