Quilled Paisley Monogram Tutorial

Create a unique look with paper quilling!  Quill a monogram with a paisley touch!  And the monogram is even made with recycled cardboard.  You can’t get much more thrifty than that!

quilled paisley monogram

I’m working on Christmas presents already and I’m working with a strict budget. So coming up with things that look expensive out of things that just plain aren’t is kind of a hobby of mine. I love monograms and they make great gifts. So with that in mind, I decided to create a monogram out of cardboard and add a quilled twist to it.

For this project I used:

One cardboard box
Hot glue
Acrylic Paint
White cardstock
White glue
Craft knife
Straight edge

quilled paisley monogram diy

I located an old box that has been sitting in my attic for years.  No, I did not drink a box of Gin.  Really I didn’t.  I don’t even like gin.  I’m blaming it’s presence on Tom Selleck.  I’m sure he and his mustache must have had something to do with it.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I decided to create an “A” this time. You can either print off a template using any font on your computer, or do what I did and just freehand it with a straight edge. I tried to use up as much of one side of the box as I could because I wanted the monogram to be large.

quilled paisley monogram diy

Draw out your monogram and then cut it out with a craft knife.

quilled paisley monogram diyquilled paisley monogram diy

Flip your box over and using your cut out monogram, trace the letter again and cut out a second, matching piece.

quilled paisley monogram diy

Lay one piece down and start cutting 2″ wide sections of cardboard to create the sides. I started in the center, measuring the length and cutting the cardboard to match, gluing each section with hot glue. Once the center was done, I glued the front of the monogram to the back, matching the edges. This does not have to be entirely perfect as we will be using paper mache to clean up all the edges.

quilled paisley monogram diy

Continue to cut 2″ wide strips of cardboard and finish gluing to all the edges using your hot glue.

quilled paisley monogram diy

Now mix up a batch of paper mache glue. I use two parts white glue to one part water, mixing it in a small tupperware container. Tear your newspaper into approximately 1″ strips. Do not use scissors for this as the torn edges of the newspaper absorb the glue better and create a smoother finish. At this point, I suggest putting on rubber gloves. Otherwise, you will spend the next two days picking bits of glue off your hands. Just saying.

quilled paisley monogram diy
quilled paisley monogram diy

Dip your strips of newspaper one by one into the glue mixture and smooth onto the monogram. I did not paper mache the whole piece, just concentrated on all the edges where the pieces of cardboard met. Smooth the newspaper strips on as you go, creating smooth, clean edges.

Once all the edges are paper mache’d to your satisfaction, allow the monogram to dry overnight.

quilled paisley monogram diy

Then paint the entire monogram black.

quilled paisley monogram diy

Cut the white cardstock into 1/4″ strips. Create the paisley design using a quilling tool. I used basic quilling techniques on this project, consisting of loose spirals and loops.

quilled paisley monogram diy

You can find my beginning quilling tutorial here. Using white glue, continue gluing down your quilled pattern, filling up the front of the monogram with a paisley design. This is a free-hand pattern and I made it up as I went.  Just go with what works for you.  Quilling is a beautiful paper art and can make anything look fabulous.

quilled paisley monogram diy

quilled paisley monogram

The finished piece looks almost lace-like and will make a wonderful piece of artwork for a mantel or table top. Total cost for this project was in the pennies as the box I used was 20 years old and total cardstock used was 2 1/2 sheets. Can’t beat that!

Are you new to the Sitcom?  Be sure to check out my Frequently Asked Questions Page!

Currently, a green and lavendar version of the paisley monogram is being featured in the June 2013 edition of Crafts ‘n Things Magazine!  Be sure to check your newsstands now!

crafts n things magazine

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might like my Quilled Monogram Tutorial.  This monogram is a framed piece that is quilled with a flower and leaf motif.

Also, check out my Summer Blooms Quilled Frame This picture frame is quilled with wild flowers and berries and makes a wonderful inexpensive gift.

