A Beginner’s Guide to the Top Paper Quilling Supplies

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Have you ever admired the intricate, lacy designs on greeting cards or jewelry and wondered how they were made? Chances are, it was thanks to the lovely art of paper quilling. Quilling involves rolling, looping, and arranging thin strips of decorative paper to form stunning 3D designs. This delicate technique creates beautiful flourishes and patterns you’d be amazed to learn are made entirely from paper!

While origins can be traced back centuries, quilling has seen a modern resurgence in popularity. Once viewed as a niche hobby, it has blossomed into a mainstream craft celebrated for its versatility and mesmerizing designs. These days, quilled artwork adorns everything from picture frames and wedding invitations to hair accessories and home décor.

As you can imagine, having the right supplies is key for successful quilling. When just getting started in this artform, it can be confusing trying to determine exactly what tools are needed from the myriad of options available. In this post, we’ll explore the top five paper quilling tools beginners should have in their arsenal. You’ll also find tips for choosing quality supplies that suit your skill level and projects.

Whether you’re excited to try your hand at this captivating pastime or looking to advance your quilling abilities, read on for the fundamental tools that offer a strong foundation!

The Top 5 Paper Quilling Tools

1. Quilling Slotted Tool/Slotted Quilling Tool

The slotted quilling tool is essentially the backbone of nearly any paper quilling project. This specialized tool features a thin, needle-like metal tip with a long, narrow slit or slot running down its length. The slotted quilling tool allows you to rapidly coil strips of paper around the metal tip into neat, uniform rolls in order to form quilled shapes.

For beginners, a quality slotted tool offers excellent control and consistency when learning the fundamental techniques of tight paper rolling. The regulated coil width provided by the slot helps keep your paper strips from bunching unevenly. Slotted tools are affordable, user-friendly, and ideal for practicing basic coils, scrolls, loops and other common starter quilling designs. Here are some recommended options to consider:

  • CZCZ 5-Piece Quilling Tool Set – A budget-friendly nylon and metal set with multiple size slotted tips and handle for good grip. Great assortment for beginners.
  • Beadaholique Slotted Quilling Tool – Slightly pricier stainless steel tool with brass handle. Provides durability and strength for smooth rolling.
  • Clover Slotted Quilling Tool – A trusted brand with a contoured plastic handle and 1mm tip well-suited for novices.

2. Quilling Board/Quilling Surface

A quilling board or surface provides an indispensable anchored base for your coiling work. Essentially a flat, stiff board, it has a slit or open slot that allows you to insert the tip of your slotted quilling tool securely inside. This prevents the paper from slipping and edges curling, allowing you to coil strips evenly and consistently.

Most quilling boards are portable and lightweight, making them ideal for quilling-on-the-go. The smooth, rigid surface gives beginners more control over the paper. Advanced quillers also benefit for intricate designs requiring stability. Here are some quality starter quilling board picks:

  • CZCZ Quilling Board – Durable foam board with pre-cut slot, ruler markings, and carrying handle. Budget-friendly for beginners.
  • Quilled Creations Rolled Quilling Board – Clear acrylic surface lets you see your work. The rolled edge provides a comfortable grip.
  • Clover Quilling Tool – Double-sided cork and plastic board in one. Rigid surface prevails against slipping.

3. Quilling Crimper/Crimping Tool

Once you’ve mastered basic quilled coils, a crimping tool allows you to add exciting texture and dimension to your projects. The crimper compress and indents completed coils between its two handles using various shaped crimping heads. This imparts gorgeous detailed patterns along the coil.

An adjustable quilling crimper opens up vast possibilities for more advanced, intricate paper quilling designs beyond simple coils and loops. Tension can often be controlled to determine how deep the indents are impressed. Interchangeable heads provide plenty of unique indent options. Here are some recommended crimpers to explore:

  • Beadaholique 6-Piece Crimping Set – Comes with flower, wave, square and line pattern heads to add variety.
  • CZCZ Double Wheel Roller Crimper – Features two sizes of cylinder heads and adjustable tension for versatile indenting.
  • Clover Crimping Tool – A trusted brand with interchangeable heads and sturdy steel construction. Great for detail.

4. Quilling Tweezers

Quilling projects rely on tiny, delicate coils and paper strips to build stunning designs. Precision tweezers are essential for picking up these small quilled shapes without damaging them. Quilling tweezers have very fine, pointed stainless steel tips capable of grabbing even the tiniest coils.

The anti-magnetic properties prevent adhesion of any metal-filled quilling paper. Acid-free construction protects against breakdown of the papers’ composition. Using high-quality tweezers allows you to manipulate coils and position them into intricate patterns with great accuracy and control. Recommended options include:

  • HiArty Deluxe Quilling Tweezers – Boasts Swiss stainless steel construction with slanted, super-fine tips ideal for precision quilling work.
  • Artify Stainless Steel Quilling Tweezers – Industrial grade anti-static, anti-magnetic tipped tweezers at an affordable price.
  • CZCZ Quilling Pliers – Stainless steel precision tip tweezers with comfortable plastic coated handles for good grip.

5. Quilling Glue/Adhesive

Every quiller needs a quality adhesive specially formulated for quilling’s coils and curling paper properties. The right glue bonds all the delicate coils together and onto surfaces without warping, wrinkling or bleeding through the thin strips. Quilling glues dry quickly but allow a few seconds of adjustment time.

