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Quill Snowflakes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 1996


Quilling, also called paper filigree, originated in Europe more than five hundred years ago; it involves rolling and combining strips of paper into highly detailed designs.

A snowflake ornament is made from eight V-shaped strips of paper, curled at the ends with a quilling needle and joined with a dot of glue at the center. The ornament looks rather majestic here, but it is actually just about two and a half inches tall.

Before working on the ornament, practice some quilling basics. Wind a strip of paper around the needle; it will form a tight curl. Play with the paper to stretch it back out to the shape you want. Try folding a strip in half and curling both ends in for a heart shape, or curl them out for a V shape. Quilling paper is easy to manipulate, but working with it is not an exact science: It takes some practice to make the same shape twice.


  • 8 strips of quilling paper, 3/8-inch wide and 4 1/2-inch long

  • Quilling needle or round toothpick

  • Clear-drying craft glue

  • Metallic thread


  1. Fold each strip of quilling paper so that one of the halves is about 1/2 inch longer than the other, and curl the ends. Repeat with seven more strips.

  2. On a flat surface, fit pieces together with their points in the center. Using tiny dabs of glue, attach pieces together in pairs, and then join the four pairs. Let glue dry, and attach a piece of metallic thread to hang ornament.

    Tip: Use glue sparingly on quilling paper; dab it on with a toothpick to control the amount.

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