Chris’s Stars

19 Apr
Green, blue and pink stars resting on white paper
I am really happy with how each came together, and I love them as a group

A couple of weeks ago, I showed the pictures of Vanessa’s star to a friend, who was kind enough to oooohhhh! and aaaahhh! enough over it, that I made a smaller one for each family member, in their favorite colors.

Beware another image-heavy post with lots of quilling porn.

Quilling, the art of paper filigree, is a very forgiving craft in my opinion, and the barrier for entry is very low, as you really only need one special tool (and even that can be made at home). Other than that, all you need is strips of colored paper and white glue. Heavier paper makes for more even and stable coils, but even copy paper can be used to start, or as accents for certain techniques.

A quilling board with pink coils and green tear drops
Some of the individual components

The white panel you see above helps in keeping the coils consistent in size before gluing, but a regular ruler (or even marks on paper), can be used instead. Dedicated quilling artists learn to gauge the size of the coils based on the length and thickness of the paper, and rarely if ever use measurements. I am nowhere near as accomplished or confident, so I welcome the help this tool provides.

Showing the slices of toilet paper rolls with some of the quilled paper forms organized inside, and held together by pins as the glue dries
Building a star

Once you have your individual bits, you just glue them together. White school glue works best, as it dries clear. A flat piece of cork or foam covered in plastic, and some steel sewing pins, are very useful for keeping the individual components in place in relation with each other as the glue dries.

The three stars resting on white paper
The perfect angle to highlight the coils.

Strictly speaking, quilling does not require framing like this, but I like it because the finished project is sturdier. Of course, framing can be done with paper (see the petals in Megan’s flowers, for example), or even cardstock strips, rather than cardboard, but given the size I wanted to make each point of the star, thin carboard made sense.

I could have cut strips of food packaging, and taped or glued those to get the form I was after, but a flattened tp roll already has the shape and size I wanted, so it was natural for me to use them. Recycling is both reusing and upcycling in this case.

Close up of the blue star showing the individual components that make up each point
The simple made complex

By combining different basic shapes and different colors, one can give the impression of great complexity, with very little effort.

Holding the green star so the quilling shows against the background
I love how delicate they look.

These stars are intended to hang, but not necessarily from a Christmas tree. This kind of piece looks really great against a wall or a window.

Holding the blue star, showing the reverse side
The quilling always looks so delicate and complex.

Quilling itself has no reverse side, since all the ‘seams’ in each individual piece, and the joining between pieces, are on the sides of the coils, and are thus almost imperceptible. (Unless, of course, you are building 3D pieces using quilled components, but that’s another story.)

Another shot of the reverse side of the pink star
The reverse side on this one shows quite a bit of the irregularities of the tp rolls.

When using something like tp cardboard rolls for any project, one must be aware of the imperfection of the medium. The seams in the rolls are bulky, often not glued evenly, and occasionally can distort the rolls (or slices thereof), when painting them, as the cardboard fibers pull in one direction while the seam pulls in another.

The three stars laying on white paper, with the light reflecting off the plastic gems

I tend to ‘hide my crimes’ here by using plastic gems in complementing colors, as many or as few as I feel each piece warrants, depending on everything from who the recipient is to the severity of the flaw I’m trying to disguise.

The pink star on my desk, reverse side up; the union of the tp slices at the center, as well as the irregularities of the tp cardboard itself, are very evident.
The reverse, aka no bling

For these three stars I have chosen to give them a front and reverse sides, in part because the slices of tp roll are a full centimeter wide, while the strips of paper I’m using are only 3mm wide. I could have centered the paper inside the cardboard, rather than flush to one edge, but I really like how they turned out, and I’m okay leaving the construction flaws visible on the reverse.

The green star laying on my desk, reverse side up. The irregularities of the cardboard are barely perceptible to the eye.
Interestingly, the irregularities of the tp rolls show a lot less in the darker colors.
The blue star laying on my desk, reverse side up. Again, the cardboard seems almost uniform on this one.
See what I mean?

The rest of this post is just photographs of the stars, separate, together, or in close-ups, which I’m sharing because I am really, really happy with how they turned out, and, hey, it’s my blog, and I can.

The green and blue stars resting on white paper
Aren’t they pretty?
Close of up the green star
The dark coils that make up the center here are dark forest green, not black.
The blue star resting on white paper
I don’t know why this looks so muted, almost pastel, in the photos
The green star and part of the blue star, resting on my desk
This one comes a bit closer to the true shades–except for the blasted dark green at the center that still looks like black
Green star laying on white paper
I can’t get the green near the center to look green in pictures.
The blue star resting on white paper, another angle
Just a hint of the bling
The pink star
I love how the plastic gems complement the delicacy of the quilling
Another close up of the blue star
More quilling porn
The green star laying on my desk
I love the effect the little white tear drops on the outside give here, almost changing the shape of the star.
And yet another one close up of the blue star
::happy crafter noises::
The blue star laying on my desk, slightly different angle
::more happy crafter noises::

If you made it this far, thank you! I hope you liked it.

4 Responses to “Chris’s Stars”

  1. shallowreader 20/04/2021 at 9:26 PM #

    These are all beautiful!

    • azteclady 21/04/2021 at 12:32 AM #

      Thank you, Dr! (how happy am I about your degree? VERY!)


  1. They liked them! | Her Hands, My Hands - 30/04/2021

    […] are few things more fulfilling than when something you made for someone else is well […]

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