Quilling Art on Canvas main article image

Quilling is the art of rolling thin strips of paper, gluing them together to form beautiful shapes that can then be arranged to create beautiful compositions. Learn the art of quilling and you can create unlimited creative and imaginative works of art such as jewelry, greeting cards, and even wall art like this 8 x 10 canvas piece.


  • 8 x 10 canvas
  • White acrylic paint
  • Medium size paintbrush (for painting the foundation on the canvas)
  • Small paintbrush for painting sealant onto floral pieces
  • Cup of water for cleanup
  • Paper Towels
  • Parchment Paper
  • 15” Quilling paper strips in 1/8”, and just a few in 3/16” and ¼” widths
  • Quilling tools
  • PPA matte glue, or Mod Podge, or School Glue
  • Acrylic Sealant Spray

quilling supplies

Paint the edges of the canvas with white acrylic paint. Paint the front of the canvas in one direction first. Once dry, paint again in the opposite direction. Painting of the canvas helps your quilling art to stick to the surface and painting in opposite directions gives a nice texture.

painting the canvas

painting the canvas

TIP: You can paint the canvas any color that you want. Choose a background color that coordinates with the florals that you are going to quill.

While you’re waiting for your canvas to dry, you can make your floral pieces. You will use the 1/8” strips unless otherwise noted.

TIP: To loosen the fibers of the paper strip and make them roll smoother, run your fingernail along the wrong side of the paper strip as if you are curling the strip with your fingernail. You can feel the ridges along the wrong side of the strips. You always roll with the smooth side out.

The Sunflower

quilled sunflower

You’ll need two. Take two 15 strips of brown for the center of the flower and glue together end to end, overlapping to create one long strip. Take a ¼” strip of brown and using the Fringing Scissors, (you can use regular scissors as well) fringe one long edge by cutting small strips about halfway through. Then glue to the end of your long strip.

quilling technique

fringe quilling technique

TIP: Be sure to think about how you are going to roll your strips on the quilling tool. The fringed piece needs to be rolled last, on the outside, with the fringes at the top.

You are going to roll these strips together to make a tight coil, starting with the thin strips first and ending with the fringed strip. You can use a Curling Coach to help keep your coils uniform. Using your quilling tool poked through the small hole on the Curling Coach, roll your long strip into a tight coil.

curling coach

using the curling coach

When you get to the fringed strip, just keep rolling, keeping your coil even against the Curling Coach. Glue to secure.

TIP: When you get to the fringed strip, keep it taut but not too tight or you’ll break your strip.

center of sunflower

For each petal of the sunflower, you will need one strip of yellow. Roll each strip into a loose coil and place into the #15 circle template.

quilling template

Remove from the template and glue to secure, then form into a Shaped Marquis.

loose coils

shaped marquis

You will need about thirty petals.

sunflower petals

Glue 15 petals around the fringed center, creating the first layer of petals.

quilling sunflower

Glue the other 15 petals, with the curve in the opposite direction, around the fringed center, on top of the first layer of petals, creating a second layer of petals. Once dry, press down on the brown fringed piece with your fingers, opening the fringes.

quilling sunflower

The Daisy

quilling daisy

There are three daisies here. You will need 11 petals for the daisy. Take each strip and roll it into a loose coil and place it into the #15 circle template. Remove from the template and glue to secure, then form into a Tear Drop shape. Glue each petal together to form a circle, forming the daisy. Roll a 7 ½” strip of yellow into a tight coil and glue to secure. Give this center, called the pistil of a flower, some depth by forming a half ball using the 8mm dome on the Half-Ball Making Board.

half-ball making board

Glue to the center of your daisy, being careful to not press too hard, which will flatten out your dome.

TIP: Forming into a dome is optional. If you don’t have the Half-Ball Making Board, don’t sweat it, your flower will still be beautiful.

TIP: The 15” strips aren’t exactly 15”. They measure about 15 ¼” – 15 3/8”. Most of the measurements for the strips are based on taking the 15” strip and tearing in half. For example: Tear the 15” strip in half and you get two 7 ½” strips, approximately. Tear each of the 7 ½” strips and you get four 3 ¾” strips, not exact but that’s ok. Tear each in half yet again, and you get eight 2” or so strips.

Six Petal Pink Flower

quilling six petal flower

Make three. You’ll need six 7 ½” strips of pink. Take each strip and roll into a loose coil and place into the #10 circle template. Remove from template and glue to secure. Shape each into a Tear Drop shape. Glue each petal together to form a circle, forming the flower. Roll about a 3 ¾” strip of yellow into a tight coil. Glue to secure, then glue to the center of the flower.

TIP: For ease in keeping the six petals uniform, glue in sets of three first and let them dry. Then glue the two halves together. You may have to hold in place or pin to a corkboard until they adhere.

quilling flower

The Wheat

quilling wheat

Make two. You’ll need thirteen 11” strips of cream to make the kernels. Roll each strip into a loose coil and place into the #11 circle template. Remove from the template and, while keeping your coil tight, unroll just a bit, leaving about ½” from the end for the tip of the kernel. Form into a teardrop shape and glue to secure, leaving the strand at the tip.

quilling wheat kernel

quilling wheat kernel

The stem of the wheat stalk is 5”. Glue the kernels to the stem as shown.