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{ 67 comments… add one }

  • Kathleen February 19, 2015, 8:14 pm

    Not sure if this mentioned in the comments, so many to read I didn’t have time. Anyway, if you all don’t already know, you can find the letters already made (without cutting out of cardboard boxes). I found mine at Joann’s & Michael’s, (if you have one in your area), also made of cardboard. They come in different sizes and are not expense. Much easier than trying to make the letters out of cardboard boxes and you don’t have to paper mache them. I made a giant “M” for my granddaughter in hues of pink (her favorite color) sprayed it pink and did different colors of pink for the quilling. It turned out beautiful and she loves it on her wall in her bedroom.
    If you are not familiar with “quilling” look it up on the internet for free instructions……..it is very, very easy but takes patience as the (quilling) process is very slow. Hope is info was helpful………….Kathy

  • Dell April 28, 2014, 1:45 pm

    Love your felt flowers and all your projects.Will be making some of my own soon. THANKS for sharing!

  • Jesna @ Lifechilli May 8, 2013, 12:18 am

    Wow!! I just love the color combination..white color stand out well. beautiful piece!

  • Kim July 8, 2012, 9:19 pm

    Suzy, got a quick question for you. Did you spray your finished monogram w/ any type finishing spray after you finished? Like polyurethane, or something, to protect the quilling paper.

    • Suzy July 8, 2012, 11:45 pm

      Hi Kim,
      If you wish to protect the paper, you can spray it with a light coat of clear UV protectant sealant. I don’t like to spray too much on it as it can weight the paper down and give it a plastic look. Use a matte finish rather than gloss to keep the paper look.

      Hope that helps!

    • Suzy July 8, 2012, 11:45 pm

      Hi Kim,
      If you wish to protect the paper, you can spray it with a light coat of clear UV protectant sealant. I don’t like to spray too much on it as it can weight the paper down and give it a plastic look. Use a matte finish rather than gloss to keep the paper look.

      Hope that helps!

  • Jennifer May 9, 2012, 5:57 pm

    This wAs such an inspirational project! I found it through Pinterest and have just started quilling! I can’t wait to try this myself!

  • The Frugal Navy Wife January 14, 2012, 6:34 pm

    Love This! I Reposted to let my readers know! I wish I was this talented! http://www.thefrugalnavywife.com/2012/01/diy-quilled-paisley-monogram-tutorial/

  • Johnnie August 17, 2011, 9:58 am


  • Vivienne @ the V Spot August 16, 2011, 4:42 pm

    Wow. That's all I have to say.

  • Me N My Thrifty Ideas January 8, 2011, 2:20 pm

    You are just incredible. If you visit my blog you will see cardboard is my first choice for most of my projects and this is just too awesome. I saw the thumbnail and thought it was just another wooden letter but I should have known better :) I have to feature you. You deserve an award for all these awesome tutorials and ideas!!

  • The Creative Muslimah January 4, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Insanely, amazingly, beautifully awesome. :-)
    Thanks for sharing and your tutorial is great!! Have you considered posting it on totallytutorials.blogspot.com?


    The Creative muslimah @ http://www.thecreativemuslimah.blogspot.com

  • C.K. December 31, 2010, 8:20 pm

    WOW !!! You Have A Gift !!!

  • Cristie December 30, 2010, 12:59 am

    very cool! Love it.

  • Nancy Ward December 9, 2010, 3:59 pm


    Wanted you to know I posted a link to this tutorial today on my blog, PaperFriendly.

    Nancy Ward

  • mmbcreations November 26, 2010, 1:55 am

    This is absolutely beautiful. I found the link on Polly Want a Crafter. Thenk you.

  • Bella November 11, 2010, 11:58 pm

    Suzy, I don't think your old box could have had a better use. Gosh, your finished monogram looks like a MILLION bucks, :) Well almost, ya know what I'm saying, surely worthy of being in any of those costly fashionable magazines.

    I LOVE IT!!!!

