Quilled Bottlebrush (Callistemon)

Last week Zoe Brener challenged me to quill some exotic, weird looking flowers instead of the ones I usually make. She was even kind enough to send me some pictures with flowers from where to choose, and, boy, was I happy she did so because, knowing myself,  it would have probably taken me ages to decide what to make.  The plant which immediately caught my eye was the buttlebrush due to it’s wonderful color and shape.  So, I give you my red quilled bottlebrush:

Quilled Bottlebrush

 Callistemon (commonly known as the buttlebrush because of their resemblance with the traditional bottle brush) is a genus of shrubs endemic to Australia. There are currently 40 species called Callistemon. They make great garden plants, ranging from 0.5m to 4m tall shrubs with spectacular flowers which are irresistible to nectar-feeding birds and insects.For the flowers, I used 2cm wide red paper strips (120gsm). I glued on their edge light yellow paper strips (less than 1mm wide) and then began to finely fringe them, making a total of 36 tiny fringed flowers.

Quilled Bottlebrush - Fringes

 I initially wanted to add wire stems to each flower, but eventually decided it would be more practical to glue them directly to the branch. I am not very happy with the overall shape of my quilled bottlebrush, but no matter how I tried to shape the fringed flowers, I simply couldn’t get close to the real version. I don’t know if I should have used wider paper strips or cut the fringes more finely, but I will probably give it one more try at some point. Also, any suggestions are more than welcome!

A few more pictures:

Quilled Bottlebrush

Quilled Bottlebrush

 I hope you liked my quilled bottlebrush!  Thank you for your visit!

Happy Quilling!




  1. avatar
    Regina says:

    WOW Manu!!!! This is absolutely amazing!! When you showed the fringed paper I was wondering what was the project you´re working on. You did a fantastic job, as always!! Congratulations!!

  2. avatar
    Suganthi says:

    Amazing Manu, what can I say , I am a fan. I wish you would tell us more about how you make the leaves . They look so perfectly cut.

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Thank you very much, Suganthi! The leaves are so easy to make that I never thought they actually deserve a tutorial. You fold the paper in half so that you cut both layers needed for the leaf in the same time. You then glue the wire (stem) in the middle of the first layer and then stick the second layer of paper on top of them. If the layers didn’t align perfectly, use a pair of fine scissors to trim the excess paper. Hope it helps!

  3. avatar
    Pritesh says:

    Manu, there you go again! Wowing us with your eye to detail 🙂 This truly looks like a real branch………as for suggestions, let us take this offline as I made quilled bottlebrush myself once 🙂

  4. avatar
    Zoe Brener says:

    😀 STUNNING!!!!! I look at them every day, and yours is real – you just picked it off a tree near my home. Only yours is better – you can actually have it at home and it won’t attract an army of spiders. Totally beautiful, I love it! And, hey, what a surprise, so does everyone else! The leaves killed me – this is exactly what leaves on Australian flora look like. Oh, and excuse me, it is the right shape, thank you very much.

    Hmmm, let’s see what else I can rope you into 🙂

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Natasha, thank you so much! We’ve come to the conclusion that the fringes need to be finer (finer than 1mm that is, sounds like mission impossible to me) and maybe a little more dense. It’s all about the shape of the individual flowers. Hope it helps if you wanna give it a try!


  5. avatar
    Claudia says:

    Amazing!! When I was growing up, the back yard neighbors had one of these, and yours is soooooo life-like! Wonderful job!!! 🙂

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Thank you very much, Claudia! I have never seen the real flower, I used pictures as inspiration to make my quilled buttlebrush, so your comment means a lot to me! 🙂

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