Using paper to create intricately coiled designs is an old craft tradition, as well as a very delicate one. It is a form of filigree and has been used in jewelry for centuries, as well as on decorative items such as frames, tea caddies, cribbage boards, work baskets, wine bottles, and urns. In the 13th century metal filigree was used to decorate containers and boxes, but once it became more difficult and expensive to acquire it was replaced by thin strips of paper that were rolled into shapes and glued into place.
Paper quilling is done on a special paper that is acid-free. This quality ensures that the rolled paper shapes will retain their shape and won’t discolor over time. There are also several types of paper that can be used to give different looks to a quilling project. For example, graduated paper has a color that fades from one side to the other. This provides a unique look to rings and other spiral shapes.
While some quillers use a needle tool to make tight coils, many prefer to simply roll the paper by hand. The key to rolling is applying even pressure so that each twisted strip will relax into a coil of the same size. After the coil is positioned, it can be pinched and then glued to hold its shape. Once the individual pieces are ready to assemble, tweezers can be used to help keep them in place as the glue dries. Then the piece can be lightly brushed with a sealant or fixative to help prevent tarnishing. Paper Quilling Jewelry