Monday, October 10, 2011

Quilled Snowflake Ornament

Here is a spectacularly beautiful handmade Christmas ornament tutorial for you to make this year.  This is from Reese Dixon, and I want to thank her for the instructions.  I cannot wait to try this out.


Today I have a big fat tutorial to share with you. It looks really really scary and detailed, but it’s not so bad. Trust me. I’ll hold your hand through the whole thing.
Snowflake Ornament on tree
I’ve made a ton of these over the years and they never fail to elicit oohs and aahs. This is a perfect application for quilling. Snowflakes are best when they’re all scroll-y and complicated, and that’s when quilling is at its best too. You just need to remember that it’s only rolled up paper, and break it down to each little piece.
Cut a bunch of 1/4″ strips from a piece of 12 x 12 cardstock. I like using an icy blue color, but a true white looks great too. You can make your strips thicker if you want and it will work just great. They’ll look a little more substantial against the tree or on a package and they’ll be a little more sturdy. I happen to like the lacey look of the thinner strips and find them to be sturdy enough.
From those thin strips, here’s what you need to cut
1 – 6″ strip for the center round
8 – 3″ strips for the arms
4 – 6″ strips for the scrolls
4 – 3″ strips for the teardrop
4 – 2″ strips for the marquis
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
You’ll need some kind of a quilling tool, which you can find at Michael’s in the stamping aisle, or you can just make your own by cutting the top off of a needle with a pair of tin snips or wire cutters.
Insert the paper strip into the notch of the quilling tool, bring the tool to the very end of the paper, and begin rolling.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Let’s start with the 6″ center round. Once you master making the round, you can make any other shape. And it’s even easier than it sounds. Roll it all the way up, and then let it go so that it relaxes into a more loosely wound circle.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Spread a little glue on the tail end, and glue it down. Typically when you quill, you’d tear the very tip off before you glue down the other end. That feathery torn edge blends into the rest of the shape, where a cut end will form a definite ridge. Here, you won’t notice any ridge so it’s not worth the extra step.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
The Round shape also provides a basis for the teardrop shape and the marquis.
For the teardrop shape, you’ll take one side of a round made from one of the 3″ strips and pinch it to create a point. Since we haven’t bothered to blend our ends in, I try to line up that ridge with the point at the top of the teardrop to disguise it.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
The marquis is made the exact same way. Make a Round out of a 2″ strip, glue the end in place, and pinch both ends to create two points.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Next let’s make the scrolls. Fold a 6″ strip in half and roll each end up to that halfway point. As is this is a heart shape. Typically a scroll isn’t folded, but it helps to have a measuring point and we’ll be gluing that point down anyway, so it won’t show.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Sorry about the blurry pictures. I really needed a macro lens for this project.
The last piece is for the arms, made out of a 3″ strip. On one end of the strip, roll in about twice.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
On the other end, roll in until the piece measures roughly 1″. Measurements are really loose here. The only thing that matters is that they’re all about the same height. Whether that height is a fraction of an inch taller or shorter doesn’t matter at all.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
That’s it. You’ve made all your pieces. The rest is just putting it together. Start by taking 2 of the arms and glue them together back to back. With that step complete you should have:
1 Round
4 Teardrops
4 Marquis
4 Scrolls
4 Arm Pieces
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Start with the Round piece. This will be the center. Next come the arm pieces. Bump the edges of those bottom loops up next to each other, and glue each piece down to the round.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Now take a scroll and glue it onto those little loops you bumped together.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Gently pull the scroll out until it touches the arms, and glue them together where they meet.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Take one of your teardrops and glue it down in the middle of the scroll. Then pull the scrolls over to meet the teardrop, and glue together. Don’t be afraid to unravel the scroll however much you need to. If the arm is bending or it doesn’t want to stick to the teardrop, you just need to give yourself a little more space.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
Repeat these steps for all sides, and then glue the marquis in the little space between the loops at the top of the arms.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
For the snowflakes on my tree, I sprayed the finished snowflake with a spray adhesive and doused it in glitter. I tried a liquid glue first, but it tended to make all the loops unwind. Then I threaded a loop of fishing line through one of the marquis to hang the ornament. I liked the idea of using fishing line so it would look like the snowflakes were falling instead of hanging.
Quilled Snowflake Ornament
These couldn’t be cheaper. You can nearly get 10 ornaments out of one sheet of paper, and they’re incredibly easy to make up in big batches. Last year I needed to make ornaments for 35 teenagers, and these were the ones I went for. A definite budget saver, and still super fancy.
In making this tutorial, I ended up making another ornament that needs a home. Leave me a comment for a chance to win it! Blogger sucks for communication, so make sure you have an active profile, a link to your website, or an email address listed in the comment so I can contact you if you win. I’ll draw a winner randomly at 10pm Pacific Time on Friday December 12th. That’s actually Bear’s birthday, so we’ll call this a celebration of him. Good luck!
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