Quilled Khatam Artwork {Tutorial}

Quilling is an art form that involves taking strips of paper, coiling it on a tool, and shaping it into various forms.

I recently found out that I’ll be teaching beginner quilling again at Women’s Wellness Weekend on Camp Orkila.

Woohoo! It’s like Eid and Eid rolled into one!

I can’t wait for this healthy island retreat that allows me to zip line, walk on the beach, mediate, practice 7am pajama yoga and my favorite: read, read, read for a weekend surrounded by only women.

No kids, no husband, no computers. Pure bliss and rejuvenation for 50 hours, give or take.

Last year, I made earrings to show my students. This year I decide to make a quilled khatam art piece. I took photos while making it this week and have turned in into a tutorial for you below.

Be sure to sign up to join me in class!


Shades of blue quilling strips
Circle Template Board
Quilling tool
2 square pieces of cardstock
Shadow frame

Start by removing the glass from your frame and taking out the product sheet. Glue the 2 square pieces of cardstock onto each other, but offset, and then glue the eight pointed star, also known as a khatam, that you made in the middle of the product sheet. This gives you a visual and allows time to adjust anything before the glue sets.

Take one white quilling strip and glue it down on its edge all around the khatam. I used the tip of my tweezers to help make the inside corners bend.

This is what the khatam will look like once it is outlined with the white quilled strip. I had to use more then one to go all the way around, but blended the edges.

Set aside your outlined khatam and use your quilling tool to start making coils. I used this quilling sizer to get my coils even because I knew I wanted my design to be symmetrical all over. I used 12 inch pre-cut strips and flowers. Some were cut in half and then quarters.

This is when the fun happens and the outlined khatam gets filled in. I have to admit when I originally started, the design I drew out had the middle more free formed.  I also know I wanted to add 3D flowers, but couldn’t decide on which ones, so I made three different ones.

I finally made up my mind about the central flower and made three more just like it. I then started filling in the design and a pattern emerged that I then followed. Once the four colored pieces anchored themselves the white pieces started going into the rest of the design. I then started playing around with smaller white circles to mimic the smaller blue circles in the middle of the flowers.

When all the major pieces had gone in, I no longer needed my sizer and flipped my tool over to the other side to use the pins on my cork. I also decided to cut out my khatam as the product paper from the frame started to bulge around the edges. This also makes it easier to see on the cork.

I used the pins to shift the middle of my loose coils and started gluing them down that way. I also added white mini S coils around the perimeter of the flowers. To fill in the gaps around the white pieces, I added mini white diamond shapes and more mini circles.

I turned the piece over once it dried and added coils that had been rejected in the earlier design to the back. This will give the piece more depth in the shadow frame. And it gives you an insight into the ugly underbelly of quilling and pins…

Once the back coils dry, add glue and place your quilled khatam in the frame.

Press down on it for awhile to make sure the glue holds. Wait till the next day to open the flowers to help avoid shifting while the glue is setting. I took this side show to show you how cool the quilled khatam looks raised in the frame, especially since our Ikea frame also had an outline mat that added another layer.

Place your glass on your frame and hang it up on your wall.

Or leave the glass at home and bring it to Women’s Wellness Weekend to show your students what this texture looks like up close, like I’ll be doing.

See you there!

If you enjoyed this DIY tutorial on quilling, stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest for more.



I am a Libyan American who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture.