Next Level PaperCraft : Intro to Finger Quilling - Paper Feather | Ashley Chiang | Skillshare

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Next Level PaperCraft : Intro to Finger Quilling - Paper Feather

teacher avatar Ashley Chiang, Artist/Color Enthusiast. Paper is my Purpose.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      What is Finger Quilling? Feather Project Overview


    • 2.

      Paper Selection and Cutting Your Strips


    • 3.

      Gluing : Two Options


    • 4.

      Technique 1: Folding


    • 5.

      Technique 2: Shaping / Curling


    • 6.

      Technique 3: Coiling Without Tools


    • 7.

      Finger Quilling From Here


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About This Class

Create a surprisingly intricate paper feather using three simple shapes you’ll learn in this class. You’ll learn how to fold, curl and coil thin paper strips completely by hand. Using the traditional style of Paper Quilling in an unconventional way, you’ll learn how to begin this unique art using only craft supplies you have on hand - No tools needed! I’ll walk you through the same steps I took years ago when I first stumbled on paper quilling and fell in love.

This is an introductory class in Finger Quilling so the only things you’ll need for this class are paper strips and glue!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ashley Chiang

Artist/Color Enthusiast. Paper is my Purpose.



*one-hand finger-waves*

I'm Ashley,

D.C. area paper graphics artist still completely astonished that people buy these paper thingies I make. Pink is my fave although I'm becoming partial to this cosmic combination of purple and Caribbean blue I've been working with lately.

You can find more of my work at or witness the colorful tornado that is the behind-the-scenes of PaperLiberated on Instagram.

