Updated date:

Quilling Tips And Ideas

Paper crafting has been my passion since I was a child. I love sharing paper projects, ideas and products. Get more from all your paper .

Quilling Basics

Quilling is an art form that involves rolling thin strips of paper ( usually 1/8th of an inch wide) around a needle or quilling tool. The rolls of paper are glued to keep their shape. These rolls can either be tight or loose depending on their use.

The rolled papers are then pinched and and arranged to create shapes and images. The shapes are called coils. The coils are then used to make a quilling pattern.

Most of these coils are either open or closed coils. A closed coil is rolled very tightly while an open coil is rolled more loosely.

A quilling tool is helpful for beginners, But more experienced quillers tend to use needles and toothpicks to create their rolls.Coils can be pinched into shapes like squares, teardrops, diamonds and triangles.Closed coils can be pushed upwards to create a peg. Pegs create another dimension to quilling.

The most basic tool is the quilling needle. It is either a slotted tool or a closed needle tool. The slotted tool is easier to work with, but leaves a larger hole than the needle tool. However, the slotted tool is easier to work with than the needle, especially for beginners.

What Can You Make With Your Quills

There are so many projects that you can make with quilling. Start by thinking of greeting cards and wall hangings or decor. But it goes farther than that. You can make jewelery, coasters, boxes, hair ornaments and holiday ornaments. The options are endless. You can search Pinterest and the internet to create endless ideas.



Basic Quilling Coils

Free tutorial and coil chart to help you practice your quilling coils, Great basic tutorial

Free tutorial and coil chart to help you practice your quilling coils, Great basic tutorial

Basic Quilling Coils

The basic coil that all others are created from is simple to learn. Once you get this coil, all others become easier and clearer.

  1. Take the quilling strip and insert it into the needle of your quilling tool.
  2. Start rolling it and keep rolling it till you get it the way you want it
  3. Glue the end of the quill. Just a tiny amount will do just fine

You can create either a tightly bound or a loosely bound coil. From a loosely bound coil you can create a semi circle by pinching the two sides of the coil.

Teardrop Quill

Teardrop quill can be used for flowers, hearts, and more

  1. Make a loosely bound quill
  2. Hold it with your thumb and forefinger
  3. Shape the teardrop by adding pressure on the coil where you want the narrow side of the teardrop.
  4. You can then roll in the inner part of the quill to make it look neat.

You can vary the shape of the teardrop with the amount of pressure that you give to the sides

You can create the Marquis (a teardrop variation) by making a teardrop and then pinching the opposite sides of the quill

Square Quill

The square or diamond quill is really a variation of the Marquis quill.

  1. Make a Marquis quill.
  2. As you pinch two of the opposite sides, this time you have to pinch two more opposite sides.

These two sides must be aligned and opposite to each other. From this, you can also create a rectangle. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that adjacent sides are of different lengths in the rectangle.

S Shaped Quill

  1. Take a quilling strip and form it into the shape of an S
  2. Then take one end and start rolling till you reach 1/3 part of the quill
  3. Do the same thing on the other side of the strip

You can decide if you are going to make your S shape a loose bound or a tight bound coil.


More Quilling Shapes To Try

Start With The Quilling Tool

The quilling tool is the first tool that you need to get started with quilling projects

The quilling tool is the first tool that you need to get started with quilling projects

Basic Quilling Tools That You Need

There are actually not a lot of basic tools that you need to get started. To actually get going in this art all you need are:

