Quillography Tutorial

Quillography Tutorial – Paper Graphic

Many of you have asked me to share a few tips and tricks on “quillography”, so I decided to make this tutorial to help you get started. Please note that I have reached these conclusions by the classic “trial and error” method. I am not saying that this is the best way to do it, as I am sure many of the things you will read below could be improved, but it’s the way I feel most comfortable with so far.

For this example, I chose the capital letter “M”, font “Curly Joe” which I modified a bit, with aprox. size: 13cm * 11cm. You may choose whatever you want.

Quillography Tutorial 1

 I. Preparations

Print the desired letter (or word, number, etc.), then copy its contour on the surface where you want to quill it, using a pencil.

Quillography Tutorial 2

If the contour is too harsh, use an eraser to soften the line as we only need it as a guide and don’t want it visible in the finished project.

For my “Thank You!” quillography I printed red letters on a A4 sheet of paper and then I quilled directly on it, hence the full red text. Depending on what you want to achieve, use whatever method suits you better.

II. Paper Strips

Make sure to use 120gsm or thicker paper. Thin paper (like office paper, 80gsm) will loose its shape and absorb moisture from the glue, thus becoming very hard to work with. In contrast, high density paper, like 160gsm holds it’s shape very well, but sometimes it can split, if twisted too much.

To give you an example, I used 160gsm paper for the quilled G clef and 120gsm for the “Thank you!”, “home” and “love” quillography. Again, try different types of paper and see which suits you best. For my next project, I am planning to work with 200gsm or thicker paper and see how it goes.

5mm wide paper strips are perfect for these type of projects! If you plan on quilling a big project (larger than A4), make sure to use wider strips.

III. Start Gluing!

Choose one of the corners as your starting point. Apply the glue in a thin line using a needle or a toothpick on the surface where you want the paper strip to stick, and NOT on the strip itself. Use PVA or vinyl glue as it dries clear and doesn’t leave any marks. My favorites from the ones I used so far are from BIC and Toy Color (both very cheap, by the way).

Quillography Tutorial 3

If the contour you want to quill is very curvy, run the paper strip between your fingers. This will curl and soften a little bit the paper, making it easier to work with.

Place the paper strip on the surface where you applied glue and hold it in place for a few seconds until the glue dries. If necessary, use your tweezers to hold the paper.

Quillography Tutorial 4

When you reach another corner, you can use a toothpick as a guide to help you fold the paper along the line. If the corner is more rounded, instead of pointy, use a thicker tool, like a pencil.

Quillography Tutorial 5

Carefully finish quilling your letter. You will end up with a contour which you can fill as you like, leave it like that, or quill around it. I like making little swirls from 1cm – 2cm paper strips, then glue them inside the letter. Only your imagination is the limit!

Later edit with the finished quilled letter:

Quilligraphy Tutorial 6

 Note that this quilling method requires a lot of patience and practice. Start with easy shapes until you get used with the process, then move to more complex ones.

I hope you found my quillography tutorial useful! If you have more questions, please leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer them. Also, if you have suggestions or would like to share other tips and tricks don’t hesitate to write them!


Thank you for your visit!

Happy Quilling!



  1. avatar
    Pooja says:

    I recently tried to quill on edge of image and found it very difficult.The strip would stick everywhere but the edges ! Now I got the mistake.Thanks for sharing and I am sure It will be very helpful !

  2. avatar
    Catalina says:

    Multumesc pentru tutorial….recunosc ca am incercat sa fac litere folosind tehnica quilling si mi-au iesit cam….stangace…:) Abia astept sa incerc metoda asta. Pare asa simplu acum, dupa ce am urmarit tutorial-ul!

  3. avatar
    Jan Castle says:

    It’s on my ‘To Do List’….thank you for the inspiration and the great turorial!!! I really appreciate it!
    Paper Hugs,

  4. avatar
    Michèle says:

    Merci pour ce tuto que je cherchais depuis longtemps sur le net. Il est très bien expliqué.Je suis débutante mais je pense que je vais me lancer…lol Ce que vous faites est magnifique.
    Bonne journée

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Cherie, thank you for your feedback! I am glad you found my tutorial useful and I am looking forward to seeing your quillography project!

      Have a lovely day!

  5. avatar
    Vinday says:

    Thank you very much for the tutorial it’s very helpful i always wanted to try this :)but i have a small question how you get the background color and how to get the inside of the letter white? Thank you very very much cheers 🙂

  6. avatar
    Jana says:

    Hey there!
    I just got recently into quilling. After I saw some amazing art projects, I just had to try it. I do crafts of any kind, and I am patient and try always very hard to get “perfect” results. BUT I have a problem…I do not get along with the gluing part! There are always stains of glue next to the paper-strips. I do use white glue, it get’s “invisible” when dry, but it is still shiny and you can see it. Yes, I do have high standards, as I said, I want perfect results :D. So, my question is: Your projects do look just perfect and I can not see any stains of glue 😉 So please tell me: Is it the glue you use, or the technique? I tried as you said and applied the glue with a needle, but it didn’t really work for me. Please, every hint is welcome!

    Thanks a lot!

    Greetings from Germany

  7. Pingback: Paper Quilling FAQ
  8. avatar
    LilianaArtWork says:

    Buna Manu!
    Explicatiile si imaginile tutorialelor tale sunt foarte detaliate si clare. Multumesc pentru generozitatea cu care imparti cunostintele si experienta ta. Apreciez rabdarea si talentul tau si imi plac mult creatiile tale.
    Te rog, daca esti amabila, sa-mi spui ce grosime este cartonul pe care lucrezi. Deoarece eu folosesc carton de 300 g si pe masura ce avansesc cu lucrarea se onduleaza si imi este foarte greu sa mai lipesc alte fasii pentru ca baza nu mai este neteda. Nu folosesc mult lipici si incerc sa evit umezirea cartonului dar inca nu am reusit sa gasesc o metada pentru a evita acest inconvenient.
    Daca ai putea sa-mi dai un pont as fii foarte recunoscatoare.
    Multa inspiratie si mult spor pe mai departe!

  9. avatar
    kristine athena lemana says:

    Hello Miss Manuk. I am a big fan of your works. I am really amazed of your works and also I am an aspiring quiller too. I started quilling 1 year ago.. I was hoping to hear from you of what can you give or suggest to me. I am from the Philippines where quilling is not popular. its very hard to look for materials to be used in quilling so I tried make my own strips. I hope you can help me improve my work too. May you give time to an amateur quiller like me. thank you. hope to meet you Miss Manuk.

  10. avatar
    Rochelle Duggan says:

    You said “Apply the glue in a thin line using a needle or a toothpick on the surface where you want the paper strip to stick, and NOT on the strip itself. Use PVA . . . ”

    OHhhhh, I get it now, thank you so much for reinforcing this in my head. Duh, put glue on surface, not paper, and PVA is awesome. I’ve been having problems w/letters, this made it easier, thank you!!

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