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Three Essential Quilling Supplies For Paper Crafters on a Budget by Ezinearticles

Are you a paper crafter who has never quilled before? Are you not even sure if you'd like it? Are you curious and want to find out, but cringe at the thought of purchasing even more crafting supplies that might end up unused and forgotten in some drawer or plastic bin?

If this sounds like you, then fear not. Basic quilling supplies are few and very inexpensive. In fact, you probably have many of the supplies currently on hand. If you find that you enjoy quilling and want to do more (and I truly hope you will), then you can go wild and build up your stash of quilling tools, papers, and embellishments.

Three Must-Have Supplies for Quilling: Paper Strips, Glue, Curling Tool

1. Quilling Paper Strips. The most common width of paper strip used in quilling is 1/8 inch. Other widths are available, however. Narrower strips (1/16 inch) are used for fine, detailed quilling, while wider strips, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/8 inch, are used primarily for fringed flowers and 3D sculpting.

You can cut your own strips, and many quillers do, but they must be cut precisely for the coils to look nice and that can be difficult and tedious to do. My advice is to purchase one package of 1/8 inch multi-colored strips which will cost around $3. You will appreciate the variety of colors you have to choose from as you make your first designs.

2. Glue. Any good quality white tacky craft glue that dries clear will work fine. Over time you will notice some slight differences and no doubt choose a favorite, but for now, use what you have on hand.

3. Curling Tool. You need to use something to help you curl your paper strips. A corsage pin, hat pin, round toothpick, needle quilling tool, or slotted tool can all be used. To use the pins, toothpick, and needle tool, you will make your curl by rolling the paper strip around the center shaft. A slotted quilling tool grabs the end of the quilling strip and you curl the paper by turning the handle.

There are pros and cons for each type. The needle-type tools make a smaller center to the coil, but starting and rolling the curl can be a bit tricky. The slotted quilling tool leaves a tell-tale bend in the paper at the center of the coil, but is by far the easiest tool for beginners to use. My advice is to spend the $3-4 and get the slotted tool. Once you get the hang of quilling, you can branch out and try the needle tool or finger rolling. If you simply refuse to spend another dime on supplies, then try the toothpick. It is easier for paper to grab onto the wooden surface than the smooth shaft of the needle tool or pin.

Other Useful Quilling Tools and Supplies

* Work Board. You can purchase one of the many nice ones available on the market today, or make your own from a sturdy piece of corrugated cardboard. A good size is 6"x8", but any size will do as long as it is larger than your quilling pattern. Cover the front of the work board with a piece of wax paper or clear plastic cut to size and held in place with a few straight pins.

* Straight Pins. Besides holding the work board covering in place, pins are used to hold your coils and scrolls as you assemble your design. This allows you to dry fit the pieces and make any adjustments before gluing.

* Ruler. You will usually want to measure the length of your paper strips so you can create shapes that are uniform in size. Quilling patterns will tell you the length of the strip needed to form each coil or scroll.

* Tweezers. Some of the individual shapes you create will be pretty tiny. You will find tweezers quite helpful in achieving perfect placement of your coils and scrolls into your quilling design.

That's it. You now know the three essential quilling supplies you'll need to get started, plus some other tools that are not essential, but nice to have. So gather them together and enjoy the art of quilling.

By Charlotte Canup

This article was published on Tuesday 09 April, 2013.
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