Quilling is one of the most versatile and creative craft techniques. It can be useful in making anything and everything from 2D quilling cards and frames to 3D quilling puppets and pen stands. It can help your child improve their motor skill, creativity, concentration and self-confidence. Although an age old technique, it has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, driven by easy availability of quilling ideas and video tutorials on the internet. The technique has also gained lot of interest among the kids and is now becoming an integral part of every craft lover’s room. There are numerous summer quilling camps held across cities to give kids a head start. The fact that Quilling is very easy to pick-up, has also contributed to its popularity among kids. Availability of motorized quilling tool
and sticky back quilling strips
have made quilling a lot more fun and exciting for kids. Some amount of guidance and motivation and access to right set of tools, makes the process simpler and enjoyable.
While all art and craft techniques are associated with creativity, Quilling offers one of the widest spectrum for creative exploration. From making 2D designs to 3D objects, quilling jewellery to gift articles or school projects- if you have an idea, you can Quill it! Best out of Waste, Festive Decoration, Miniature 3D objects, Quilling Cards and Photo Frames are some of the popular themes among kids.
Quilling as an extra-curricular activity in schools
Realizing the potential of the technique as a tool for self-expression and nurturing creativity, it has also got a thumbs up from educators and teachers. Recently Jamnabai Narsee Schoola leading ISCE school in Mumbai, has adopted Quilling as a part of their extra-curricular program. In words of craft teacher Bela Shah, who conducts Quilling Class in the school - “ The response to introduction of Quilling as a part of extracurricular activities in the school was spectacular. The school has had to double the planned intake for the course due to unprecedented interest, both among boys and girls.” The program has got a ‘thumbs up!’ from both parents and children. It equips them with a new technique which can also come in extremely handy in their various school projects and assignments. “Water Cycle”, “ Food Chain”, “Solar System”, all these ideas can be quilled.
Useful tips to help your child get started with quilling
The process of Quilling involves:
- Making coils of paper using a slotted quilling tool
- Expanding the coil to the right size and gluing the edge
- Giving the desired shape to the coils and
- Combining the coils to create your desired patter or shape
Here are some of the tips that can help your child get started with quilling:
Choose the right set of tools - Sometimes the repetitive nature of making coils results in a child getting bored after a while. They may be excited to explore the creative opportunities quilling presents but if they start feeling that a bulk of their time is gone in the repetitive task of making coils, they quickly become less enthused. For younger kids, gluing the edge of the coil is also slightly messy. These challenges can be overcome by using the motorized quilling tool and sticky back strips. The motorized tool makes coils in a jiffy, so your child spends more time on the fun and creative part of quilling. The tool also comes in very handy for making multi-strip coils used for making miniature figures and other 3D objects. Sticky back quilling strips makes gluing simpler. Apart from the Quilling tool and strips, Quilling board is an essential requirement to help you expand the coil in desired size. For example, when making the petals of a flower or the wheels of a car, expanding the coil in the same circle of the board helps them get the perfect size for every coil. Using our numbered Quilling Board helps it easier for kids to follow the instructions in out quilling templates easily. There are other support tools such as Tweezer and Glue Tip which can be useful for kids to help them shape and glue.
Use broader quilling strips -Quilling Strip comes in different sizes ranging from 3 mm width to 10 mm width. For Kids, it is recommended to use strips of thickness 5 mm and above since it is easier for them to grip broader and bigger pieces. You can start with 10 mm and then move gradually to 5mm and then 3mm. This makes the process of quilling a lot simpler for them. Use of Crinkle Strips can also be a good place to start. These strips are a lot thicker and does not require any tool for coiling. You can just roll them up with your hand. They are sturdy, so pinching and shaping do not need as much finesse either.
Focus on learning the basic shapes - You can create endless shapes using paper quilling. However, a lot can be done with just few basic shapes of the coil. Get the kids started with just making circular tight and loose coils. There are Quilling ideas and projects you can find, which just uses circular tight and loose coils. Drop, Mango and Eye are other very easy to make shapes and can open up a plethora of creative options. You can refer to our video tutorial for making quilling shapes, included in our post of “How to do Paper Quilling – Part 1”. Use of pre-printed templates such as ones available with each of our project on our website, makes it easier for kids to make formations and designs by combining different coils.
Help them select a project of their interest - Freedom of creative expression is what makes any creative process more enjoyable. Hence it is important that you help your child select a project and a theme of their interest. The technique of Quilling can be used to make anything under and beyond the sun - from flowers and butterflies to rockets and aliens. So let your child choose a theme of their choice. Greeting cards, photo frames, scrap books or decorative book cover are good ideas to get your child started.
Motivate and Don’t strive for perfection - A little bit of encouragement and motivation can go a long way in helping kids improve their quilling skills. The coils may not be as neat in the beginning and there could be a bit of mess in gluing, but these are part of the learning process and it is important that you encourage your child to continue trying. Any art, sport or skill requires one thing - Practice! The process also becomes a lot more enjoyable for your child once they start feeling the improvement – which sets a cycle of positive reinforcement in motion.
Combine it with other techniques and material - Quilling can also be easily combined with other paper or non-paper based craft techniques such as Punch craft, Foam craft, and beading or even along with painting. Use of multiple techniques and materials makes the creative journey even more exciting. Use of wooden objects as a surface for quilling sometimes also give more durability , in case you want to retain it for longer period or gift it to someone. You can check some of the projects created by our team which combines punch craft, fashion accessories, foam and other craft materials.
Quilling can be an activity to help your child in their school projects or unwind after school and exams. More importantly, it is also another way for you to have some fun playtime with your child. Unlike TV and cartoons, it keeps them engaged actively, productively and helps them think creatively!
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