Add some style to your Valentine's Day cards
Add some style to your Valentine's Day cards In this image provided by Kari Cronbaugh-Auld of Olathe, Kan., two teardrop coils and two smaller bent teardrop coils combine with an open coil scroll to create a heartfelt message. Quilling, which involves rolling thin strips of paper into various coil shapes and many other techniques, adds extra elegance to a Valentine's Day greeting. (Kari Cronbaugh-Auld/Quillique via AP)
Add some style to your Valentine's Day cards
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Want to add a little style to your Valentine's Day cards? Learn how to roll a few quilling shapes - hearts, teardrops and petals, for starters - to convey your love.
Quilling - an ancient craft also known as paper filigree - doesn't require any special tools to get started. It's essentially the rolling of narrow strips of paper to make simple shapes for use in artwork and handmade cards. Complementary techniques have developed over time, such as delicately cut and curled or fringed flowers.
A quilled card that she received several years ago fascinated Kari Cronbaugh-Auld of Olathe, Kansas.
So she got to experimenting - and then perfecting - her craft. Today, she sells handmade cards and other gifts at her online Etsy shop, Quillique. Wedding invitations framed by intricate, quilled details are a top seller for her.
"It looks easy. But it's time-intensive," says Cronbaugh-Auld. She is a social worker and grant writer who quills in her spare time.
A simple Valentine's Day card - one heart or a few scrolls - is a good project for beginners.
Cronbaugh-Auld is self-taught. She recommends picking up a quilling kit at a craft store and watching tutorials on YouTube. Quilling books include supply lists and basic techniques.
Quilling paper and equipment, such as a slotted tool - the slot at the tip helps start paper rolling - are sold at craft stores. Beginners also need fine-tipped tweezers and craft glue. It must dry clear and quickly. And that's about it.
After all, none of these supplies were even available to the Renaissance monks and nuns. They decorated holy pictures and relic vessels with the precious strips of gold-edged paper that resulted from bookmaking. Their paper filigree - created by wrapping thin paper strips around a feather quill - replicated ironwork patterns of the day.
During the Victorian era, well-heeled young ladies learned quilling in addition to needlework. The craft traveled to the Americas. It was used to decorate cabinets, cribbage boards and picture frames, says Cronbaugh-Auld.
"Hundreds of years ago, quilling was done by people who wanted to make decorative things for their homes," says Hannah Milman. She is a Martha Stewart Living contributing editor. "Paper was precious. I'm sure every scrap was kept."
Decades before she wrote about quilling for Martha Stewart Living magazine, Milman quilled paper beads as a child. She strung them on elastic thread to make necklaces.
"I never knew it was quilling," Milman recalls. "I just did this instinctively. And I'm sure a lot of people did this around the world."
Milman fondly recalls using the glossy pages of her parents' New Yorker magazines.
"It was such perfect paper and smooth. It rolled up really well," she says.
A reuse-and-recycle advocate, Milman recommends cutting one's own quilling strips - 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch widths are common - with scissors, paper cutter or shredder. Scrapbook and construction papers are too thick. But simple white craft paper works well, Milman says. Dye it. Splatter it with paint. Make it your own.
"It looks amazing, really elegant," Milman says.
She recommends, "going big." Although quilling was traditionally a delicate craft for small projects, Milman now sees it used in home decor. For parties, decorate with giant coils instead of the ubiquitous tissue-paper pompoms. Or quill a giant wall heart.
Think outside of traditional quilling colors, too, she says. For Valentine's Day, insert some silver in among the pinks and reds. Or accent a traditionally white-quilled card with a smattering of color.
When you get more involved in quilling, Cronbaugh-Auld says, there are more tools that might help, many that cross over from scrapbooking and other crafts.
What's the key ingredient? Patience.
"It's like learning how to knit or crochet. When you start out, you have to be patient with yourself," says Cronbaugh-Auld.

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Most people use a shredder to destroy paper. How might a shredder be helpful with quilling?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • wcaroline-dav
    2/16/2017 - 04:38 p.m.

    In response to "Add some style to your Valentine's Day card" I think that people would shread there paper because the can make confetti. It can cut things in straight lines and it can be long or short strips. It also can support many things for different ideas.

    • shy'lliyah7-joh
      2/17/2017 - 03:18 p.m.

      I think this is not only good for Valentines Cards (Add some style to your Valentines Day card) but for anything you do

      • jahir5-joh
        2/21/2017 - 12:59 p.m.

        That is a good point. It could have more uses than just cards.

  • plaura-dav
    2/16/2017 - 05:45 p.m.

    In response to "Add some style to your Valentine's Day cards," I disagree that people should do this because they might not keep it. One reason I agree is that they will see that you really care. Another reason is that it will show that you put time into this for them. It says in the article that it looks easy but it is time innocence. A third reason is that some people like a home made card it means more to. Even though so people might think this is stupid, I thinkThat it is a good idea.

  • bolivia-dav
    2/16/2017 - 06:01 p.m.

    In response to "Add some style to your Valentine's Day cards," I agree that this craft can require patients. One reason I agree is that this craft can be time consuming and use lots of spare time. Another reason is that this craft is a lot like knitting or crocheting, you have to be very patient with the craft and yourself. It says in the article that "the key ingredient is patience. A third reason that this craft requires lots of patience is that there are different kinds of these crafts to make, and they all need different levels of skill. Even though this craft has been made for hundreds of years, I think it still uses a lot of patience.

  • shanamarier-har
    2/16/2017 - 09:20 p.m.

    A shredder could be useful when you have to make quilling designs for a card. For one, you don't have to cut out the paper into strips, the shredder does the work for you. Another way is that the paper strips come out into even lengths. Finally, you could recycle if you have extra papers.

  • llandon-dav
    2/16/2017 - 09:44 p.m.

    In response to "Add some style to your Valentine's Day cards" I agree that you should make your valentines day card extra pecial for that special person. One reason I agree this form of quivilling is very cool to look at and give to someone else. Another reason is that instead of using the original colors you colud use splaters. It says in the article " Or accent a traditionally white-quilled card with a smattering of color." this explains the reason stated before. A third reason is that this isnt very hard and can be done some what easly. Even though some might think this looks hard, I think it looks some what easy.

  • hjake-dav
    2/17/2017 - 07:12 a.m.

    In response to this article, I think it's a very useful tool. Not only can you use this tip for valentines, but you can use it for other things. Projects for school, presents for others, just decorations for your room as well. Endless possibilities!

    • shy'lliyah7-joh
      2/17/2017 - 03:19 p.m.

      I think this is not only good for Valentines Cards (Add some style to your Valentines Day card) but for anything you do to make thngs

      • halle4-joh
        2/21/2017 - 11:55 a.m.

        I agree you could use this for many different things. It would be great for parties, weddings, or just decorating your house.

        • alexis7-joh
          2/21/2017 - 03:17 p.m.

          I also think it would be a great idea to put this in a better use than just for Valentines Day, but to also put it out there for other people to see.

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