Below are the basic shapes you will use when quilling. Start out with the easier shapes, and move on to the more complicated ones as you become more confident.


The teardrop
Pick up your coil and with the thumb and index finger pinch it together forming a shape with a point at one end and leaving the other end rounded. This is a useful shape for flower petals.

The petal
Taking your teardrop shape, gently press your pointed end to one side to curve it over.

The marquise or eye shape
Take another coil and this time hold it between the thumb and index fingers of both hands. Pinch tightly with both hands to form points at each end. The marquise is one of the most useful shapes in quilling.

The leaf
Make another marquise but this time after pinching the ends move them in opposite directions creating a twist in the shape.

The half moon or crescent
You will need your quilling tool again for this shape. Take one of your coils and push the handle of the tool into the circle, squeezing the two ends to form points.

The triangle
A slightly tricky one this time. Holding the circle between your index fingers of each hand, push the bottom of the circle up with your thumbs to create a triangle. Pinch the three corners to sharpen them up.

The tulip
Start by making the teardrop shape but before letting go of the pinched end push it back into the main part of the circle to form an indentation. Sharpen up the two outside points if required but they can be left rounded.

Bunny ear or shield
Similar in appearance to the crescent, this shape is made without using the quilling tool as a former. Holding the coil in one hand use the index finger on the other hand to push an indentation into the circle. Then pinch the two resulting points to sharpen up the shape and make the ears.

The arrow
First make a teardrop by pinching one end. Then, holding the pinched end, use your finger to push the other end towards your other hand forming an indentation. Pinch the points to sharpen up the shape.

The star
Make a marquise as before, then turn the shape 90 degrees and repeat, pinching two more points to make a star. Press hard at each point to sharpen up the shape.

The square
This one needs both thumbs and both index fingers! Hold the circle between all four digits and gently press into a square shape. Squeeze each corner to transform your circle into a square.

The holly leaf
A pair of pointed craft tweezers are useful when making this shape which is, of course, great for quilled Christmas cards.