My Paper Art Tools


Before I go into the tools I use, I want to take a moment to express that the items I share in this post are merely the tools I use and what works for me. If you have been quilling for a while and are happy with what you have, by all means please keep using what you have. After all if you are not comfortable with the tools you have, you won’t be able to create at your optimum potential. There are other tools that are shown at a different section like, quilling needle, paper curling machine, circle sizer ruler, slotted tool, etc. I separated them because I want to mainly talk about what I know and recommend, however, I want to also don’t want to diss the tools you might need or want to try.

Let’s begin with the necessary tools I absolutely must have if I want to continue making my paper art.

Essentials:

Sculptor's Needle

The first tool is probably the most important yet most versatile: Sculptor’s needle. I had bought mine many years ago when I was doing art, working with clay, shaping it. But when I started doing quilling, I needed something to curl the paper with and it was what I had at hand so I started using it. From YouTube videos, I saw people using a slotted tool, so the following day I ordered a beginner quilling kit. I was disappointed with my purchase, the tools were poorly made and not sturdy so I went back to my sculptor’s needle and never looked back.

Tweezers

The second is; a pair of tweezers. I highly recommend getting a pair that has a pointy end. It will let you get in very tiny spaces with zero effort for maximum use. It keeps the paper straight and allows no mess when you are dunking your strip into the glue.

Scissors

A pair of scissors. You need a good pair that will cut easily and not have a dull edge. I recommend getting a pair allocated specifically for paper cutting.

Glue

The number one question I get asked is: What kind of glue I use. I use Elmer’s white glue. It is a multipurpose glue that dries transparent and easy to clean up after. I use it for no other reason than I have a gallon of it in my home. I have had it for a long time and I use it for many other side projects I do so it is the most available thing for me. Not to worry, I am aware this subject needs its own topic, so I will be shooting a video and talk about glue in a different blog post in great detail.

Last but not least: Paper!

This here is regular printer paper that you can purchase from any store that sells basic office supplies. This is ideal for sketching your designs and making ornamental quilled pieces, such as basic quilling shapes. It is thin which allows for easy curling and management. However, I would be careful because due to its weight, the more you play around with it, the more it loses its structure. It is much less forgiving from that aspect.

Next, you will need a heavy paper to use as base. This one is 100 lbs heavy cardstock. It comes with various sizes. I get the 11" x 17" so I can cut it the size I want. I use it for base and sometimes for skeleton structure walls for a piece. It is really thick, so once glued, it is really sturdy and looks great. The only drawback with this is that it cannot be curled too tight, otherwise it starts creasing, and that is one thing I absolutely am very careful about.

Next is color paper. 28 colors in a set; a bit limited in the color section, but good weight for curling. I had started doing the quilled pieces with this one before I had purchased the proper 100 lbs that I mentioned above.

All the mentioned paper above, I buy because I have the freedom to cut them as thick or thin as I like depending on what the project I am working on dictates.

Now this one I left it last because it is my favorite paper for colorful designs. I use Juya Paper if I am buying quilling paper through Amazon and I absolutely love their paper. The color options are really great and the paper is sturdy enough to maintain good structure yet thin enough to curl very tight. They are my only supplier for the color precut quilled paper. They come in four sizes, 3 mm, 5 mm, 7 mm, and 10 mm. The below link is for 3mm. If you want wider, please make sure you check that option before purchase.

And that is it! These are the essential tools I use for all the artwork that you see on my instagram or facebook accounts.

Optionals:

Now apart from these, there are the optional tools that you may want to have to enhance your project and make things more efficient.

As a hand letterer, a light box is one of my essentials but as a quiller it is something I don’t have to have but it is nice to have. Especially if I want to work clean and don’t want any pencil marks on my base paper.

A box cutter and a ruler are the two things you are going to need if you want to cut the strips of paper yourself. They allow you great freedom when you get to determine the width of the paper you use.

Coffee/tea - depending on your preference - is another optional that you may want to have that will help you get through the process.

Your music/Netflix is going to make everything a lot more enjoyable. I can’t tell you how many series I have gone through from the pilot to finale while quilling.

And last but not least, an obligatory cat on the table that you can pet as you take mini breaks sipping your coffee.

Now on to tools that are out there that many other quillers use.

If you will be making traditional quilled paper art with flowers or repetitive patterns, a set like this might be the right thing for you. But please note that I have not purchased this set, and I am just using the picture and the link because I buy my paper from this company I can only assume and hope they will provide quality products as good as their paper. So please buy at your own discretion.

There! Now you are equipped with all the tools you need to become an expert quiller.

I would love to see what you create with them!

If you have any questions about this post or anything else you want to find out, please send your questions, feedback through my facebook, twitter or instagram and I will make a blog post try to answer them as best as I can.

Keep on creating!