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1. What is Finger Quilling? Feather Project Overview: Okay, I'm Ashleigh Chang from paper liberated. So what is paper quelling week Willing is the art of rolling, curling coiling tiny paper strips and then either gluing them to a background or gluing them together to create some sort of form. Traditional willing uses a lot of tidy little tools, most notably the slotted, quelling tool, which saves your fingers from hand cramps and really endless frustration trying to make perfectly neatly rolled little coils, especially when you have a lot to Dio. However, when I first started calling years ago, I didn't have any of those tools on hand. I had card stock on hand. I didn't even have those nice little pre cut strips. So I started cutting my own paper and I just glued down as many little strips as my tired little hands would let me. Eventually, I did get gifted some quelling tools, but once I got them and tried to use them, I really found them to be even harder. Use their more cumbersome to use and to coil, then just to use my fingers and using the finger cooling method, which I have been using for so long. So over the next few videos. I'm going to show you how I got started, finger calling and how you can to super easy to start. You won't need any tools. You'll create this feather project and see how easy it is to combine a few simple techniques into something really, colorfully ornate. I'm sure you have all these materials on hand. What you'll need is paper, scissors, glue, some sort of backing and tweezers if you got them super helpful if you're ready and you have everything in front of you clicked on video, too, to get started. 2. Paper Selection and Cutting Your Strips: great. If you've got all your materials, just lay them out in front of you. I wanted to quickly go over at a couple different paper types that you may have on hand or want to use for this project. What I use is a £65 card stock. You can find it at any art or craft store near you, and it's what I started with and what I've been using for a long time. However, you may have an easier time finding colored printer paper or construction paper. Depending on what you have available, both of these could be good options. To start with, they would be much easier to roll, since they're much thinner than the card stock paper. They'll be easier to get the technique down before you move on to using card stock for your cooling project. So this is just a colored sheet of printer paper again super thin. But also it will be much easier to roll. This is an example of some construction paper that I have. If you have kids, you've probably got some lying around. I just wanted to quickly show you the color difference. This is the card stock in my right hand and the construction paper in my left. You'll see the card stock has a much more even color, whereas the construction paper is a little bit grainy. But it also also seems to be reflective in some places. But again, as I said, it could be something very useful for learning the technique. And then, if you wanted to move on to something with a little bit more color depth, you could get your hands on some card stock. I pick about three colors as the main color for a project, and then I've picked a few accent colors here in case I want to use them. I may not. We will see. And then when you're ready to cut, I'm gonna show you a couple different methods. So you want to take your card stock. You can use a guillotine as I dio. I've had this exact ability for probably a decade that has a self sharpening blade, and it's super cheap. It's nothing expensive or extraordinary, but it does the job and, um, it's worked really well all these years, so if you have ability and fantastic, I'll show you how I cut with that in just a minute. Otherwise, if you don't have a guillotine and you want to make sure you get nice straight paper strips , you could lay your ruler down. And what I like to do is used the edge of either pair of scissors or pen and just create a nice, clean line a little in dent. You could also use a pen, but that would leave pen marks, obviously. And then from here, you can either cut down with an Exacto knife or cut with a pair of scissors. So however you do it, you just want to get a handful of each colored strip ready to go, and I'll show you quickly how I will be cutting my paper since this, my trusty Exacto guillotine and I always cut my paper at 1/2 inch to start. There are some projects where, um, I'll cut some smaller and maybe different sizes, but generally most of my strips are going to be half a niche in this one is just a scrap and peace. Traditional cooling uses either an eighth or 1/4 inch, and when I started, I I really liked the depth that half an inch gave me. So that's what I've been using for so long, and I really enjoy the the sturdiness of it. So once you have all of your paper strips cut out from each color that you'd like to use, put your cutting method aside. Go ahead and snap a photo of the strips and upload it to the group project below and let us know which cutting method you used. I'll see you in the next step. 3. Gluing : Two Options: now that you've gotten your strips cut, I just wanted to quickly show you my backing. This is a man art board. You can find it at any art and craft store. There will be various kinds watercolor sketch boards, charcoal boards. Just pick whatever you'd like. They will all be archival, and you don't have to worry so much about if your piece will hold up well. I typically use white as my background for two reasons. One. It just makes the colors pop, and I'm a color lover and to a glue that you use might tend to darken the colored paper behind you. Whenever I've used some alternate background, usually like a gray or black, the glue is much more clearly seen as it dries. So just something to think about. I also wanted to cover my glue and different glue options you could use for your project. I have been using these Scotch blue pens for as long as I've been quill ing. They keep changing the packaging up on me, but it's just a glue pen. I always make sure it's photo safe, which will mean it will save your papers from bleeding usually and also keep them from yellowing, especially on the background. So I just find them super easy because it has this nice little tip and my method for gluing . I usually take my strip and once I have shaped it and gotten it exactly how I wanted toe lie. I just squeeze out a little bit of glue, and I line the edges of the paper and stick it down. There are other methods you could use really any type of glue, even just a regular Elmer's glue bottle, because it does have a nice little tip that will make it easy. Tow. Line your paper with glue, and you could glue it down that way. Alternatively, what I've seen other people do is they'll have a small dish or plate and they'll fill it with a little bit of glue and slide there. Strip through tow, line it pretty evenly once you have your glue set and your paper down if you have excess, which isn't a big deal, because normally it will dry clear and you won't really see it. But in case you want to clean it up a little bit, you can always use your finger. Now to clean it up or tweezers or the edge of your scissors to just wipe away the glue. One more method that I know some people use whenever they've got their strip the way they want. They will either have some sort of line or tracing mark on their backing, and then they'll line that with glue instead and put their paper on top. This method doesn't really work well for me because I don't sketch out anything ahead of time, and I just place things down as I'm going. So I couldn't really make that work, and I much prefer the glue pen. But it's completely up to you, whatever you find easiest at this moment. 