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Vortex Coils - Butterfly

Vortex Coils - Butterfly

This entire butterfly was made with fingers…no rolling and no quilling tools!

The shape is call a “vortex coil”. A talented quiller, Licia Politis, from Australia invented this new shape! It actually looks really cool when it’s done with a longer strip of paper (16 inches or longer), but I wanted to experiment with graduated papers. Graduated papers are only 12 inches in length and they fade from white to a color. I love the effect of this paper…but here’s my attempt with the vortex coil.

quilling supplies

- 1/4-inch Graduated Paper (pink, purple, bright green)

- craft glue

- scissors


1.) The vortex coil is like making a wheatear or continuous loops. First, make a small loop. Then make a slightly larger loop by wrapping the paper strip around the first loop. Keep the loops close together and evenly spaced. When you get to the end of the paper strips, glue the paper’s end to the base (or point) of the wheatear and trim off any excess paper.

2.) Hold the base of the wheatear. Then push the round end inward. Release the coils near the base and allow the coils to shift into the “vortex” shape. You can play around with pinching and reshaping during this step! (I’ll have to show you what it looks like with a longer or bigger wheatear in a future post! Shorter papers don’t show enough of the vortex shape.)

3.) Make 8 bright green, 4 purple and 4 pink vortex coils. Glue them into groups.

4.) Wrap a 12-inch purple strip around each groups.

5.) Make a body and an antenna. Glue the pieces together.

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