Obviously, paper was created for writing, and it does that very, very well. Most of us learned how to make a jumping frog or a swan from a square of paper back in school, too.

But somewhere after grade school we seem to have lost our fascination for all the different things paper can do. There is the classic ‘collage’, of course. There was a time when ‘cut and paste’ was meant literally. But that is so… 2 dimensional.

Look at some of the more exciting things paper can do, like these amazing Game of Thrones house crests! These were created using a technique called ‘quilling’, which could really revitalize the simple joy of gluing paper together.

What is quilling, and how can I learn?
Quilling has also been called ‘paper filigree’. It needn’t even be limited to paper – it can involve many materials, including fabric or even glass. Some of the earliest examples of quilling used paper trimmed from the edges of gilded books, and is said to have been developed in imitation of the curls of decorative ironwork popular at the time.

Quilling starts with cutting many thin strips of paper – I prefer working with rich colors and interesting textures – and rolling them up. The most basic part of quilling is to brush one side of these paper spirals with glue, and mount them to a surface. Add more spirals, and you can see the amazing possibilities of this technique.

The process is an additive one, and it can be hard to know when to stop. One bit of advice I can give is ‘remember the value of negative space’. Otherwise, you’ll spend the next two days getting the swirly texture of the blue sky just right.