4. Technique 1: Folding: great. Now you're ready to make your outline. So just start for most of my projects. I don't sketch anything out. I don't generally leave any sort of mark on the page. The only time when I will, is when I have some very specific typography that I'm using or if I need something to go in a very specific place. So, for example, if I have words, I might take the tip of my tweezer after I've measured it and make a little indent, so I know exactly where my letter needs to go. Otherwise I just get started with a blank slate. And I've used just eyeballing for most of my work for most of my block letters and things like that. So for this first stuff, you're just gonna create the outline of your feather. We're going to start by making the center quill. And I've picked a lighter purple just because thesis Turk will is usually a white or lighter color than the feather surrounding it. Just my silly preference. So you just gonna take it? And at whatever point you'd like, use your fingernail to make a fold. You don't want to allow the paper to fold like this because then, obviously your paper won't sit flat. You want to make sure that the sides of the paper are completely parallel so that you have a nice angle there, and then you're gonna go down a little bit further and probably gonna do about 3/4 of a centimeter and make another fold Curl this out in the same way? Asked the outside again, Just using my hands, no tools, really needed. And I'm just gonna lay this down exactly as I think I want it and see how this one sticking up a little bit. So one of my folds didn't quite stay parallel there. So once I have it about the way that I'd like it, I'm gonna take my glue pen. I'm just gonna glue the edge here again. This is just my favorite method for gluing, and there you have it. Just place it down exactly the way that you want. I have glued these two pieces together. There's some excess glue that got wiped down here, so I'm just gonna take my finger and wipe it up and, uh, wipe it on my glue covered genes. It's also helpful to wipe up excess glue so that as you're working, dust doesn't settle into it. And sort of Maar your clean white background like mine, Just it, all right. And I'm going to continue with this folding just creating some smaller bits of the feathers . So I just lightly been the paper with my fingers, make two folds, and I'm gonna have this be at the edge of my quill down here. I'm gonna mix in some darker colors with this folding techniques. We have a good balance here. All right, I think that's going to do for my outline. So again, super symbol, if it seems really easy. I'm telling you, it just really is that easy. You're going to see how this is all gonna come together just beautifully. And all you've done so far is full little strips of paper and you can already see this feather coming together. So once you have this done, let's get ready to learn our next step, which is curling 5. Technique 2: Shaping / Curling: Okay, so now that you have your basic outline down, what we're gonna do is create a little bit more whimsy with our paper strips and just start shaping them with our fingers. This is just a super easy technique fork willing on a backing when you're willing. Ah, form. It's gonna be a little bit different. But for right now, what we're gonna focus on is just shaping the curls with your fingers. Super easy. It's basically the same idea as curling a ribbon. If you've done that, you just take your finger fingernail and curlett, and then depending on how you want it to look, you can straighten it back out, or just for one side deeply, totally up to you. So the trick is to just curl using your fingers, and you want to make sure that you don't accidentally increase it or bend it hard so that when you lie it down, it doesn't have any sort of wiggly line in it. I'll show you what a crease can do. And even if you try to remedy it by curling over it, it can still be a pretty obvious I sore in your crease. I don't know if you can see it from your vantage point. But from where I am, there's this little line in the crease which doesn't look nice and smooth. And one thing that I also do in a lot of my pieces is create basically just a s shape with a curl on one end and a curl on the other. Usually one I'm sort of like a lopsided s with a larger Kroll at one end and a shorter curl with the other. Now, when you do curlett, you'll see like I just did, especially when you're curling two sides, they're going to be uneven. You can see this doesn't want to lay straight on and it just takes a little bit of correction to get it toe lay straight and that side is now straight. So now we're gonna work on this side. There we go. And now both sides are laying pretty straight. This side wants to be beautiful, but there eso that way. Once you put it down, you don't have to sit there and hold it for very long. So I'm gonna fill this in a little bit with some some more straight lines, some parallel maybe some not, And give it more of a wispy feather sort of look. So the sunlight is starting to filter in through the window here and just wanted to show you how the shadow that appears in a lot of the open spaces fills in with color. I'm hoping that this is showing up on video pretty well. Um, but as the shadow is created through the paper and still a little bit of light is shining through, you can see inside here becomes a little bit purple, um, inside here as well becomes nice and purple. And then you get a little bit of a blue hue in here and a little bit less so with smaller pieces, because light is shining directly through them. But as this fills in, you're going to see just a rainbow of colors appear when this is being played with in the light, or as the light moves through the room during the day. This is one of those times where you can see that having a pair of tweezers comes in in handy when you got to get right in between these pieces that are already glued down to put your new piece down. Um, and obviously in my buffalo fingers would never fit in such a tiny space. Eso having these on hand is super, super helpful. I'm just gonna continue going with this feather. Look here. I hope you're filling yours in with lots of wisps and lots of feathering this. I don't know if you call it just yet, but since I don't do any measuring, but I want things to be, um, have a subsistence size to go together. Really? Well, um, I don't know if you've seen, but what I typically do is I hold a piece over that. I'm hoping to glue down. Um, once I've decided where I'd like it to be. I make a little pinch with my thumbnail. Probably can't see it too well in the camera. But I make a little pinch in my thumbnail, and that tells me where I want to cut that. We don't have to worry about, um, holding it or cutting in the wrong place. It's again super simple. Just a quick little tip. It's starting to take shape on look a little bit more like a feather. It's got a little bit ways to go But if you want to continue with this stuff, or you can jump into the next step and fill the rest of it out later, what we're going to do next is the coil, which is this standby OFC willing. Once you've finished making your lines, or at least you'd like to stop and start working on some coils, take a photo of your progress uploaded in your group project and let us all see how far you've gotten and your color combination and all the fun things you've managed to do with these two steps that you learned. 