Hmmm, in my enthusiasm to embark on this project, I now realize I posted the cart before the horse. In other words, I really should have started with this post first, the letters themselves. Ah well, I'm living in the moment right now.
For this project, I chose to use Source Sans Pro, Bold, at 150 pt, but you can choose any font you wish. My letters end up being just a tad taller than 1-1/4 inch high, but I was mainly restricted by the width of the sheet because my word ended up being 11.5" wide and it needs to look balanced on a legal sheet which is 14" wide, the largest I can put through my laser printer.
After printing your word/letter out, use a scoring tool and trace heavily onto card stock, leaving a debossed impression. Since I have a digital die cutter, I chose to use the scoring tool that came with my package. Before having my die cutter, I would use a dried up pen – both are completely fine. When my quilling inevitably strays from the line, it's much harder to notice than a light pencil tracing.
I reference the laser print for a template as I form each letter. The straight areas are the easiest, of course. Using the back of a craft knife, score a marking that matches the length required (I'm forming the top, inner part of the B here). Notice the score line here?
Fold along that score line, ensuring the fold is perpendicular and straight. If the fold is not made carefully here, you will encounter problems gluing later. Try to imagine this is your straight glue surface in contact with your surface – anything that is angled, will be angled when you are gluing.
Notice how the U shape has certain parts that are straight? In a case like this, I will not simply soften the entire strip because I want to keep the straight parts straight. I only want to curve a certain section. So using the handle of a crochet hook, I place the strip against my index finger.
Apply pressure against your finger, and you'll see the strip start to curl. Rub the crochet hook from left to right, massaging the strip into the curve desired.
Eventually with enough pressure, I've made the curve I want.
Place the strip on top of the print. I will repeatedly pick the piece up and place it on the template, comparing, back and forth, until I have the right shape. Then I will finally snip off the excess and glue it together.
The paper shown here is Canson Mi-Tientes, #507 Violet, 160 gsm, 1/4" wide.
I hope this tutorial encourages you to make letters of your own. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you are working on.
In the next part of this series, I will be showing how to glue the corners with an easy tip.