Five Petal Red Flower

quilling five petal flower

There are five for this piece. You’ll need five 7 ½” strips of red and a 3 3/4” strip of yellow. Roll each red strip into a loose coil and place into the #12 circle template. Remove from the template and glue to secure. Form into a teardrop shape. Roll the yellow strip into a tight coil and glue to secure. Glue the flower petals together first and then glue the tight yellow coil to the center as shown.

Six Petal Coral Flower

quilling flower

Take six 15” strips and roll each into a loose coil. Place into the #17 circle template, remove from the template, and glue to secure. Form into a teardrop shape. Using a 15” strip of yellow, roll a tight coil and glue to secure. Glue your flower petals with points facing out and then glue the tight yellow coil to the center as shown. You only need one of these.

Six Petal Small Blue Flower

quilling blue flower

Make two. You’ll need six 15” strips of blue and one 7 ½” white strip that is ¼” wide. Roll each blue strip into a tight coil and glue to secure. Pinch one side of each to make a tight teardrop shape. Fringe one of the long edges of your white strip, roll into a tight coil, and glue to secure. Glue the blue petals to the white center with the points facing out as shown.

quilling flower

Once dry, press with your fingers on the pistil of the flower, the fringed white center, loosening the fringes.

quilling small blue flower

Small Red Fringed Flower

quilling fringed flower

Make two. For each flower, you’ll need three 15” strips of red. One at 1/8”, one at 3/16”, and one at ¼” widths. Glue them together, end to end, overlapping to create one long strip. Glue the ¼” to the 3/16”, then the 3/16” to the 1/8”. Fringe one long edge, what will be the top edge, of both the ¼” and the 3/16” widths. Starting with the 1/8” end, roll into a tight coil and glue to secure.

quilling red flower

Once dry, press down with your fingers on the fringes, opening them up.

quilling red fringed flower

Tiny Rose Bud

quilling rose bud

There are two here. For each rosebud, roll a 7 ½” strip into a tight coil, glue to secure, and pinch one side to create a tight teardrop shape.

Small Purple Flower

quilling purple flowers

Make five. You’ll need one 2” yellow strip and five 3 3/4” purple strips per flower. Roll each strip into a loose coil and let unravel naturally, glue to secure. Glue the purple petals around the yellow pistil center.


quilling leaves

Leaves are made with 15” strips rolled into a loose coil and placed into the #15 circle template and formed into a marquis. You’ll need about 47-50 leaves.

Once you have all your pieces made, you’ll want to seal them. You can do this with the PPA glue, Mod Podge, a sealant, or even school glue.

quilling sealants

TIP: You can pour the glue into a small disposable cup or squirt it out on the parchment paper. When you glue the pieces to the canvas, dip just the backside into the glue and place it on your canvas.

Using a small brush, paint the sealant around the edges and the top, being careful not to pull out the inside designs, allowing to dry between each side. There’s no need to seal the back because you are going to dip into glue before placing your pieces on the canvas.

sealing quilled flowers

TIP: Take your time here. Use small amounts of sealant/glue over your pieces. If the sealant spans across your designs leaving a bubble, blow it out so that it does not show on your final piece. You don’t have to be meticulous in making sure that every part is covered because you are going to spray a final sealant over the end canvas.

Putting it all together

quilling floral pieces

quilling flowers

Glue the leaves together as in the picture below, adding the rosebuds to a couple of them. These do not need to be exact; you can have random leaves anywhere in your design. You may want to start by gluing a few together and see how the layout is going to look on your canvas.

Once your pieces have dried, lay them out on your canvas, move them around, play with the layout until you like what you see. Take a photo to refer to.

quilling floral pieces

Start by removing the pieces that are sitting on top of other pieces, leaving the ones that are flat to the canvas. Dip each piece into the glue and place back on the canvas. This is your groundwork.

quilling on canvas

TIP: Use tweezers to dip your pieces in the glue and place on the canvas.

Allow to dry. Glue the rest of the pieces in their places. You may have to let pieces set for a few minutes so that they adhere before you add more pieces.

Once you have your floral pieces glued to the canvas, you may find that you have holes. Sometimes as you are gluing the pieces, you may not place them exactly where you did to start with, which could leave unexpected blank spaces in your artwork. You can always make some more of the small flowers to fill in those spaces.

Don’t forget to sign your work, you are an artist.

quilling canvas art

To protect your artwork, when the canvas has completely dried and the floral pieces are sturdy, take it to a well-ventilated area and spray on a coat of clear acrylic spray to seal.

quilling floral canvas

quilling art

Once the sealant dries, your canvas is ready to hang and add beauty to any room. It’s a conversation piece as well. Not many people have seen such beautiful artwork created with little strips of paper.

quilling art

quilling sunflower art

You can frame your canvas too with a Plein Air Wooden Frame or a Float Frame. It would make a great gift idea as well. Have you caught the bug yet? Do you want to make more? Are you thinking about who you can give this to for Christmas or will you keep it for yourself?

quilling canvas art

quilling canvas wall art

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