Homemade Quilling Work Board

Homemade Quilling Work Board Hack Tutorial

If you are a quiller the chances that you have purchased and/or at least researched different quilling work boards is rather likely. What’s wrong with quilling work board that are sold on every quilling website and featured here and there? Honestly, nothing. They are all perfectly useable surfaces… the prices however, could run you a little more than you bargained for. So how does one get a good quilling work board for the least amount of money? I would like to share my Homemade Quilling Work Board Hack Tutorial.

I use two different types of homemade quilling work boards, large and small. I am going to start off with how to make a large quilling work board that is reusable and easy to maintain, clean and cheap enough to replace.

The first things you need to get your hands on are some scrapbook refill pages. These pages are large 12x12” plastic sheets that are “top loading” meant to go into a scrapbook. They generally come with a sheet of paper inside which is great for drawing designs on, or you can simply remove it.

This is a simple and easy to use DIY homemade quilling cork board hack tutorial. These easy to find scrapbook refill pages can serve as a very inexpensive alternative to the more expensive and comparable quality of a purchased quilling work board without the high price.
These are the easiest boards to grab for this Homemade Quilling Work Board Hack Tutorial. They are inexpensive and easy to get. You can find cork in multiple sizes and types at your local office store.

The next thing you need is some simple corkboard. I purchased a very inexpensive set of 4 12”x12” corkboards. If you did the math you’ll notice the board is the same size as the scrapbook refill page, this can easily be fixed by purchasing a different size or simply trimming your cork to fit. I like the latter because I can get a nice tight fit in the refill page by using the largest piece of corkboard possible. When the fit is tight your designs or guides wont slip around inside if they are secured to the cork.

The reason I use scrapbook pages is because they have a wide opening because the majority of people using these pages are creating exactly what the name suggests, scrapbook pages. “Scrapbooking” is when pictures or embellishments are added to a piece of paper on both sides and put into a large book… think large 3 ring binder of memories. So this type of plastic page is best because the corkboard eats up all the extra room that would have been consumed by scrapbook embellishments. A regular plastic insert page meant only for a sheet or two of paper will not fit corkboards well.

So you’re going to want to grab the corkboard you have and either trim it to fit or plan to use a smaller size corkboard. Once you have the corkboard the size you want slide it right into the scrapbook refill page. As I mentioned earlier, most of these refill pages come with a large 12x12 sheet of paper inside that you can either keep in or removed based on your preferences.

The next thing to take note is that you can slide a picture in for reference or inspiration and just leave it or you can tape it to the corkboard so it does not move. I personally am a huge fan of graph paper and you can generally find at least one side of my homemade corkboards lined with graph paper. I think I like graph paper because I detest math and it takes out the calculations and it lets me focus on the fun of quilling.

This is a DIY quilling cork board hack tutorial. The board has been slid into the plastic sleeve of a scrapbook refill page for a DIY homemade quilling cork board that you can get as messy as you want and reuse it over and over again or you can pull the cork and put it into a new sleeve for a brand new board. Don't forget to use the other side for more quilling projects.
This is a cork board with my favorite t-pins. The board has been slid into the plastic sleeve of a scrapbook refill page for a DIY homemade quilling cork board that you can get as messy as you want and reuse it over and over again or you can pull the cork and put it into a new sleeve for a brand new board. Don't forget to use the other side for more quilling projects.

The next thing you should grab is some good quality pins to help you quill with. I assume this method could be used without pins but that would kind of defeat the purpose of using a corkboard. I prefer T-Pins and use them for everything. I find that the larger pins are easier to handle and less likely to stab you as the tip is much more blunt.

Making a smaller homemade quilling work board

Generally every house has them, and if not, they are cheap and easy to acquire. What could I be talking about? Sealable sandwich bags! You can pick whatever size works for you and you can trim your corkboard to fit in any size bag as long as you have a pair of scissors.

When making a smaller homemade corkboard I like to use “freezer” storage bags. The reason I lean towards the freezer bags is because they are thicker and can hold up much longer to a lot of use.