6. Technique 3: Coiling Without Tools: all right, You're ready for the final technique we're gonna cover in this video today. It's going to be the most challenging, especially if you've chosen to use card stock over printer paper or construction paper. But it is super rewarding, I promise. Especially if you have used these. It'll give you the nice color depth that you're looking for on and also just this nice, sturdy feel of the artwork when it's done. So either way, whether you're using card stock or some other type of paper, what you're going to dio is decide on whichever color you like to start with a coil, and what I dio is I lick my fingers and I sort of soften the edge of the strip with my thumbnail or fingernail. Um, and I go about a centimeter in just softening it, just like so just to make sure it doesn't create any creases. Once I start coiling and once you're have gotten it nice and soft, you just want to fold in the tiniest little bit that you can well, like my fingers again to give me some traction here, and from then you should be able to start a coil it may take a few tries, but once you have a little coil started, you can keep rolling and you want to push in with these fingers to keep it straight so you don't have its spiral out. You won't be able to glue it down to the paper that way. So I'm just gonna coil this whole strip to show you what a fully coiled strip will look like. Believe this paper was a 12 inch paper and as I've rolled it completely, I'm going to continue pressing it down because I want my coil to be nice and tight and not loosen too much. Oops, So I'm just gonna keep pressing and keep rolling, and then I'll let go. So you'll see. It's unraveling a little bit, and you also just like you wanted to rest your curls before you put them down. You most definitely want to rest your coils before you try and glue them. If I had tried to glue this from the get go, um, it would still be unraveling. There would be excess glue everywhere, but it may not stay exactly the same way as I wanted it to. That was pretty much done. So that's a nice tight coil. I'm gonna take one more blue strip and show you a bit more. So again, I like my figure is just to give it a little traction. If that totally grosses you out, feel free to have a little bit of water nearby or something else to moisten your fingers. I'm just gonna continue creasing about a centimeter in until the edge of the paper is a little bit less stiff than the rest of it. I'm gonna make one tiny, tiny little fold like my fingers and roll it over to get my next coil started. I'm just gonna keep rolling, keeping it nice and tight. If you allow it to loosen, your coil will be all sorts of wonky and uneven, so I'm just tightly rolling it. And this time I'm not gonna tighten it us much. Then you'll see. When I put it down, it's gonna get a little bit bigger and a little bit wider in the spaces between the coils will break open a little bit more. Not a huge difference between these two. Now, once you have the coils down, um, and what I like to do is, I'll create a bunch to start with, usually have different sizes so I can place them around and decide exactly where I want them to be. And if you want your coil to be a little bit bigger or a little bit looser, you can unravel it just almost to the end. And instead of really tightly rolling it, you can just sort of loosely roll it together. And this will give you a much bigger coil and a much looser coil, which can be nice in certain applications. So there you are. And when you're ready, you can just take your coil. Once you've decided exactly where you want to put it, you can unroll it to the point where you'd like to cut it and either cut it right inside the coil. Or if you want to have a little bit of tail sticking out, cut it right at the tail wherever you'd like. So I'm gonna get started coiling just a bunch of the different colors, and I'm also just gonna coil a bunch of different sizes, and then I'm gonna start placing them around before I glue them to see how exactly I'd like to look, sometimes they're not perfectly coiled. This one is one example. It didn't start out perfectly. Rounds you can see almost like a hexagon or octagon shape in some of the rings. It's probably not too obvious to you. Um, and even in the scheme of the artwork, it might not be too obvious. If you're a perfectionist like me, you might toss this one aside or if you turn it over sometimes the opposite end will actually be a bit smoother. And in this case, this one is a bit smoother. Or so we might end up using that eventually. So this is gonna be my little coil collection. And it just made a couple different sizes and used pretty much all the colors that I had. Now I'm just gonna start placing them around and deciding where exactly I'd like them to be . And you're just gonna glue them exactly the way you did the strips Trying glue as much of the surface area as possible, getting a nice even coating with the glue. If you want to glue two pieces together, just glue the area that you want them to touch. Use your tweezers or your fingers to cinch them together. Kuala, I don't know if I like that one just yet, so I'm just gonna leave it and not glue it down and move on to a couple others. So this one needs a little bit more help staying in place. Just gonna pick it up and try and shape it a little bit more. Have it go in the direction that I want. If it's still being a pain, What I like to do is take one of my little scrap pieces, my confetti. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love my confetti in the art that it is all on its own. But anyway, you'll take one of these folded in half, so there's a little bit of tension, and I'll stick it right in there, being careful not to touch it to any glue so that it doesn't get stuck. But it's a good way to hold things in place when you don't want to sit there and hold it with your finger. So I don't know if you can see that really well, it's my little paper soldier helping me out, so once you have a few coils down and you still have a little bit of white space. Go ahead and start using each of the three techniques you've learned and start filling in your feather. It's nice to have a little bit of a variety down to start with, and then you could start filling it in to make it nice and even have some coils over here. Some coils here, some nice parallel lines, a little bit of flourish, and it also helps Make sure you're balancing the color really well. So you have, you know, not all dark colors on one side and like colors on the other. I'm gonna continue filling this in. I'd love to see your project and the progress that you made. Let me know if you have any questions, upload your progress to your group project down below and ask any questions that you have there. I'm gonna be available most of the time to be able to answer some really specific questions and help you along 7. Finger Quilling From Here : you did it. It was super easy, right? I'm telling you, it's super simple. It takes a little bit of time and a little bit of patients, but once you've got the hang of it, you'll be rolling in your sleep and you'll have buff fingers like Ideo. These three simple techniques are what I use in every single one of my artworks. You can combine them in endless ways to create all sorts of different effects, especially if you add a little bit more color it adding more color, never a bad thing. Add your project to the group projects below. I'd love to see the variety that comes out of this group. Keep willing and let me know if you have any more questions.