  • Colored quilling strips-Comes in all kinds of solid colors, These are thin strips of paper used to create quilling shapes.
  • Quilling slotted needle- This is a must-have tool that enables you to create your loose or tight coils. The tool has a thick slotted need within a comfortable handle. The slot is where you place and start your coil and wind it into the shape that you need. These come in a variety of handles but basically, the tip is a little metal piece that has a slit in it for you to place your quilling paper in. You then twirl the tool around in your fingers to coil up the paper around the tip.
  • Precision tool glue applicator- This is a little plastic bottle with a precision tip that enables you to apply the right amount of glue at the end of your quilled piece. This is a must-have for every quiller. It helps you create perfect quills every time.
  • Circle sizer board- This is a board that has precise circles in different sizes. This helps you create the circles in just the right sizes for your patterns. There are other boards that help you create circles and other shapes too.
  • Tweezers-There are different kinds of tweezers that you can get. The tweezer is used to pick out the loose coils from the sizer board and keep the shape that you have created. You could use an eyebrow tweezer, but they are awkward to handle. I prefer a nice long-handled tweezer with long-tipped ends.
  • A ruler-You need a ruler to measure lengths when you are using and cutting papers to smaller sizes. That way, each of your lengths will be exactly the same. That is turn will make your coils the same.
  • Straight Pins-Secure each individual piece to the next when making a design so that they will hold together properly as they dry.

Additional Tools For You To Consider

These tools take you to the next level in your quilling experience:

  • Specialty quilling papers like ombre, dual tones, metallic and metallic edges, ect.
  • Border Buddy-The Border Buddy is a set of three tools. It has a square shape, a round, and a triangle shape. It makes a hollow quilled shape that is often used in making jewelry.
  • Curling Coach-Helps you make tight coils. The quilling tool is inserted through the tool. Helps you make flat tight precise coils.
  • Fringing scissors- These scissors are specialized scissors that have multiple blades, usually 4-5 sets. They are used to fringe the edges of flowers.
  • Quilling needle- This is another tool that is used to wind coils. It does not have a slot at the tip. Unlike the slotted needle, it makes a tighter center that does not have a hole in the center. It takes a little more patience to use this tool.
  • Quilling comb-Use for some specific techniques to make fringed flowers
  • Quilling mould-These are plastic molds that have domes in different sizes. They form a dome of quilled paper to make jewelry and other projects.
  • Crimper- These are two rotating plastic pieces that have protrusions. The paper is rolled between the tool and you get a crimped effect.

Quilling Board

A quilling board helps you the size and shape different rolls so that your quilling shapes are all the same size. This is a perfect tool for beginning quillers.

A quilling board helps you the size and shape different rolls so that your quilling shapes are all the same size. This is a perfect tool for beginning quillers.

Quilling Paper Comes in Many Colors

You can purchase quilling paper in different hues of one color or a package of rainbow colors

You can purchase quilling paper in different hues of one color or a package of rainbow colors

Quilling Papers

  • Quilling paper strips are cut in different widths. The most common strip is 1/8 of an inch.Widths of 1/16 of an inch are used most often for fine details. Wider strips, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/8 inch, are used primarily for fringed flowers and 3D sculpting.
  • Start with precut papers. They are easy to use and make your projects easy to accomplish. Once you get comfortable with the process, you can start cutting your own papers.
  • You can cut your own strips of paper. But each strip must be very precise and that may be difficult. If your strips are not cut at the right width every time, your project will be sloppy. To save time and frustration, it is easier to buy the stripes than try to make them.
  • When you roll coils, the amount of tension that you place when you are rolling the coil affects how big the coil will be and /or how much it will loosen when you let go.

Making Quilling Strips With A Cricut

More Quilling Basics

Precision Glue Tips

You can purchase precision glue tip bottles and load your favorite glues, They are inexpensive, but make your quilling experience faster and easier.

You can purchase precision glue tip bottles and load your favorite glues, They are inexpensive, but make your quilling experience faster and easier.

Quilling Glue Tips And Ideas

From the moment that you get started in quilling, the one thing that you need from day one, is a fine tipped bottle for your glue. It makes it so much easier to get just the right amount of glue on the edge of your coils. Those blobs of glue that you would get from a regular bottle just makes for a messy project and messy finger tips. Keep a needle or coursage pin handy in case you need to clear your tip.

Technically, any glue that you can use for paper crafts can be used for quilling.

Tacky Glue

Tacky glue is one option for quilling, but it is a little more expensive that white craft PVA glue. It does dry faster that other glues. But some tacky glues stay tacky even long after they are applied. That means that dust and other things might attach to the surface.

Craft Glue

Lots of folks like to use PVA white craft glues for quilling. Try using a quality white glue to get the best results.

