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First ... on quilling.

quilling tools

So you’ve been introduced to this awesome art of rolling paper and now you want to try it!!! ... Only, you don’t really know where to start or what you need...

When it comes to quilling there are a few different techniques (such as rolling, husking, looping, combing and so on) that require different tools.

First I am going to talk about the rolling technique which used to be done on a quill hence the name quilling.

Starting off with this beautiful art of rolling paper all you really need are a few basic things:

quilling tools

  • Cutting mat -which will help you cut your paper strips without ruining your table.

  • Metal ruler - to help you hold your paper in place while you cut your strips.

  • Cutting knife - a good one is advised, but any craft knife will do ... and a small scissors too.

  • You can also get a paper cutter ... I did, but haven't used it in 2 years as I just cut my strips with a craft knife.

  • Some tweezers - long tip if you can ... to help you keep your quilling shapes in place while you are gluing them.

  • Paper - just plain coloured paper will do ... you will find your preference in time when it comes to paper gsm ( paper thickness ) ... but to start off just 80gsm paper is fine. I really enjoy cutting my own strips most of the times, but you can also buy your strips already cut.

  • Glue - I find that plain Pva glue works just fine, but if you find it too wet then a tacky glue might be better.

  • Rolling tool - which can be anything from your own fingers to a slotted tool, pins, needles or even a toothpick. All you need is to roll your paper strips ... how you do it is totally up to you.

  • Quilling board –great when you want symmetry.

quilling board

That would be more than enough to get you started ... but really all you need is paper strips and a bit of glue.

What you do need lots of is patience and imagination!

And now just a few thoughts , tricks and tips on how I use my tools.

Slotted tool, pins and needles ... even toothpicks.

slotted tool, pins and needles

There are many types of slotted quilling tools , some have a short slotted end some a longer one ... that comes down to what width strips of paper you work with ... if you work with 5mm wide strips then a 5mm slotted tool is required, if you use 3mm strips of paper a 3mm slotted tool is recommended. .... and so on..

You can go down size, like you can use a 5mm tool for 3mm strips but it will be way harder the other way around.

However, my experience taught me that choosing the right size tool for the right size paper strips can really make things easier.

I still use my first quilling tool I bought . It is a 5mm slotted tool and looks pretty demolished but it does as good of a job now as it did 10 years ago. I use this one a lot in my beehive.

I also have a 2mm slotted tool that I use a lot as I do prefer to work with smaller strips. I also use the 2mm tool to work with 1mm strips.

Rolling on the pin or needle ...

It took me about a month, of trying everyday, to get it right ... I know, a month is a long time , but that’s how slow I took my friend Karla 5 minutes... :)

rolling on a pin

The reason I love rolling on a needle is because you get such a neat center. I work with really small papers some times, which makes using a needle a much better choice.

A few little tips when rolling on a needle:

-damp the top of your strip as it’ll make it easier for grabbing it and rolling it around the needle.

-you roll the paper and not the needle.... with your thumb and index finger roll the paper upwards (or downwards , your preference ) around the needle.

using the pin to curl the paper

The pressure you apply will have an effect on how tight or loose your coil will be. I prefer using the needle for tight coils.

You can also use your needle or pin to curl your paper gently .

Tweezers, my lovely tweezers.

filling in with beehive

This is one tool that made my work so much easier as quilling can get quite delicate, and fingertips just aren’t small enough sometimes, for holding your paper strips in place.

I would strongly recommend you get some tweezers if you intend to do any outlining work (when you will glue your strip of paper on its edge).They are also very useful when working with the beehive technique.

I have quite a few but I find myself using the long tip one most often.

Glue... I find with glue a little goes a long way ... put a little glue on a plate and use a toothpick to take a little drop of glue to use on your strip. The less glue you see the cleaner and more beautiful your work will be.

Tips and tricks!

Always have clean hands when quilling!

Tearing a little bit of the end of your paper strips can help it glue better and faster.

Prepare your strips by running your nail along.

Rolling the paper in the direction it curves or against it can give you two different results.

Use thicker paper or card for outlining work or when you glue the paper on it’s edge.

Use the tiniest amount of glue and give it a little time to work ... you really don’t need that much!(a fine tip glue applicator it's a good idea).

Practice makes perfect ... practice your quilling shapes every day.

Don’t copy other artist's work!!! It will curb your own creativity.... get inspired, but always try and do your own thing.

Make as many mistakes as possible... you'll sure learn from them.

Always be kind! It might not make you a better quiller but it will sure make you an awesome person.

My favourite shopping places:

And with that my lovelies, I will conclude my little paper on First... on quilling .

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and that you find it helpful.

Any questions or comments are welcome below.

Happy Quilling!


Mona xx

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