Paper Quilling is the art of cutting paper into long thin strips, rolling and pinching the pieces into different shapes and then gluing the shapes together to form a raised decorative art.

Quilling is the perfect project for beginners and can be mastered in just a couple of hours! Your projects can be as simple or complex as you like, and whatever the project is it can be used to decorate cards, boxes, gift bags, picture frames or even be made into 3D stand-alone art pieces.

The History of Paper Quilling

It is thought that this craft came back around in the 18th Century as it was seen to be a suitable pastime for the women of the aristocracy. The art of quilling spread from Europe to America and has since become popular again.

Tools Required for Paper Quilling

Beginner quilling can be accomplished using only strips of paper, a toothpick, knitting needle or similar object and some glue.

If you fall in love with quilling you can invest in proper quilling tools to make your job that much easier. These are explained below.

  • Paper Quilling Strips: Pre-cut paper designed especially for quilling can be bought online or at your local craft store. The advantage to using pre-cut paper is that your paper strips will always be the same width and of course you will also save time when using this type of paper.
  • Slotted Quilling Tool: This tool is a handle with a comfort grip that has a slotted metal piece at the top to insert your paper strips and then twists them into circular shapes. This tool makes it easier to control and roll your paper strips.
  • Tweezers: Tweezers are handy for holding your quilled shapes together while you are applying glue.
  • Needle Tool: The needle tool is a handle with a comfort grip that has a needle on one end. This tool is useful for applying glue to the ends of your paper strips.
  • Circle Sized Ruler: This handy tool is a ruler that has various sized holes in the middle. Place your rolled paper coil into a hole and get an accurate measurement.
  • Curling Coach: This tool is similar to the sized circle ruler. It makes the job of curling paper easy. It is especially useful when used in conjunction with the slotted tool.
  • Crimper Tool: This tool adds some crimped texture to your paper strips. Crimping adds interest to your quilling design.
  • White Glue: Most quillers use ordinary PVA glue.

Quilling Techniques

Using a slotted quilling tool

Slotted quilling tools are really simple to use. You simply put one end of your paper into the slot on the quilling tool and roll it around the tool to form a coil.

How to make an open coil

As above, put the paper into the quilling tool slit and roll it around the tool into a coil. Release the coil from the tool and let it unwind freely – this is your open coil.

How to make closed coil shapes

To make a closed coil you roll it around the quilling tool in the same way as described above. Let the coil unwind, then use a toothpick apply a glue to the end of the paper strip and then close the coil. If you want it to be a tight coil you apply the glue without allowing the coil to unwind.

More Resources For Paper Quilling

This video from Red Ted Art is great for beginners!

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