Dream on a Beam was made on a home made cork board. In this image you can see the quilled lips and how I used a ribbon pattern using pins to make the shape and size I needed. I used a much smaller home made cork board for quilling because the lips were such a tiny part of the bigger picture.
In this image you can see how I took a small plastic ziplock bag and inserted a smaller piece of cork board. For this project I didn't need a large surface and I really needed a dry clear table around my work, so a small reusable surface worked perfectly for making each of my 6 umbrella panels and still was used in another project. Get Your Roll On Quilling

Smaller work boards are so much easier when your project does not require you to have a large 12”x12” work space. I like to use graph paper cards in my smaller boards. They are thick, inexpensive and easy to pull back out and save if you have created a pattern you want to keep and reuse. I recommend that if you want to save your graph paper you make notes to explain the placement of pins.

So the question you have all been asking… What is better about using THIS method? First off, using the scrapbook pages or sealing sandwich bag will allow you to use glue, glaze, sealant, paint and who knows what else on the quilled shapes and pieces you are making on top of the plastic without sacrificing expensive work boards with no plastic barriers. In fact I am known for dumping out a pile of glue, glaze or sealant in the corner of these pages and just using my paint brush to do a very quick and precise once over. Then after you have completed your project you can take a baby wipe or a paper towel and wipe the plastic surface clean.

This method also allows you to see the image under the quilled art you’re making. As a “pinner” this is very important to me as it allows me to set up the outline of my quilled piece and duplicate the color exactly how the image below shows… PLEASE: remember to get permission to use any artists personal creations before you begin. It’s just respectful and courteous and it doesn’t cost anymore to be polite and gracious.

This set of images shows different work boards during different quilling pinning activities. All of the pieces belong to the finished quilled piece "Dream On A Beam" by Kristen Brunton of Get Your Roll On Quilling. The top left is a ribbon technique on a small homemade quilling work board made of cork board in a ziplock bag with graph paper inside the bag. The bottom left shows the ribbon lips pushed into the quilled piece and you can see the larger work board to the right of the sun's face where there is a printed image in between the plastic and cork board that the sun was being pinned to and the image on the right shows a larger portion of the completed picture as it was being pinned to the larger quilled cork board.
This is the original picture painted by a Michigan artist who maintains the rights to the painted image above. The picture has been slid under plastic with a cork board underneath you can see all of the puncture holes I made using pins to create the large mosaic piece called Dream On A Beam by Kristen Brunton of Get Your Roll On Quilling

After your quilling is complete, you unpin it and remove it from the plastic you can take the image you were using back out and keep it as reference or toss it out. You now have a blank surface to work with again. I have found that I can reuse a scrapbook refill sheet at least 4 times with glue or glaze globs everywhere. Like I mentioned earlier, a quick wipe with a baby wipe or towel can refresh your work area in an instant.

The plastic surface will eventually give in to excessive pinning… but the fun doesn’t stop there, all you need to do is flip the page or bag over and you have an entire new working area. With easy access of a top loading scrapbook page or the unzip of a sandwich bag you can add another image to the opposite side or if you’re still using the image from the first side you can simply remove the cork, flip it over and put it back in! No pinholes and no glue or glaze residue to get in your way.

Quilled lily pad made on a homemade quilling work board with graph paper under the plastic so the surface can be reused many times. Check out the quilling work board hack tutorial on Get Your Roll On Quilling by Kristen Brunton
Quilling over an image for specific measurements by Kristen Brunton of Get Your Roll On Quilling

When you have used the plastic surface until it can’t be used any longer, you still have a box of bags or the remainder of your scrapbook refill pack. The best part… most corkboard is “self-healing” and you can stick pins in it over and over and it is as good 5 projects in as it was on the first. This means you can remove the corkboard and put it in a new sleeve and you still have a custom work surface. Not to mention if you buy a multi pack you can have multiple surfaces going at one time… I’m famous for doing that.

One other thing I do regularly is I store other pictures and project ideas on the backside of the scrapbook refill page for easy access to my other inspiration. By using this method I have saved a ton of money by not ruining the expensive “quilling work boards” that most new quillers THINK they need.

The choice is yours. Please share your ideas for a Homemade Quilling Work Board!

Go get your roll on,


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