Materials Needed For Paper Quilling: Hit the Ground Rolling!
So you are ready to get started learning quilling? Awesome! Lots of adventure awaits…now there’s a variety of materials needed to get good at it….some necessary, some nice, but I will go over them all so you can start rolling that paper with the best of them.
Better yet, how they all come together explained in detail so you won’t be left hanging. As a disclaimer, I’m like you and in the “exploration” phase of quilling – not jumped in with both feet yet. It is something that I want to learn for sure!
Here are all of the “necessary” tools in order of importance – some you will need to get started and others will prove to be helpful upon greater mastery.
But First Paper, The Bread and Butter of Quilling!
It’s important to have the right kind of paper….Quilling paper is usually sold in strips and with standard metrics of an eighth of an inch or three-eighths of an inch. It comes in lots of colors as well. and the weight is about 80 gsm. In other words, it is somewhat lightweight.
Check out my paper guide if you need a little guidance about stuff like paper weight and thickness! Generally, we aren’t using cardstock here which is a little too stiff to be pliable enough to mold into various shapes.
Amazon carries a lot of paper bundles in lots of color varieties; at the time of writing another quality craft venue, Create For Less, carried the best price as far as singular color bundles went. if you prefer to start with a smaller quantity first.
Slotted and Non slotted Needle Tool – This Is Important
Your needle is the sine qua non of quilling! Two essential tools needed kind of resemble embroidery needles. You should have at least one of these -a typical quilling needle has a nice base (like a small screwdriver) and a slotted end slightly resembling a two-pronged fork.
This slot makes it easier to keep a grip on the paper as it is being turned. There is also a needle that doesn’t have the slot – it produces tighter rolls but it’s a little trickier to roll the paper though -but one advantage is that it doesn’t leave a small crimp in the paper as easily as the slotted tool.
I haven’t picked up a quilling needle yet, so for the meantime I’m improvising. I inserted an embroidery needle into a wine cork…this will produce nice tight coils.Both tools, irrespective of end tips, have a knurl on the handle that makes rolling easier.
But being a beginner like you, I needed a slotted opening, of which I discovered my sewing machine’s spool pin mount works perfectly for this demo due to its slot at the top. OK, not a “professional” tool, but worked well in a pinch!
Generally the slotted tool is easier to use when you’re first starting out – these sets below have both so you can get some practice with each and get comfortable with using them.
Glue and Adhesive
After you roll your quilled pieces, you’ll need to use glue to seal off the end piece as a finishing step. The saying “a little dab will do you” is absolutely true with quilling. Literally, you should only use a dab – once for the tail end of the paper when it is curled all the way, to finish it off.
A good kind of water-based, non-solvent craft glue will work fine with your quilling endeavors. I’ve always preferred clear glue for the invisibility after it dries. I like using Aleene’s Tacky Glue which is a great brand and pretty popular.
To get the most out of your glueing experience, I recommend the use of a precision tip applicator bottle. The bottle itself, which is empty, can be filled with your own glue, and the needle-shaped tip helps control the glue application well.
You could also remove the applicator tip/cap and secure it onto your own glue bottle too , to make it even easier! When you are attaching the designs to something flat like a handcrafted card or gift tag, you’ll have control over the amount dispensed and avoid having the problem of beads of glue creeping out and showing.
Template boards are very helpful in guiding you with getting accurate coiled shapes. They are, as their name insinuates, made from a material like cork, which will allow you to hold rolled pieces in place with straight pins. They have many different shape template cutouts on them to assist getting nice, precise shapes of your own.
Many of them also have a wide empty space somewhere at the bottom, like these below – in which you can assemble your finished shapes together. Some have also got ruler guidelines on them too, to serve as a guide when you are working.
Your workspace is important, too! I have a masonite board that makes a great impromptu desk that I can take anywhere. You need a flat surface with which to practice your quilling. (Not one of those beanbag lapdesk thingys )- it needs to be flat as you will be attaching quilled objects parallel to a surface.
Tweezers –Preferably the Long Kind:)
Tweezers are important to get a good grip on your finished coils. When you attach glue to secure them, picking them up and moving them with tweezers will make it easier to keep their shape,.(plus minimize gluey fingers.)
You should also consider investing in some of the longer length tweezers, as they do work better than the standard size.
While tweezers can be helpful in moving coil pieces around after gluing, some straight pins will be a good idea to hold together pieces while drying on your template board. Your best bet is to look for pins with colorful balls on one end as they will show up nicely.
Nice To Have – Border Buddies
Border buddies are tools that come with different shapes like triangles, squares, etc., and resemble little cones. They enable you to make visibly shaped transitions from tighter coils to looser with their graduated design.
Shaping border buddies are great to use when you want to produce less tightly compact coiled designs alongside the ones that are more compact to achieve interesting results. You can glue the first loop around while the strip of paper is placed on the cone and continue wrapping around until you get to the end.
A Curling Coach – You May or May Not Need This
Some quillers swear by these tools in the beginning – a curling coach like this one to the left, is usually made of plastic and has a unique shape with multiple openings in it. It is a good tool for kids, or adults too, and can provide a little guidance in producing uniformly sized shapes.
It’s not necessary to master it, however. So if you think you could use a little assistance when getting started making round coils in the right sizes, I would encourage you to pick one up.
Hope this laundry list will be helpful in your quilling adventures! Let me know in the comments (or if there’s anything I may have left out…I did my best to make sure this list covered everything. 😊 )
Creative Commons Image Attribution:Images by: donielle