Folded Lucky Stars Tutorial

paper, star, fold, origami

For years I used to carry a small tin case with travel scissors and paper. I would fold stars on the bus, waiting rooms, dark movie theaters, and while having conversations with people because folding was like breathing. To give a jar filled with 365 stars to someone showed you thought of them every day of the year. I’ve lost count after a thousand stars but always enjoyed seeing their expression. I’ve decorated greeting cards, the outside of jars, even Christmas trees with them – is it a wonder I used them in my wedding invitations?


There are many tutorials online for folding Lucky Stars but while teaching others how to make it, I’ve learned their number one mistake is creasing the first folds too much. By the time you reach the end and are ready to “puff”, the star is apt to squish to one side rather than separate into it’s 3D glory. Notice how it’s gently folded in place but not sharply creased? If you haven’t had success in the past, please try again with this small change and let me know if it made a difference for you.


I also like to fold around a string as I go, to make a bracelet or a garland of stars. The easiest material to use is ribbons because the width is ready to go and they’re oh-so-shiny.

To see my step-by-step tutorial, please visit my guest post on Ann Martin’s blog, All Things Paper. If you haven’t seen Ann’s work before, prepare to lose a few hours exploring her site. Her wedding certificates are simply exquisite as they enhance the newlyweds’ choice of theme. Any time a beginner quiller asks me for basic steps, I always point them to Ann’s Basic Tutorials because she really pays attention to the nuances and helps people realize quilling is not as hard as it looks. Her  paper projects (check out her washi Easter egg tutorial) entice you to try different techniques and materials.

Ann also interviews paper artists around the world, showcasing their work and highlighting the subtleties. As if her plate isn’t already full scouring the web and offering up the best eye candy, she has also authored a book of the same title, All Things Paper, which is like a hard copy of her popular site – but contains nothing you’ve seen yet. Not only does Ann have uber-human attention to detail, she also has a way with words, describing steps as if painting a picture – the best kind of tutorial maker out there. Thank you for being you, Ann.

3D Cake by Michelle and Kelly



I simply love seeing my designs come to life in another person’s hands. It’s wonderful to see the same cut file used in different colors and texture than I imagined.

The first card is made by Michelle of Michelle My Belle Creations. It seems so obvious now that the flowers she used was such an ideal choice. I also like the bling she added using sequins in the upper parts of the swoosh.

The second card is by Krafting Kelly of Finding Time to Create. Ah, these are the times I wish I had a ready supply of scrapbook paper in my shelf. I love how she placed the initial right on top of the cake – like one of those special candles. Again – why didn’t I think of that?

Thank you for playing with my files, Michelle and Kelly!

3D Cake Collection


I’m quite excited to offer these 3D paper cakes, easily customizable for a birthday, wedding, or anniversary in my Etsy store.


Here’s an example of a single layer chocolate cake with white circles icing (I used white vinyl). I’ve seen many examples of polka dotted icing on cakes, and thought it would great to have a matching background.


Add a second layer of cake on top and some swooshes to make a classic celebratory statement. I designed a subtle backdrop pattern made of diamonds and left a blank plaque above for whatever occasion you need.



My favorite has to be the 3-tier cake. Somehow the more tiers it has, the more fun it is. I decorated it with ribbon and matched the background using a scalloped edge. The chocolate shavings on top were made of quilling paper, but you can just as easily use any brown paper with 1/8″ width.


What cake would be complete without a cake box? I used some scrap plastic left over from some packaging and glued it with Scotch Quick Dry glue. I also added some easy-open tabs so you won’t have to struggle prying open a well-fitted box. All the cards are 5×7 inches.

Michelle of MichelleMyBelle Creations made an awesome purple cake with flowers, sequins, and textured backgrounds. I like how she added a bow to the stand which makes it more dimensional.

Please let me know what you think in the comments section!

Happy birthday 3D paper cake


Wishing our niece a happy birthday with a bubbly cake. She was into pink for years and now that she’s on the brink of becoming a teenager, I thought I’d give one last shout-out to pinkness. Somehow the years of coloring with her made me really aware how well pink and purple go so well together.

The purple confetti and curls on top were made of quilling paper. The text is cut from vinyl. Everything else was cut with my Silhouette die cutter. I designed the 3D cake pattern months ago but got sidelined with a huge project, so I’m relieved to finally re-visit this in time to use it myself.