Ideal options are non-toxic and acid-free to prevent damaging papers over time. An extra-fine applicator tip lets you add tiny dots of adhesive precisely where needed without marring your work. Some popular picks include:

  • Scotch Quick Dry Paper Glue – A clear drying favorite with precision tip applicator for paper crafts.
  • Elmers Craft BondTM Quilling Glue Pen – Specially designed for quilling with micro-fine applicator and protective cap.
  • Beacon Adhesives Quilters Select Glue – Acid-free formulation dries rapidly but gives you time to reposition coils.

How to Choose Quilling Tools

Starting out in the world of quilling tools can feel overwhelming initially. Here are some top tips for choosing quality supplies perfectly suited for beginners:

  • Consider your skill level – If entirely new to quilling, choose user-friendly basic tools to allow you to focus on picking up techniques. Opt for high quality but standard slotted tool, board, glue and paper to practice core coils and scrolls without getting bogged down in too many options.
  • Think about your budget – You don’t need expensive specialist tools as a quilling novice. Affordable basic options are fine for learning, provided they are still well-constructed. You can always invest in more premium supplies as your skills develop. Focus budget on quality essentials first.
  • Focus on versatility – Look for tools like a slotted quilling tool with multiple tip sizes, or a crimper with changeable heads. Versatility allows you more creativity even as a beginner. A basic board accommodates all sorts of standard quilled shapes to get you started.
  • Ensure good construction – Smooth, flawless tool construction is vital for frustration-free quilling, especially as a novice. Any imperfections make coiling the delicate paper strips more difficult. Stainless steel, strong plastics and sturdy board materials hold up well.
  • Get the right sizes – The width of a slotted quilling tool’s tip determines the size of your coils. Tips from 1mm to 5mm help create variety. Similarly, a quilling board sized suitably for your projects provides ample workspace.
  • Consider ergonomics – Quilling requires working with your hands for prolonged periods rolling coils. Comfortable, easy to grip tools that feel good in your hands can help avoid fatigue. Smooth, contoured handles prevent slipping.
  • Know the essentials – At minimum, a slotted quilling tool, quilling board, quality paper and quilling glue are needed to begin practicing fundamental techniques. These basics enable countless designs.
  • Allow room to grow – Leave room in your budget for more specialized tools like crimpers, complicated slotted tips, or specialty pliers as you advance. It’s okay to start with basics and add to your supplies over time.
  • Read reviews – Research how a tool actually performs for quilling based on fellow quillers’ reviews. They will note any flaws or features important for these delicate paper techniques beyond just product descriptions.
  • Consider your projects – If focused on jewelry pieces, smaller precision tipped tweezers and specialty slotted tips help. For larger wall art, a bigger board accommodates. Match starter tool sizes with your anticipated quilled creations.

FAQs and Answers About Quilling Tools

Q: What are the absolute essential tools I need to start quilling?

A: At the very minimum, you need a slotted quilling tool, a quilling board, quilling paper, and quilling glue to begin practicing the basic coil and scroll shapes to create quilled designs as a beginner. These form the core starter supplies.

Q: Is it okay to start with really inexpensive tools as a quilling beginner?

A: Certainly – you don’t need top of the line specialist tools when you are just learning! Affordable, lower priced basic quilling supplies are fine for starting out, provided they are still good quality. You can always invest more in premium specialty tools as your skills progress.

Q: What width of slotted quilling tool should I get first?

A: A 1mm or 1.5mm width slotted quilling tool is an ideal standard size for most beginners to start with for learning basic coils, scrolls and shapes. These tip widths give you versatility for a wide range of starter techniques. You can always add different slot widths later for variety.

Q: Do I need a quilling crimper as a beginner?

A: Not necessarily when just starting out. A basic slotted tool, board, paper and glue will enable you to learn the fundamental quilling techniques first. A crimper can come later on to allow more intricate designs with texture once you advance a bit.

Q: What glue is best for quilling?

A: Look for an adhesive specially formulated for quilling work, as these are designed not to warp, wrinkle or bleed through the delicate rolled paper strips. Ideal glues dry rapidly but give you just a few seconds of working time to adjust coils. Acid-free, archival quality glues are best for quilling.

Q: How do I clean quilling glue off my tools?

A: Most standard quilling glues can be carefully cleaned off tools using warm water, mild soap and an old toothbrush. Some glues also respond well to nail polish remover for removing sticky residue. Avoid submerging metallic tools in water and do not scour surfaces.

To Sum Up

We’ve covered the top five paper quilling tools that all beginners should be equipped with to get started on the right foot: slotted quilling tools, a quilling board, crimping tools, precision tweezers, and quilling glue. Keep quality, versatility and essential techniques in mind when selecting your starter supplies. Don’t be overwhelmed by the array of options – start simple!

Hopefully this guide has helped eliminate some confusion about the basic quilling tools needed as a novice. These fundamentals will provide a strong base to begin exploring the captivating world of paper quilling designs. As your skills progress, you can build up a full quilling toolkit with more advanced specialty pliers, cutters, tools and papers.

For further tips and inspiration, connect with online quilling communities to learn directly from experienced quillers. Now – grab your slotted tool, glue and paper and let the quilling fun begin! Please share any questions below – we’d love to help you on your quilling journey.

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