Although I technically finished it back in December, a few weeks after posting about it, it's only arrived back to Vermont this past Monday via a plane ride with Tasha. Haa! (don't judge!) I know this was technically a Christmas present for my parents, but when I'd finished it I was just too paranoid about sending it in the mail (especially using Royal Mail as they SUCK and have lost SO many important packages over the last 4 years - one of my letters even arrived a month late and with a hole in the middle as it had been dropped in a puddle and ripped straight through...but at least that arrived. One of my tuition checks is still missing, along with one of our marriage certificates... anyway, that's a whole other rant. Don't get me started). So, I decided to wait until Tasha came to visit so I could send it home in her luggage where I knew it would be safe and wouldn't get lost.
As it's now back home safe with Mom and Dad, I'm finally able to post pictures and share my very first quilling experience. This has seriously been killing me. I'm such a big mouth and I hate keeping secrets, so I've been DYING to share this with everyone. I just didn't want to do it before Mom and Dad had got their gift as that would have ruined the whole surprise. So, without further adieu, I give you my Christmas(ish) present for Mom and Dad:
For my first time quilling, I am absolutely THRILLED with how it's turned out. I love the colors and I'm quite tickled pink with myself! Ha! I think supercraftwoman Grandma Cousino would be proud! :) I'll be making another this weekend for Carl's Nana, in the shape of a J for Joan, so I'll be sure to post that when it's finished as well. Now that I know I can do it (and I really enjoyed doing it too! It was actually quite therapeutic and relaxing) I'm excited to create smaller ones for our babies nursery someday. Totally going to spell out their name in quilled letters. How adorable would that be, please?!
As I know there will be other craftheads out there like myself who, when they see this picture will be thinking "how the HELL did she do that? I wanna try!" I made sure I documented(ish) the experience so that I could explain what I did and show others. So here we go folks, Quilling with Amanda 101...
First things first, let's go through the list of things I used/purchased on eBay:
1) A gorgeous 3D 8x10" and 1.25" deep frame which was homemade by this eBay seller, and if you're in the UK I highly recommend him. The frame was shipped out fast, hassle free and it was stunning. I was super impressed! Of course if you're back home in the states you can use eBay as well, however I know places like Hobby Lobby and Michael's sell the deep frames too (albeit sometimes a bit pricey, so make sure you go on the hunt for sales). You do, however, need to make sure you have a deep frame, otherwise you won't have room for your quilled letter as it stands 1/4 of an inch tall on the page when finished.
2) Mod Podge. The best craft glue you can buy, seriously this stuff is amazing and I use it for so many other things aside from Quilling. I like it because it's very strong, dries quickly and dries clear.
3) You'll need some sort of a paper cutter so that you're able to insure straight edges when sizing your backing paper (or if you're going to create your own quilling papers). Paper cutters are so much faster than using scissors as you don't have to stick-your-tongue-out-concentrate, and you don't get those pain in the butt hand cramps. You can buy inexpensive yet reliable paper cutters easily off of eBay (that's where mines from) as well as places like Wal-Mart or your local craft shops.
4) Scrapbook backing papers with your preferred designs. Back home I know TONS of scrapbooking shops that sell them, as does Wal-Mart and craft stores, but here in England they're harder to find and when you do they're ridonculously expensive. So, again, I turned to eBay and used this seller. What's great is that if you buy them in a pack (as mine came) you end up with a bank of others to use in future projects. I've even used them when creating some of my teaching resources! :)
5) Quilling Paper. I ended up buying mine off of Amazon simply because I couldn't be bothered measuring and cutting out loads and loads of tiny strips. The ones I got were inexpensive and came in a variety of gorgeous colors (you can see the brighter ones I didn't use for this project, as my Mom wanted mostly rich brown colors, but I'm using the purple and pinks to make Nana's 'J' later this weekend). If, however, you're feeling more ambitious than I was and would prefer to cut out your own strips, you'll need to measure and cut them out to be EXACTLY 1/4 of an inch. Make sure you're precise, otherwise they'll stand at different heights when you glue them into your outline letter.
6) My tools. A ruler, which I not only used to measure, but to bend and straighten the paper as I glued down the outline of the C. I primarily used the pencil and a large needle as my quilling tools (i.e. the things I wrapped my strips of paper around in order to make them curl). I used a pair of tweezers to position and hold the quilled paper in place as the Mod Podge dried, the paint brush to apply the glue, and the Q-tips in order to wipe any excess glue that may have oozed where it didn't belong.
Next, I did as Laura suggested and printed the outline of my letter so that I had a template to follow as I glued down the outline strips. She suggested using the Lucida Fax font in Microsoft Word (make sure you change the style to outline) in a light grey color so that once it was printed it was barely visible to the naked eye (after all, the printed outline is only as a guide for you when you're gluing the outline strips on...you don't want it to blindingly visible in the finished product). The size of your letter is obviously dependant on the size of your frame (i.e. how large you want the finished letter to be).
This next step is the hardest part of the quilling adventure. It's totally doable, just very finicky and requires a substantial amount of patience. It's also super complicated to explain, and, like a dweeb, I didn't take the appropriate step-by-step pictures in order to demonstrate it (or the step after that, really. Ha!) So, rather than lead you astray and inevitably into a tizzy, I highly suggest you click here for Laura's FAR better explanation of the remaining steps in the quilling process.
I can, however, skip towards the end, and show you the finishing touches...
|This is what my "C" looked like after it had been completely glued down and backed|
|up close and personal...|
|Totally Finito! (sorry about the glare on the glass, I tried everything but this was the best I could do).|
So there you have it, Mom and Dad! Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! ;) Love you both to the moon and back xoxo