Quilling Glue Tips

  • Avoid Glue Puddles-Make a flat line of glue to dip the side of your coil or quilling line. Use your twezzers to dip the coil or line into the glue. If you dip into a puddle , you are going to get excess glue which will be a mess on your project. Place some glue on a used credit card or on a craft mat. Flatten the glue with another card or a piece of cardboard. It is that simple.
  • All if your coil is not sticking to the paper or project- Take a piece of quilling paper and load the end with a small amount of glue. Pass the paper under the section of the coil where it is not sticking. Gently press down the coil to adhere it.
  • Place you fine tipped bottle in a shot glass with the tip down. Place a little bit of wet sponge at the bottom of the glass.

More Glue Tips And Ideas

Beautifully Matted Framed Quilled Project

Adding a frame for your quilled projects make them elegant in your home decor

Adding a frame for your quilled projects make them elegant in your home decor

Tips For Gluing Quilling Projects To A Background

Once you finish your project, you may want to mount it on a background so that you can frame your piece. Here are some tips to make the project go easier:

  1. Know the size of the frame that you plan to use.
  2. Use mat boards. They have a stronger weight. They will hold the glue and the project together for a lifetime. It does not wrinkle. Mat boards can be purchased in bulk.
  3. Remove any mats from the inside of the frame. If the frame has a double mat, this is better because it allows a little space between the quilled piece and the glass.
  4. For larger pieces apply the glue directly on the mat with needle nose tweezers. If the quill is small, like a leaf, try dipping the quill in a small amount of glue.
  5. Place the mat down on a work surface. Center the frame without the glass over the piece.
  6. Cover the edges of the frame with a clear plastic ruler over the top. The rulers will help you align the pieces on the mat.
  7. Add your quilled pieces on the board li9ning them up as you wish on the mat.
  8. Use a soft paint brush to carefully brush away any excess glue.
  9. Let the project sit for a while till it is dry.
  10. You are ready to frame.

Using Sealants On Quilled Pieces

For the majority of your quilling projects, no sealant is needed. But you should seal your jewelry pieces so that they last longer and retain their shape.

  • 3D Laquer- Has a nice smooth shiny finish. Has a hard finish like Diamond Glaze with a little more flexability to it. Has a slightly yellow finish, so not recommended for white or pastel papers. You cannot see the yellow tint on darker colors.
  • Deco Art Multi-Purpose Sealer-This sealer has a smooth and shiny appearance. This sealant can be used before a top coat or glaze.It is a very thick sealer, so a little water can be added to thin it down a bit. Does not yellow or run the color on your quilled piece. Makes the piece very hard. Also very economical, but you will still need a top coat.
  • Diamond Glaze-Gives a smooth and shiny coat. Can also be used as an adhesive. Color safe and does not yellow paper. Super hard finish that stands alone or as a top coat. You ca thin it with water.

More Quilling Sealant Tips And Ideas

Make Quilled Sunflowers

Make these delightful sunflowers in a few easy steps

Make these delightful sunflowers in a few easy steps

Quilling Guides

Simple Christmas Quilled Ornament

Anyone could create a ornament to hang on a tree with just a few easy steps

Anyone could create a ornament to hang on a tree with just a few easy steps

Quilling Leaves Tutorials

Adding leaves to your quilled flowers makes them pop

Adding leaves to your quilled flowers makes them pop

Quilling Tips

  • A flat contact lens case is the perfect place to store enough glue to do your projects. That way, you can use the case to store glue. It is also easier to handle small amounts of glue, while you are quilling
  • Use a toothpick to apply the glue. It will hold just the right amount of glue and will be a lot less messy.
  • Put your project pattern into a page protector. That way, you can quill right over the pattern. Just make sure that you leave no residual glue on the page protector. Any dried glue can be picked off with a pin.
  • Most American papers are 24 inches long. So half would be 12 inches and half of that would be 6 inches.
  • When pulling a piece of quilling paper out of the sleeve, just pull the inside loop from the sleeve. That will make the paper stay neater in the sleeve.
  • Once the glue is dry on a quilled piece, lightly press a clear embossing stamp pad over the piece Sprinkle the embossing powder of your choice on the project, Dry with a heat gun.
  • Use small thread snippers over scissors. They are easy to handle and will cut the thin paper pieces that we use to quill.
  • Use a cuticle nipper to clean up your edges. They can easily fix an uneven edge or some stray glue.
  • Use a piece of sponge in a small round dish and keep it moist. The dish can hold your needle nose glue tip and bottle. This will keep the glue from clogging your tip. You can also use the sponge to wipe away any glue.