Owl Die Cut for ATC Swap


Paper Poet, New Westminster is holding a Meet Up to swap Artist Trading Cards this Friday. This is the first ATC I’ve ever made. Of course I’d use a combo of die cutting and quilling, and somehow express who I am. What I like the most is how the owl puffs up simply with a folded half moon on the top of his head. Please leave a comment – I really enjoy your feedback.



All Things Paper: 20 Unique Projects from Leading Paper Crafters, Artists, and Designers by Ann Martin

All Things Paper

DON’T stop the presses! I can hardly wait to see this book in person (in another 3 months).

It’s still being printed so I can’t show you anything more, but when you see my project I hope you think the wait is worth the mystery. I’m honored to join some very prestigious paper-ists, amassed by the well accomplished, all-seeing Ann Martin of All Things Paper.

So I can’t tell you what I made, but no one said I can’t say what it isn’t. It isn’t anything I’ve shown here before. Like I said – a “mystery”! Bah! It’s no fun when no one else is in on the punny humor. Please bear with me – I’m excited by this milestone, my 2nd publication piece.

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon

Year of the Snake Quilling – Print Items

quilling, snake

When I first started my career in graphic design long ago, the culmination of my efforts was smelling the fresh ink off the presses, holding the sheet and imagining how it would be received. I know Feb 10th’s Sing Tao and Ming Po newspapers are so “yesterday’s newspapers”, but it still gives me a feeling of accomplishment – not as a graphic designer this time, but as a quiller.

Here also are the “Lai See” or Red Lucky Envelopes that Home Depot gave out during their promotional event. I was incredibly lucky to have found a Customer Service Rep who not only gave up her own saved package but also hunted down other departments so I could have enough to give to my nieces and nephews this special year.

quilling, snake

Year of the Snake Quilling

quiling, snake, chinese new year

I’m a day early to wish you Happy Year of the Snake, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Besides, the ad is out in today’s Ming Pao and Sing Tao newspapers in Vancouver and Toronto.

This is my first commercial quilling project in my portfolio, and also my largest. The width of the snake is 7.5″ wide, just fitting within my digital die cutter (Silhouette). The Chinese words and Home Depot logo were also cut on the die cutter.

I used regular quilling paper for the words because the spaces were so thin. I cut Canson Mi-Tientes paper for everything else because the extra thickness was needed to traverse a larger distance and hold its shape.

quilling, snake

For those who are curious about the process, a Toronto ad agency presented the mock up on the left and the client approved, then I worked towards that direction.

quilling, snake, chinese new year

I’ll be grabbing a newspaper after breakfast this morning and seeing how it all looks. Happy Year of the Snake everyone!

*** UPDATE*** I’m sorry I got the date mixed up and the ad will be in tomorrow’s paper.

Quilled Thank You Cards (8 of 8)

quilling, thank you, flower, card

Yet another variation of the first card, just a different mix of colors and layout. Thanks to all who have been tracking this set of 8 cards.

The blank greeting card stock I’m using is Neenah Classic Linen Cover, Solar White, 80 lb. It’s A6 size (4 5/8″ x 6 1/4″). Can you believe I scored a box of 250 for just $5 from Spicers Cash & Carry? They were being discontinued, so of course I bought all 5 boxes for easy Christmas gifts. I love how the embossed rectangle subtly frames everything.

I’d like to thank my client, “C”, who kept me in her back pocket for a whole year, waiting for this project to come along to contact me. It’s been a dream come true! I am allowed to reveal it tomorrow, and if you live in Vancouver or Toronto, you’ll can see it in the Ming Po or Sing Tao Chinese newspapers too.

Quilled Thank You Cards (7 of 8)

quilling, flower, thank you, card

I was running out of left over bits, so this one was a bit of a struggle. Not my fave, but it still runs along the same vein as the rest.

It’s an amazing time we live in when I can “show and tell” online and within seconds, my thoughts are read halfway around the world. Without the web and its crafting community, I wouldn’t have had the exposure I’ve had. I’m thankful for the opportunities that have been handed to me on a silver platter.

Quilled Thank You Cards (6 of 8)

quilling, thank you, card, flower

I never realized how fun it would be to do abstract quilling until I had to use up my leftover pieces. It’s amazing to me how little can still say so much. Since these were made with thicker strips I didn’t want to mix it up with my regular pile of quilling pieces in progress, which I keep in a fishing tackle box – just $6 at Canadian Tire and comes with re-positionable compartment walls.


My thanks this time goes out to all of you who comment on and follow this blog. Your positive words encourage me to work through my doubts and give me a pick-me-up. I appreciate your visits and the time you take to let me know your thoughts. Thank you all!

