When at a restaurant, I've always had the habit of taking the wrapper from my straw and wrapping it tightly into a coil. I tend to roll and unroll the coil throughout the entire meal.
This habit has long since extended beyond the confines of the restaurant table, and beyond straw wrappers as well. Whether on the phone, in a meeting, or sitting at a traffic light, any long, thin strip of paper near my idle hands is a target of coiling.
According to Wikipedia, this coiling habit is actually called quilling and is considered an art form. Quilling gets its name from the quill, a thin, nail-like metal object used by some to coil and shape paper.
So I've developed a project. It's not fancy, but it is easy and makes a cute wall-decor item. I give you: The Quilled Letter.
What you need
Magazine pages, to be cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 pieces of card stock or heavier-weight paper, to be cut into 1-inch strips
A paper cutter or some scissors
Mod Podge or other glue
A letter of the alphabet, printed large on 8 1/2-by-11 inch paper.
Cut your magazine pages into 1/4-inch strips. Next, cut your card stock into 1-inch strips. The card stock will be used to create a letter form; the magazine strips will be used for making quills, which will then be glued to fill in your letter form.
Print out the letter you want really large. The outline of the letter will act as your template/guide. Next, bend, fold and shape the card stock (gluing end to end as needed), following the curves of the template.
Take your magazine strips and roll them tightly. Once rolled, the paper becomes coil-like. Dab a bit of glue on the loose end to secure it to the coil completely. You can also change the quill shapes. Pinch one end to make your coil pear shaped or glue two together back-to-back to make a heart.
Position and glue your quills to the inside of the letter form. If your form was a bit floppy, gluing more quills will shape and hold the form in the contour you desire.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @traciAWESOME on Twitter. Read her blog at fresnobeehive.com.