Everything you need to Create Beautiful Quilling Paper Art

Quilling tools to create paper art

One of the things I love about making quilling artwork, is that it’s easily accessible. You can start with a very limited kit to start making a quilling project.  The really cool thing, is that as you tackle more complicated projects, this base list doesn’t actually grow that much longer.

Below, I’ve listed literally EVERYTHING I use when creating my quilling or paper filigree artworks.  I’ve also included where I source my supplies from. (Cause seriously, this is such an accessible artform, and I’d love to see everyone having a crack at making their own papery creations!)

I’d also love to learn where other quilling enthusiasts are sourcing their tools and resources from (feel free to share in the comments below).

1.       Paper This is really the basis of your quilling work. Without paper, you’ve got no project. 😊

I like to use different thicknesses for my artwork to give the piece a bit more texture.   I love working with American Crafts Cardstock. https://www.americancrafts.com/ (outline thickness, and what GSM stands for)  I use this often in my pieces, both as the paper cut-out that creates the form of my work and the border or outline of the piece.  You can purchase ‘themed’ packs of this paper, which includes a range of colours for that particular theme.

For more intricate line work, I use lighter GSM paper – my latest favourite is “Recollections – 176gsm”.

In reality, you can literally use any type of paper, as long as it is thin enough to shape with your ‘quilling tool’.

2.       Glue Glue, is also essential for your quilling artwork.

I’ve tried numerous glues as I’ve experimented in my work. I use Elmer’s School Glue. It comes out of the bottle white and viscous and dries perfectly clear.  I’ve found the key to using any glue, the rule of ‘Less is More’ is always best to follow. Paper (especially thinner papers) don’t need much glue at all to adhere into place. This leaves you with less globs of glue on your piece, and pretty much all glues will dry with a sheen (if you’ve discovered something different, then please let me know!)

3.       Quilling Tool You’re going to need something to roll your paper on.  Spoiler alert here, you don’t need a ‘professional quilling tool’ (which is essentially a thing metal skewer with a slot worked into the end that you can roll your paper on itself with), personally I use a crotchet hook which I inherited from my Nana when she passed. You can use a toothpick, you can use a knitting needle, you can use a metal skewer from your kitchen drawer. Anything thin and cylindrical that you have lying around the house.  Just remember, the thinner the cylinder, the easier it will be to make tighter curls (having thinner paper will also allow you to get super tight curls in your paper).
4.       Scalpel I cut my own ‘quilling strips’ (these are the thin paper strips that I’ll ultimately shape to create the line work in my paper pieces). I use a scalpel and a steel ruler, and just eyeball the width of each strip.  My original projects I used an old scalpel that came as part of a hobby knife set.  I prolonged the life of this particular scalpel by regularly sharpening the blade, and replacing only when absolutely necessary,  I worked that thing until the handle snapped and I limped out its life a bit longer by wrapping the snapped handle and blade together with sports injury tape (not highly recommended as a precision tool but it got the job done 😊).  I’ve recently purchased a ‘Fiskars’ scalpel,  which I’m a little bit in love with.   Paper dulls a blade quickly, so be prepared to sharpen or interchange any blade you are using fairly regularly.
5.       Steel Ruler A steel ruler is a total must if you’re going to cut your own strips. A sharp blade will dig straight into a plastic ruler and potentially on into your thumb if you’re not careful.  Having something that allows you to measure as well (hey! Just by chance I have this ‘steel ruler’ here, that has measurements on it) is super handy if you need to measure out the size of your piece for framing.
6.       Scissors I’m starting to garner quite a collection of scissors. Which is a bit ridiculous, because the only pair I actually use is a small pink set I picked up from Aldi. They’re small, sharp at the end, and they allow me to cut small shapes from small pieces of paper.  I’ve found, the smaller and sharper the better with my quilling work, having a sharp pointy end too is essential. It came in a pack of five, the other scissors in the pack have been handy to cut up big sheets of paper, or for any other household use.
7.       Cutting Mat If you don’t want to get roused on by your significant other for gouging holes in the kitchen/dining room table, a cutting mat is a must. I’ve got one that is the size of the desk I work on which is great. It’s also lined giving me a bit more direction when I’m cutting my own strips by hand. I purchased mine from Spotlight, you can pick them up on Ebay relatively inexpensively.
8.       Tweezers Long nose tweezers really do make the construction of my pieces much easier. When you’re working with fine paper, on its thin edge, fingers just can’t get in and do the detail work. Long thin tweezers work a treat, you can pick a set up from pretty much anywhere, even from your local supermarket. I’ve purchased a couple of sets from the online app “WISH”, inexpensively without drama.
9.       Baking Paper Super Hot Tip, I use baking paper as ‘tracing paper’.  I sketch my designs by hand, trace them out on baking paper, and then trace the design out onto my working paper.  I tend not to print anything out. The tracing paper also becomes a ‘template’ for me to use again later.

 

And that, my friends, is it. That’s my entire kit that I use when working on my quilling projects.  What other tools do you use when making paper creations? I’ve love to hear about it. Tell me about it in the comments below. X

 

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