Jul 30, 2021

My Top 10 Basic Quilling Tools for Beginners

Quilling Tools - Top 10 Basic Tools

If you’re new to quilling and you’re shopping for supplies, it can get confusing and expensive! There are so many more options than when I first started quilling in 2006. You don’t have to buy expensive quilling tools or supplies to get started in quilling.

Here are my top 10 basic quilling tools for beginners that I’ve used since 2006. You can use this list as a reference to build your own quilling kit. 

1. Slotted Quilling Tool

2. Needle Quilling Tool (or toothpick / chenille needle)

3. Crochet hook (for on edge quilling of thicker 160 gsm paper)

4. Glue: Aleene’s Tacky Glue / Elmer’s Glue All

5. Fine Tip glue bottle (or yogurt lid toothpick) 

6. Shot glass and damp tissue

7. Fine Tip Tweezers

8. Reverse grip tweezers

9. Circle template

10. Plastic cards

➡️   MY TOOLS: https://kit.co/PaperZen

  Watch the video: https://youtu.be/_KBtIlJfBOE


May 3, 2021

Interview with Charlotte of The Quilling Quarter



I had great fun chatting with Charlotte Marshall of The Quilling Quarter recently. Her thoughtful questions and insightful connections helped me see my work with a new perspective.

She's a natural interviewer and I've been enjoying meeting her previous quilling artists on her YouTube Channel, so I was honored to be given her spotlight.

She took so much time to research the directions my crafting has taken me, what inspired me to start down this path, and where it's led. 

I love how she's sharing what she's learning along her discovery of quilling, her thoughts about her progression. Seeing someone talk about their discovery reminds me of the thrill of the hunt, and gets me inspired once again.




She also reviewed my latest e-book, Quilling Phrases. I love how she showed her progression with quilled typography, and what she learned along the way. 

Subscribe to The Quilling Quarter YouTube channel for more of Charlotte's interviews, insights, and projects.

Mar 26, 2021

Quilling Paper Strips: Organize, Store, & Straighten Pre-cut Conventional Supplies

Quilling Paper Organization Storage Ideas

Let's organize your pre-cut quilling paper strips, so you can find any color or width quickly. Storage of conventional quilling paper can be done easily, while keeping it straight and tidy.


My History of Past Quilling Storage Ideas

2006: Shoe Box

My first quilling paper came from the book, Twirled Paper, by Klutz. I still recommend this book to any beginner quiller, because it comes with everything you need to get started: a slotted tool, paper, glue, googly eyes, and fun patterns. I used a shoe box for storage but I’d accidentally crimp the paper. When I bought more paper and of course, it got messy. 

2010: Push Pins on Foam Core

I decided to pin my paper to some foam core to straighten my paper. I loved how I could find any color, and have immediate access. Then we moved and I had a smaller space, so I couldn’t lie my board flat. I realized when I had to store the board vertically, the weight of gravity would make the paper split apart. (read more here)


2014: Foam Core Box

We moved again and I had more space, so I made a custom foam core box with dividing channels and notches to access trays below. It was meant to be like the cork board method without the pins. The foam core was the perfect height for protection against accidental crimping.

I liked how I could set the box on the open drawer, and make it behave like a table, and it didn’t need space on my desk, but it was a hassle to access the trays below.

In the end, my foam core organizer looks nice and works in theory, but in reality, as I reach for a strip, it would jump out of the channel, so I wrapped paper bands around them to keep them tame. Then I even used removable tape across the channels keep them fenced it. It worked ok, but I didn’t love it. (read more here)

This is also when I started using a binder for the left over strips (read more here). I love how I can find the exact left over strip. I really didn’t like it when I reached for a new strip, only to find out I already had a half used one ready to go. I could combine the similar colors together. The binder is very condensed and great for travel too, especially if you’re just travelling to your kitchen table or couch.



Quilling Strip Sheet Organizer

2020: Quilling Strip Sheet Organizer

In a previous video, I showed how I organize my 11” quilling strips with a plastic sleeve. I love how I can put them in a binder, or in a container on my desk to reach for any color. Best of all, I can store the leftover strips in the same area. This really suits the thicker paper I like using for quilling letters, which is Canson Mi-Teintes. (read more here)


2020: Quilling Paper Strips: Organize, Store, & Straighten Pre-cut Conventional Supplies

Since the plastic sheet organizers were so perfect for storing my short strips, I was happy to find a large format or 11x17 inches sheet as well. 

The conventional quilling paper I have my craft room are between 18 to 24” long, depending on the brand. I needed to extend the plastic sleeve a bit, to make sure the ends don’t flop around, so I cut another plastic sheet into thirds and added it on the right.

The plastic sheets are very thin, so it takes up less space in the drawer. I can stack several layers on top of each other in my drawer, and reach for a specific sheet, even if it’s on the bottom.

I’ve divided most sheets into 12 rows. I grouped colors in warm, cool, multi color, and wider/thicker strips. The wider/thicker strips obviously needed more room, so there are less rows on this sheet.

The clear plastic lets me find any color and check the width by turning the strips.

I plan to use Washi tape to remember the brand name and color.

