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Paper-Quilling Comb Techniques, Shapes, and Designs

Lady Rain works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts and travels. She spends her weekends doing papercraft models and painting.

How to Use a Quilling Comb

The slotted quilling tool is most often used to make paper-quilling coils, but another useful tool is the quilling comb. A quilling comb looks exactly like a wide-toothed hair pick with metal prongs. It is used for making paper coils and paper flowers that are popularly used in paper quilling art designs and scrapbook designs.

If you can't get hold of a quilling comb and don't have a hair pick, a normal comb is a great substitute. I have been using a baby comb. The distance between the prongs can create different-sized coils; you may want to experiment with different combs if you wish.

In This Article

  1. Basic Coil With Loops
  2. Another Basic Looping Method
  3. Three Types of Coils Using Two-Directional Wrapping

Basic Coil With Loops

The quilling-comb method is a quick and easy way to make evenly shaped loops inside each coil. Coils made with a quilling comb are generally bigger than those made with a slotted quilling tool.

We will begin by making a simple coil using the comb. You will need some quilling paper and a quilling comb, or a normal comb. (See the illustrated instructions below.)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Insert a strip of quilling paper in between the prongs of the comb and wrap one end around three prongs to make a small loop.
  2. Apply a little glue to secure the loop.
  3. Then bring the paper strip upwards and wrap it around so that the new long includes two prongs above the first loop.
  4. Pull the paper back to the first prong.
  5. Continue to wrap two more prongs above the second loop.
  6. Continue wrapping in one direction until the strip of paper is all looped around the prongs.
  7. Apply a little glue to the end of the paper to secure the coil and trim off the excess paper if necessary.
  8. Remove the finished coil from the comb and you will have a basic looped coil.

You can adjust the number of loops by increasing or decreasing the number of wrappings around the prongs. You can press or pinch the finished paper coil with your fingers to form the shape you want.

This step-by-step process is illustrated below.

Another Basic Looping Method

Another way of looping the quilling paper around the comb is by making the biggest loop first and then slowly decreasing the loop sizes.

Personally, I am not a fan of this method. The designs and shapes made with this method tend to be rather sloppy looking and not delicate enough. The shapes are a lot bigger, too, and not proportional to my other quilling designs.

Alternative looping method

Alternative looping method

3 Types of Coils Using Two-Directional Wrapping

There are a few different ways to make beautiful coils with the two-directional wrapping method.

Two-Directional Wrapping Coil #1

This is an awesome way of making a great-looking coil with little loops in the centre. All you need are some quilling paper, a comb and glue.

  1. Start somewhere in the middle of the comb. Loop one end of the quilling paper partially around a prong to hold it in place as shown in the picture.
  2. Start wrapping the paper around a prong on the left next to the middle prong.
  3. Bring the paper under the comb and wrap the next prong to the right of the middle prong.
  4. Pull the paper back to the left and wrap the prong next to the previous left loop.
  5. Continue wrapping until the strip of paper is twirled around the comb or you have made enough loops required.
  6. When finished looping, apply a little glue to the end of the paper strip to hold the shape.
  7. Trim off the excess paper especially the bit sticking up on the middle prong.

The visual guide below illustrates this process.

Two-Directional Wrapping Coil #2

Using the same two-directional wrapping method above, you can make a different awesome coil design without much effort.

  1. Wrap the quilling paper around the comb following the instructions above to make the loops.
  2. When you have finished looping the paper strip, carefully remove the paper from the comb.
  3. This time, bend the looped paper in the opposite direction so that all the small loops are facing out instead of being enclosed.
  4. Use another strip of quilling paper to wrap around the loops. Be careful not to squash or flatten the loops when wrapping around them.
  5. Use glue to secure the end of the paper strip. You will see a very different but beautiful design on the coil this time.

As mentioned before, you can adjust the number of loops in each coil when wrapping the paper around the comb. The coil can be pressed into a different shape with the fingers. You can use different coloured strips of quilling paper to wrap around the coil to give it a two-toned or multi-toned colour. The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating paper quilling designs in craft projects.

Two-Directional Wrapping Coil #3

  1. Continuing through the pictures above, carefully remove the looped paper from the comb.
  2. Gently bend the looped paper so that the leftmost loop touches the rightmost loop to form a closed coil. You will be able to see all the loops being enclosed on the inside of the coil.
  3. Use another strip of quilling paper to wrap around the coil to hold the shape of the coil.
  4. Finish wrapping the coil and apply a little glue to the end of the paper strip. You should get an oval-shaped coil with little loops in the middle.

Take a look at the photo gallery below for a visual guide.

Here are some other ideas to inspire your own project!

© 2012 lady rain


asdfgh on May 14, 2018:


Lori on August 13, 2016:

Thank you! I just started quilling yesterday and I bought to much stuff, watched to many videos, but your blog and simple photos....Viola!

neet on July 25, 2016:

its really very amazing.....i am tyring it for my child sch project

Shilpa on July 23, 2016:

Awesome designs.....loved your easy step by step a beginner.......but would love to follow this art.....wish to learn some new patterns from you...

Anuratha on September 23, 2015:

Wow! Amazing

harini on March 25, 2015:


Ankita on March 11, 2015:

I always knew that comb is used in some way for quilling always wondered .... today just becoz of ur post i learnt it.... thanks a ton... muah...

Ankita on March 11, 2015:

I always knew that comb is used in some way for quilling always wondwred

Khadijah Ahmed on December 17, 2014:

Love quilling n ur pics r awesome!!!!!

Emilia Riera from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 01, 2014:

These are lovely. You have inspired me to try this. :)

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 10, 2014:

peachpurple - learning how to make paper quilling shapes is easy if the instructions are clear enough. I am glad you can follow my step-by-step instructions here :)

peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 10, 2014:

wow, it looks pretty easy with your step by step pictures. thanks

piyush on July 11, 2014:

this is amazing

lady rain (author) from Australia on November 14, 2013:

priya rani, I'm glad you like my paper quilling art. Thank you!

priya rani on November 14, 2013:

really,all of them are very nice.thanks for your outstanding art

lady rain (author) from Australia on June 07, 2013:

Vivian, thank you for your kind comment, I really appreciate it!

Vivian-tmt-hnp from USA. on June 06, 2013:

7:02pm Thursdy 6 June 2013

Masterpiece! I love them so much .

I appreciate your value designs.


lady rain (author) from Australia on May 29, 2013:

indian cooking, thank you! I have a few more tutorials on paper quilling, please have a look at some of them if you want to learn more techniques. Thank you for leaving a comment here :)

Sonia Sood from Mumbai on May 29, 2013:

These are beautiful! And the tutorial is easy to follow. Would love to try this!

drosostalitsa from Greece on December 20, 2012:

great tutorial! I lust love paper quilling..

linh on November 10, 2012:


lady rain (author) from Australia on October 16, 2012:

divyagattani, thank you! I'm glad you like my paper quilling designs :)

Divya from India on October 16, 2012:

Its so beautiful ! :))

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 27, 2012:

Glimmer Twin Fan, thank you for your kind feedback. I hope you get to do paper quilling soon :)

Claudia Porter on September 27, 2012:

Once again a gorgeous quilling hub! Sharing and hoping to try this one day. Love how you used to comb.

lady rain (author) from Australia on September 26, 2012:

carol7777 - it's easy, just go for it and make some beautiful designs. Thank you for leaving your lovely comment :)

carol stanley from Arizona on September 26, 2012:

This makes it really easy. The pictures are gorgeous. I am ready to try this with such beautiful results. Thanks for sharing and voting up....++++