    I host a weekly party **Amaze me August** and would be SO HAPPY if you shared this with my readers. Not that they haven't seen it already Im sure, BUT you know I'm selfish, and just want it on my blog permanently, lol. Thanks so much.

    Bella :)

  • Mary November 11, 2010, 9:49 pm

    I just found this post through House of Hepworth's & I must say that your monogram is absolutely gorgeous! I just may have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

  • kelly November 9, 2010, 6:06 pm

    that is beautiful, i have been wanting to try quilling. those letters are at hobby lobby or joanne's for really cheap if you don't want to make it next time. yours is a little more 3D though.

  • Oddyssey November 9, 2010, 1:46 pm

    Just beautiful! Now I have a new craft to learn how to do!

    I found your site through http://familyhomeeveningsmadeeasy.blogspot.com and I'm glad I did. Thanks for such a great tutorial with wonderful pictures!

  • Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk November 9, 2010, 11:45 am

    Hi Suzy! You just can't get away from me, can you? This project was the #2 MOST POPULAR LINK from last Tuesday's Boardwalk Bragfest! Congratulations. Please stop by and take a look. Feel free to take the "Featured Boardwalker" button, as well; and thank you again for linking this great project!

  • Krista @ While He Was Napping November 8, 2010, 7:54 am

    Suzy! I love this! I featured it today. Feel free to come check it out and grab a button if you want.



  • Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy November 7, 2010, 12:06 pm

    oh my AMAZING! I love it! Not only did you make your own monogram (impressive) but that quilling is GORGEOUS! I love the paisley! I'll be featuring this on Topsy Turvy Tuesday's this week. Thanks for linking up!

  • Claire November 7, 2010, 5:03 am

    wow-this is really beautiful-I've never seen anything like this-definitely will check quilling out-love the look!

  • Remodelaholic November 5, 2010, 8:12 pm

    This is simply A-MA-ZA-ZING!! It is totally beautiful! Thanks so much for linking up to our party on Polly Want a Crafter I wanted to let you know that I am going to feature this on 11/25 @ 12:30 pm during out DIY Gift Ideas week. I hope you get some new readers!


  • Kristi Flanagan November 5, 2010, 5:41 am

    I have to say that this is pretty cool! Love it!

  • jbr November 4, 2010, 9:01 pm

    Gorgeous. I love that you used what you had.

  • ENJAY November 4, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Hello, I came to your AMAZING blog through the link on all things paper blog!! WOW!!! Im just getting started with quilling,the letters are amazing! I hope you dont mind if I borrow a bit of your idea of quilling the letters. I will ofcourse give credit to you and they will be different,but you've given me the idea!!

  • The Autocrat: Haley November 4, 2010, 4:02 am

    Now that is a super fabulous monogram!! Love it!

  • Modern Country Lady November 3, 2010, 9:13 pm

    Absolutely lovely- goergeous!! Lovely post and great tutorial!!

  • Seamingly Smitten November 3, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Wow! Amazing what cardstock and cardboard can do! You did an awesome job!

  • Caitlyn November 3, 2010, 1:40 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous!! And so super thrifty! I love it!!

  • 3D Rendering November 3, 2010, 8:31 am

    this is so cool!!!!O.O

  • Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk November 3, 2010, 12:35 am

    Each time I look at this, I'm so tickled. It's a beautiful piece of art made entirely from paper. You are so good!

  • AllieMakes! November 2, 2010, 2:49 pm

    Hey Suzy!
    I'm featuring this as one of the Making It With Allie Features this week! Come on by and grab a button!

  • Moe November 2, 2010, 2:50 am

    wow this is gorgeous! Great job on the recycling! I love it!

    Popping by from Boardwalk Bragfest!

  • Kim November 2, 2010, 1:12 am

    That is amazing. I wouldn't have thought to make my own letter. The quilling looks so custom. Wonderful job.

  • cindy @ cottage instincts November 1, 2010, 10:21 pm

    This is absolutely stunning! I used to quill a bit when I was younger, but haven't done so in ages….What a wonderful, unique gift idea.