Motorized Quilling Tool

Motorized quilling tools have two tips available, both the slotted and rounded tips. They make quilling faster and easier

Motorized quilling tools have two tips available, both the slotted and rounded tips. They make quilling faster and easier

Motorized And Electronic Quilling Tools

The first thing to know is that you do not need one of these tools if you are a beginner or do not quill frequently. Do they make your quilling experience easier? I would have to say yes to that. They would be a good tool to have if you enjoy quilling, but have problems with your hands like arthritis.

Basically, these are a slotted type of quilling tools that have a motor. The motor spins the tool to create the quill form. The motors run on batteries.

There is one tool that is like a pen. It has both a slotted end and a round end. The average cost is about $15,

There is another tool that is more my personal preference, It has a platform as well as a slotted and or rounded end. They average between $7-$15.

Fringing Scissors

Fringing scissors help you make the best and easiest flowers possible

Fringing scissors help you make the best and easiest flowers possible

Fringer Tools And Ideas

There are two kinds of fringing tools available. These tools are made to be used with quilling paper only. Using card stock in these fringers will actually cause a break in the mechanism. When storing your fringer always make sure to keep a strip of paper in the fringer as to not damage the cutting blade. Never use the cutting blade without paper, This will also cause damage to the tool.To sharpen the blade, try cutting a strip of aluminum foil. Fringer bases are use to stabilize the machine making the fringing easier to perform.

The 90 degree fringer creates fringes that are straight up and down lines. It is adjustable in depth and width of the fringe accepting paper strips form 1/4" to 3/8". This is the fringer most often used by quillers.

The 45° fringer produces cuts at an angle,\\, used to form leaves and flowers. The 1/4" to 3/4" paper in most applications is folded in half lengthwise before inserting into the fringer.



Fancy Fringing Tool

If you are really into making fringed quilled flowers, there are tools that will help you get them done faster and more professionally

If you are really into making fringed quilled flowers, there are tools that will help you get them done faster and more professionally

Fringing Ideas And Tips

Quilling Comb

A quilling comb is a comb with metal prongs. It is used for making both quilled coils and quilled flowers. It would remind you of what was called an afro comb. Some folks will use a comb that they have at home. And you can get similar results, but the true quilling comb will give the best results.

How To Use A Quilling Comb

Quilling Comb Ideas And Patterns

Tips To Do The Combing Technique

Quilling Tutorials

How To Make A Double Layer Quill

Storing Your Quilling Supplies

Everyone has their own thoughts and designs on storing their quilling supplies. How you store your supplies are dependent on the amount of quilling supplies that you own. The second aspect of organizing your quilling supplies is the amount of space that you have.

If you are like me, you do multiple types of paper crafts, so one thing that you will want to do is to keep your quilling supplies in one designated space. That way, when you want to quill, all your supplies will be at your finger tips.

If you are just starting out, or do not have a lot of supplies, a shoe or cardboard cardboard box will so just fine.

Storing Your Quilling Strips

You cans store your quilling strips by either size, type of paper, or color. It is up to you.

Plastic multi drawer systems make a lot of sense. You can sort by color and then baggie different either lengths or types of paper. If your collection of paper grows, you can add more drawers.

Keep one draw for your tools and another drawer for your glues and sealants.

Create A Quilling Notebook

A quilling notebook is a perfect place to keep all your coil instructions, patterns and notes.

Take a three ring notebook and add some page protectors. You can add dividers with tabs that also have pouches. That way you can divide your notebook into sections.

Another neat way to keep special tutorials and information, is to use your favorite list.

Either way, you can keep all the information you need handy for future use.

© 2020 Linda F Correa

Related Articles