4th graders learned that quilling began out of a drive to create art by nuns and monks centuries ago. Monks and nuns were learned people who had access to books, unlike most people at that time. They cleverly cut strips of paper from the edges of books, coiled them, and glued them into beautiful works of art. We talked about the fact that paper was not plentiful like it is today. Before the industrial revolution, it was made by hand from plant fibers or animal skin. The people who did quilling were able to create great art with minimal supplies.
To make our quilling project, I put colored copy paper through a shredder to make the strips. For each shape, roll the paper tightly together in a coil, release it, pinch it to the desired shape, and glue it closed. Dip the coil in glue and arrange it on black paper. Students had a choice to make a flower or a butterfly. We completed the project by cropping and matting it.