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How to get started with paper quilling for beginners

Paper quilling is an art that requires a little patience, some practice, and a dash of creativity. It’s an ancient method of decoration, which has been passed on through many generations and across many nations. Learning the art of paper quilling is still very popular for lovers of crafting.

With a little bit of practice at paper quilling and learning some basic techniques, you can wow your friends with this crafting tradition!

There must have been times when you wanted to make a nice card for a friend or family member, and the regular old doodles and poems just weren’t cutting it.

For that “wow” effect, where people go from “Hey, this is nice”, to “Whoa! How’d you do that!?”, paper quilling might be the way to go.

How To start with paper Quilling

As intricate and sophisticated as the designs may look, with the right tools it will be a breeze. Plus, who doesn’t like exploring their creative side and learning a new crafting skill?

If paper quilling turns out to be your new big thing on your crafting journey, you may even move on to making bigger and more detailed pieces. It’s also a great craft to share with family and friends.

For a beginner looking to get a hang of paper quilling, here’s a list of items that you’ll probably need.

You will need:

  • Quilling Paper
  • Quilling Needle or Slotted Tool
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Paper Glue
  • Pins or Toothpicks
  • Cork Board or Styrofoam

Spend some time and energy finding the right type of tool for you. The two basic types of tools for paper quilling are needle and slotted.

The needle tool is comparatively hard to work with. But, if you can master it, it will give you a perfectly smooth and round center for the coils you’ll be making.

Now, the slotted tool is a bit different, and it can sometimes leave a small crimp on the paper, where the slot is located. Whether you’re a perfectionist or you prefer the ease of use with a tool will determine which one is right for you.

Whatever tool you start with, just remember that all you really need is patience and practice.

Finding quilling paper

Just like specific quilling tools, there’s a particular type of paper you’ll want as well. You can learn with almost any type of flexible paper, and you’ll eventually find what type and weight you prefer. Many arts and crafts stores sell computer paper of different colors, which is a decent option for learning paper quilling.

You can even find pre-cut quilling paper sets in lots of different colors at craft stores and on Amazon. If can’t find exactly what you want, just buy some colored paper and cut them to strips suitable for quilling. You can choose the length and cut the paper according to the designs or depth you’re going for.

Picking Your Preferred Tool

In order to determine which tools are right for you, knowing how they’re used can help a lot. But, nothing takes the place of experience, so you should definitely try as many different paper quilling tools as you can. Also, just know that you’ll most likely end up using several different tools as you learn to create different designs and patterns.

With a slotted tool, you’ll slide the end of the tool in the slot. With the end secured, you can use one hand to turn the tool while using the other to guide it.

For a needle tool, you must first dampen your fingers to get a good grip on the paper. With the dampened finger, fold an end of the paper and use it to wrap the needle.

Now that the paper is attached to the tool, you can apply firm but light pressure and start twisting the paper. Make sure you have a strong hold on the tool itself, so only the paper moves. If the tool moves, your quilling will start to unravel.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of picking out a tool, you could also use a toothpick or a pin. Just make sure it’s long enough to leave space for making the coil.

The pin or toothpick should also leave space for you to hold on to it. These devices obviously won’t consist of slots, so the method used for needle tools would work just fine.

Getting the Hands on Approach

Now that you know the functionality of the tools, you’ll know exactly what to work with! As a beginner, my advice would be to start small. Just create a bunch of coils first, big and small and you can just work with those sticking them together.

When you roll the paper, make sure it’s snug as it goes around the tool. Once the whole coil is made, you can slowly take it off the tool. This is the tricky part because the coil might want to unravel if you don’t hold on to it right.

Once the coil is safely off the tool, glue the end of the paper with clear glue. You can use a pin to dab on a little glue on the paper and hold on to the coil until the glue dries. If you want slightly loose coils, you can release it a little early and get the desired design.

For a more versatile design, you could try pinching the coils, which would create a different shape. This could work well as flower petals or leaves.

There are several other types of paper quilling you could try out, which would result in different types of designs you could experiment with. You can make geometric shapes, teardrops, hearts, and different types of flowers.

Get started with paper quilling: Final thoughts

Now that you have a basic idea of paper quilling, you could get working on different designs and get really creative!

Stick some of those designs together and make cards for your loved ones. Or you could even stick some flowers or stars on to presents and make something unique!

So, get to practice if this article in any way piqued your interest, and make something worth the work and time.

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