Using the Spirelli Technique

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By Denise Gormish

Looking for a fun technique to decorate a scrapbook page or card? Try using the Spirelli technique. In this technique, thread is wound around a cardstock or chipboard shape in a pattern to create a beautiful design.

To use this technique you will need thread and a cardstock or chipboard piece with indentations around the edge. The design pieces must have notches in order to keep the pattern in place. You can either use punches with notches, metal cutting templates, scalloped die-cuts or chipboard with indentations. Cutting the indentations with a knife or scissors allows the design to be used on any shape.

Spirelli patterns differ according to the shape of the design piece and the pattern, meaning the notch-to-notch direction you choose for the threading.

Here's one way of creating the Spirelli:

  1. Tack down the starting thread. Use a glue dot to hold the thread in place on the backside of the design shape.


  2. Start threading. Bring the thread from the back to the front at the top through an indentation.


  3. Now, choose an indentation to put the thread through next. The final design will change depending on where you chose to put your thread at this point. You can choose to skip as few as one indentation, which creates a tight pattern around the edge and leaves the inside bare. Alternatively, you can skip all the way to straight across from your starting point, which creates a large pattern that covers the entire shape. That may sound intimidating but there is no wrong way - just another design choice. You may want to experiment with various looks from threading it different ways. In my example, I chose to go straight across to the other side.


  4. Thread in an "over and under" pattern. Wrap the thread around the back and bring it up just to the left of your starting point.


  5. Next, bring it over the front and then through the indentation just to the right of the first one.


  6. Go around the back again and continue until you have gone through every indentation.


  7. In the example pattern, you would go through every indentation once.


  8. In some patterns you go through every indentation twice. You will know by the appearance of the pattern. Keep the string taught and straight. It can be confusing so it is important to pay attention to which indentation you are doing and where you want to go next. If you get lost or confused, just unwrap a few times to get back into the pattern.

  9. Tack down the end thread when the pattern is complete. You will know because the two threads will be poking out of each indentation. Secure the end to the backside with glue dot.


  10. Embellish the Spirelli. If your design leaves a hole in the middle you may choose to fill the hole with an object or create a hole by punching the middle.

  11. Adhere your Spirelli design to the final project.

Grab some thread and a shape and enjoy this fun technique.





Need supplies to recreate this on your own? You can shop ribbons and fibers in the Store.


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