Quilled Thank You Cards (5 of 8)


Another variation of Card 1 and 3, but with a softer color palette and smaller scale of petals.

These quilling strips were cut on my Silhouette die cutter out of Canson Mi-Tientes. I chose this paper because the thicker qualities allowed me to carry the curves over a longer distance with more control. I find standard quilling paper to be rather thin, more suited to smaller designs. I learned cutting with/against the grain had an impact on the innermost coil, causing either buckling vs a smooth tight line. I suggest cutting one strip and testing it first before cutting the entire sheet.

A quick thank you to hubby for wrapping all the xmas gifts this year, leaving me free to focus on finishing my project on time. It’s not his forté, but he took it on without hesitation.


Quilled Thank You Cards (4 of 8)

quilling, flower, thank you

These two particular shades of orange and green remind me of cantaloupe and honeydew – they just go together.

The project I’ll be showing soon had to be completed during the holidays, from the moment I got off work on Dec 21st and due on the 27th. Usually hubby and I would do our holiday baking together in choreographed synchronicity in our compact kitchen – this time he did almost all of it himself and with a huge variety as well. Although it was nice not to be covered in flour, I’m looking forward to next year’s bake-fest when we can just orbit each other again. Thanks honey, for taking this huge task off my “plate”.

Quilled Thank You Cards (3 of 8)


This is obviously a variation of Card 1. The deeper colors were the client’s first choice, but we had to swap it out because it took away from the main piece. It was also too large compared to the overall design. Sometimes with quilling, I can’t tell until it’s all done.

I’m very thankful my hubby cooks (so much better than I can), and didn’t mind taking on all our meals, prepping, and clean up so I could focus solely on this project.

Quilled Thank You Cards (2 of 8)


Here’s my 2nd thank you card made from leftover quilled items from the project-yet-to-be-named. Ever feel that zipped mouth feeling playing Taboo when you can’t say the actual words?

I’d like to thank my hubby for driving me to 3 different store chains, 4 separate nights, to pick up 23 shades/sizes of paper for this 1 project…and for listening to countless hours of debates on color usage, composition, drawing style and my self doubts of ability to do this in general.

A sneak peak can be seen in today’s SingTao & MingPao in Vancouver and Toronto. They’re Chinese newspapers, so that should give you a hint which direction I’m going in!

Quilled Thank You Cards (1 of 8)


I hope everyone’s new year has had an auspicious start. I’ve been sitting on some wonderful news since mid-December that I’m still not allowed to share for yet another few weeks. So until then I’m just going to leak out a few items so I don’t burst. These are quilled items I couldn’t use in the final design, so made them into Thank You cards. I’ll be posting more in the month to come, until I can finally reveal the full design.


I’d like to thank my hubby for letting me peruse the aisles of Daiso, an Asian version of a dollar store, for an hour and a half. His patience has no bounds – even though I test those bounds often. Anyway, here’s a little gem I found that was perfect for my cards to make a floating message. Pre-cut foam squares (336 small and 84 large) for just $2.

How to use up scrap paper


I have a big-ass folder of scraps because I can’t bear to throw anything away that might someday be of use. I know this circle can be cut from this triangular corner, but how do I make sure I get it right the first (and only) time?

I lay down a used piece of paper (I salvage the papers from work that have been printed on too), then cut my shape. I cover the circle with my scrap and secure it with removable tape. Now when I cut again, I KNOW it will be 100% where I want. You can see I had just about 2mm margin of error.

Let me know if this method worked for you too!

3D Ornament Gift Tag


I’ve seen many wonderful 3D ball ornaments and thought it might also make a great gift tag. It’s also a great way to use up small scraps of left over paper.

It’s super easy to make. Just fold your circle/ornament in half and glue about 5 various colors to each other, then to the tag. The best part is that it’s easy to re-fluff back up if it’s been squashed by another gift.

Have a happy crafting season everyone!


Kemper Lace Tool for Quilling



That was the sound of my quilling tool snapping off completely. It was also the sound of my heart breaking after 20 years of great use. Was it some kind of Freudian slip that I blogged about this tool recently and had a reader, mariannetolosa, who mentioned she uses it for clay? My sanity was saved knowing I could find it somewhere out there in a craft store near me (Vancouver, BC).