    So glad you could Mi4M!

  • Sue@Uniquely Chic November 1, 2010, 10:15 pm

    I never even of heard of quilling before! This is stunning!

  • Elisa November 1, 2010, 6:13 pm

    So pretty! I have never heard of quilling until now! Thanks for the introduction =) I will definitely have to try it sometime. I love how you made something beautiful out of what most people consider trash (cardboard!).

  • Let'sMakeADifference November 1, 2010, 5:32 pm

    ABSOLUTELY beautiful!!! I found your blog while blog hopping. I am now a follower. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back!

  • Martha anne November 1, 2010, 4:40 pm

    That was very impressive, I might have to try this out when I find the time!

  • Lisa October 31, 2010, 11:29 pm

    This is gorgeous! You are so talented!

  • Kathleen October 31, 2010, 1:56 am

    It's absolutely gorgeous. I'm a new follower, and look forward to reading your quilling tutorials.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful project.

  • David & Kelsie's Country Home October 31, 2010, 12:21 am

    Just gorgeous.


  • D & G Stories October 30, 2010, 10:14 pm

    Amazing! What a beautiful gift!

  • Aubree October 30, 2010, 2:56 pm

    So beautiful!!!!

  • Amy Meyer October 30, 2010, 2:53 pm

    That is amazing! I can't believe that is from a cardboard box! The recipient is a very lucky person!

  • Aliesha & Tad October 30, 2010, 2:17 pm

    This is insanely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  • Megan October 30, 2010, 1:56 pm

    You even made your own letter! Totally frugal. That quilling work you did is so lovely and intricate. The whole thing turned out great!

  • Lindy October 30, 2010, 2:21 am

    Look at you! That is awesome and what a great tutorial to boot!

  • Sarah @ Sugar Bananas! October 29, 2010, 11:22 pm

    What a gorgeous monogram. You're so talented. The 3-D effect from the quilling makes this so unique. I'd love for you to link this over at my 'Sweets This Week' Link Party

  • Deanna Jane (cullenkidsmum) October 29, 2010, 9:34 pm

    Just beautiful! Thanks so much for tutorial! Adding this to my crafting to do list!

  • Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk October 29, 2010, 9:02 pm

    Amazing, Suzi! You must have the patience of a saint. It's so beautiful.

  • Ann October 29, 2010, 7:37 pm

    Suzy, this is fabulous – I'd love to feature it!

  • kluless October 29, 2010, 7:26 pm

    This is a great tutorial! Seriously something I want to try. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • AllieMakes! October 29, 2010, 4:03 pm

    That is Freaking Fabulous! Excellent Job! Wow!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  • Barbara October 29, 2010, 3:59 pm

    Not only is your talent obvious, but if I were one of your friends and a recipient, I would be honored that you took that amount of time to make me something!!

    I never could get a neat quill going. That is just beautiful.

  • Melissa October 29, 2010, 3:46 pm

    I LOVE quilling. how beautiful!

  • Korrie@RedHenHome October 29, 2010, 3:20 pm

    This is beautiful! I love it.

  • The Answer Is Chocolate October 29, 2010, 2:37 pm

    This is amazing! I just featured it and you on my blog. Come get a featured button from my buttons page:) http://answerischocolate.blogspot.com/2010/10/giving-thanks.html

  • Joy October 29, 2010, 2:31 pm

    I this is beautiful. I haven't done any quilling….not sure I would have the patience!

  • Jana October 29, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Turned out great!

  • Courtney Elizabeth October 29, 2010, 1:57 pm

    Oh my goodness, I love it! I just started quilling, but I totally want to try this!

  • Lynne October 29, 2010, 1:56 pm

    That came out great – and it looks expensive. Good job!!

  • Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} October 29, 2010, 12:51 pm

    That is absolutely stunning! I'm always so jealous of people who have mastered quilling. Great project!

  • Amy @MaisonDecor October 29, 2010, 12:21 pm

    Wow that is very impressive! A lot of work goes into those gifts. Nice job!

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