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Beginners Basics

Quilling is an inexpensive art that requires only a few items to get started.

Tools Required
  • Quilling tool (slotted and/or quilling needle)
  • Paper strips
  • Clear craft glue (PVA glue)
  • Scissors


Optional Extras

  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Cicle template
  • Cork work board
  • Craft mat
  • Shallow Dish (for glue)
  • Toothpicks (for glueing)
  • Tweezers (for holding and positioning pieces)
  • Damp cloth (for wiping glue from fingers)
  • ...and some patience!



Paper strips come in many different weights and many suggest the ideal paper weight for quilling is between 80 - 100gsm.  When choosing paper if it is too light it will not sit well and if it is too heavy it creases rather than coils.  The strips of perp are cut from 1.5mm widths to 10mm widths with the standard being around 3mm.

Tool Technique

Tear a strip of quilling paper into approximate 10cm pieces.  Insert one end of the measured strip into the slot of the quilling tool and while holding it firmly, turn the handle to wind the paper around the tool.  Carefully take the coil off the tool.

Glue Technique

PVA glue is preferred because it drices clear however, it should still be used sparingly.  Pick up a small amount of glue with a toothpick and glue the loose end of the coil.  Alternatively you can use a fine tip glue applicator such as a glue pen or glue bottle to achieve a fine slither of glue on your artwork.  For glued ends to blend neatly into the coil, it is recommended that you tear off the required lengths instead of cutting them.

Design Layout
Before glueing any pieces onto your card, it is advisable to lay out your design to check positioning and balance.  Tweezers are useful for positioning your pieces.  It may also be helpful to assemble the design on a plastic covered work board before you attach it to the card.  It is also recommended that you glue across the entire base of each piece to ensure that no centres pop out.

The following is a summary of basic shapes.  It is advisable to become familiar with these shapes before proceeding with any instructions for the first time.  Note that some designs may include further instructions to suit the design you are creating.  Don't expect your shapes to be perfect at first, like anything, practice makes perfect and even the most experienced quiller's loose their coils!
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