DeSerres sold two bookbinding awls but the Lineco Light Duty Awl didn’t taper smoothly or come to as fine a point (imagine sharpening a pencil with an x-acto knife). The Heavy Duty Awl was too large a circumference. Their clay section offered an awl but was part of a larger tool package. I finally found the $4 Kemper Lace Tool at Opus on Granville Island and did a silent scream/dance of joy in the aisles.

Thank you mariannetolosa – you saved my sanity!

Paper Poinsettia and Wreath

Poinsettias simply say Christmas! The feedback I received for my fringed flowers was so overwhelming, I just had to make a Poinsettia version for Christmas cards.


These paper blossoms are designed as a fringed flower to be quilled into shape. The stamen, petals, and leaves are designed as one strip of paper to allow for quick rolling / quilling. Color markers were used on white 28 lb paper in these examples, however they can be cut from colored paper and the three parts glued into one strip.

The pine needle wreath is cut from two pieces of 80 lb paper and overlapped, then fluffed into shape to give the poinsettias a festive base. This example is a 5″ x 7″ card.

A regular envelope wouldn’t do, so I made a windowed box to protect the blossoms.

Maybe I was a squirrel in a previous life, but as a little girl I loved boxes to hold things, keep secrets in them, and to give gifts in. This cube has a prepared hole for an enlarged version of the poinsettia. The cube is 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 2.5″.

I don’t bake a lot of cupcakes so this is about as close as I’d come to cupcake toppers. I have loved ones who are allergic to nuts and some who can’t handle spicy foods. Instead of a quilling tool, I rolled the poinsettia in a toothpick, then glued in place. Added the warning flag at the bottom, and voila – food markers.


If you’d like to cut and quill paper poinsettias this Christmas, this Poinsettia Collection can be downloaded immediately via my store. I’d love to see what you make with my files, so drop me a line!

Changed up last year’s bat wall into swooping bats on a fishing line.

This year we made 2 jack-o-lanterns each. I still can’t believe he made the Death Star! His second was Prototype – the moldy bits reminds me of rust. Mine was crunching on a little guy again and I added a brain surgery victim made of a pomelo.

This year we carved with a group of master carvers – fun multiplied!

“Wicked” was carved by my talented 12 yr old nephew.

3D Cake Card

Here’s an idea I’ve been toying with – a paper 3D cake. I love the feel ribbon instantly gives to cakes. The chocolate shavings screamed to be made out of quilling strips. The platter/stand is cut from metallic green card stock. I even made a cake box to protect it, since it’ll get crushed in an envelope.

Each tier is made separately in case they need to be varying paper stocks representing different flavors. This 3-tier cake is obviously for a wedding, but take away the top 2 and there’ll be more room for a message for birthdays or anniversaries.

My quilling tool

I’ve recently been asked what type of quilling tool I use, so here it is. I bought it 20 years ago during a student trip to a university book store in the US. I believe it was meant for bookbinding and don’t have a clue what the scooped end is for. I didn’t make books, but I thought it was a well made tool and since it was under $2, it fit my student budget. I had no idea I’d be using it like my right hand today.

I usually quill just a bit from the narrowed tip (highlighted in green) because otherwise the innermost coil is inconsistent due to the taper. I don’t own any other needle quilling tool so I can’t compare with anything else. Although it took some time to transition from a slotted tool, I much prefer the un-crimped innermost coil.

Hope this answers your questions. What’s your favorite quilling tool?

Quilling Glue

I often get asked what type of glue I use for quilling. I bought a big bottle of acid free white (dries clear) wood & paper craft glue 10 years ago. It lasted so long I didn’t realize it became an aged bottle of wine. It had slowly thickened, so when I dabbed just a bit and pressed two quilling strips together, it was quickly bonded.

The inevitable happened and I needed to buy more. I bought the typical kids’ school glue and was mortified by the liquid ease it came pouring out. No wonder others had complained about quilling taking so long to set!

That new bottle quickly got shuttled off to the nephews and I hunted for a similar wood & paper craft glue I had lucked upon the first time. I found it at Opus (Canada) or you can also get it at DickBlick (US). It’s not as thick as my aged vintage decade old glue, but it’s certainly closer than anything else I’ve found.

What’s your favorite quilling glue?

Meylah: Best Handmade Item

How cool is this? I just started a new store on Meylah and they’ve showcased my “No Peeking Gift Boxes” on their Best Handmade Items of the Week!

I’ve loved being on Etsy, but Meylah offers immediate gratification – instant download, even for my cut files. I can be asleep and someone in France can start crafting right away. Check out their marketplace for other shops.

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