As I slide the papers in, the rows help tame the strips with a few taps. Its easiest to slide the paper in from the left, because the top piece of plastic is shorter than the plastic on the bottom.

To detach a strip, pull the paper out slightly on the left, and detach on this side. Then detach the other side and slide the single strip out. The rest stays put.


Concerns

To figure out the row width, all I did was slide some paper in, and pinched the plastic to see how much friction was there, when I slid it back and forth. As you use up your paper, it won’t have as much friction because there’s more room. When this happens, the paper can skew diagonally. Other than the paper being a loose fit within the row, it doesn’t seem too bad. A loose fit in the row could result in it sliding out of the plastic sheet due to its own weight. So I do need to remember to keep the sheet level as I handle it.

You can put smaller quantities together to bulk it back up. Here I’ve put several single strips together, and as I pull on one strip, the rest seems to stay in place. I haven’t been using it long enough really to know if this is a nuisance, but so far it seems ok.

If you want a color in the middle of a multi color pack, I do find it need to pull the paper out more so I can get access to the color I need.

I would say it’s easier to detach paper from a pack that’s all the same color vs one that’s is a multicolour pack - but when you can’t decide on a single color, what are you gonna do? 

Since the pros greatly outweighs the cons, so far I’m pretty happy with this method compared to my previous organizers.

Please let me know what you think of this idea in the comments below. Giving me your feedback let’s me know if these tutorials are helpful, and it just keeps me motivated.

If you have a quilling storage hack, please share it in the comments below so we can all learn from you too!




Quilling Paper Strips: Organize, Store, & Straighten

How to Make Tutorial




Materials

  1. Download free PDF template
  2. Large format plastic sheet protectors (I bought a version from Canada)
  3. Scoring tool (example: dried up pen)
  4. 24" ruler
  5. Scotch Removable Tape or MT Washi Tape
  6. Scissors
  7. Craft knife
  8. Sewing machine
Some of the links above are Amazon Affiliate links, and I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Steps

  1. Trim the right end off a plastic sheet to create a tube.
  2. If your paper is long like mine, you may prefer to extend the length. Cut another sheet into thirds. This will extend your sheet by about 5.5 inches wide.
  3. Since the first sheet and the extension are the same size, we need to tuck them into one another, to force it to overlap. Snip diagonal corners off the first protector on the left, about 1/4” in a 45° angle. 
  4. Tuck the snipped edge into the extension and tape in place on both sides. It’s important to tuck the left side inside, not outside. If you tuck it outside, as you slide your paper into the row, it can snag against this edge.
  5. After you download my template, you’ll see I have two for you to choose from.
 Page 1 is divided into 12 rows x 1” high.
 Page 2, is divided into 12 rows unequally to give you a mix between larger multi-colour packs and smaller single color packs.
 Cut your chosen template vertically in half.
  6. Insert the template halves on either side of the sheet protector. 
  7. Use a ruler and scoring tool to trace along the template, leaving an indentation in the plastic. 
  8. Remove the template and sew along the score lines. Now you’re ready to tidy up your supplies!
If you liked this tutorial, please comment below so I know to make more tutorials like this.

Do you have a favorite way of storing your quilling strips? Please share your ideas with the rest of the quilling community in the comments below!


Mar 5, 2021

How to Make a Quilling Circle Template Board with Cricut - Free SVG Pattern

Make Quilling Circle Template with Cricut

Learn how to make a quilling circle template using your Cricut Explore (or any SVG compatible electric cutting machine). 

SVG Compatible Cutting Machines


How to Make a Quilling Circle Template Board Video Tutorial





Digital Files

Download my free files: Click here

A: Quilling Circle Template - PRINT (PDF)

B: Quilling Circle Template - CUT TOP (SVG)

C: Quilling Circle Template - CUT BOTTOM (SVG)


Quilling Circle Template: Method 1: Cardstock


Method 1: Cutting a Circle Template with Card Stock

Steps:

  1. Print the (A) PDF template onto card stock. You’ll notice there are no circles printed on it, because I’m going to cut them out, so I don’t want any circles in the way.
  2. Import the (B) SVG file into your cutting machine software, to cut the circles out of your printed card stock. The circles are the exact size shown in the printed template.
  3. Import the (C) SVG file into your cutting machine software, to cut the circles out blank card stock. These circles are larger than the ones on the top layer to avoid have to line everything up perfectly when I glue these layers together. When you allow your coil to unwind, it will only touch a single top layer. Cut as many layers as you wish to build up the depth you prefer for your quilled coils. I cut mine from 6 sheets of 80 lb card stock (80 lb = about 218 gsm) for 1/8" wide quilling strips. 
  4. Glue all the layers together and let the template dry overnight under a stack of books to ensure your template will not have any bowing.

Quilling Circle Template: Method 2: Mat Board

Method 2: Cutting a Circle Template with Mat Board

Steps:

  1. Same as Method 1.
  2. Same as Method 1.
  3. Import the (C) SVG file into your cutting machine software, to cut the circles out mat board.Visit the Cricut help page for more details about cutting thick materials such as mat board: https://help.cricut.com/hc/en-us/articles/360009429034-Cricut-Maker-Moving-the-star-wheels-on-the-roller-bar
  4. Move the star wheels (for Cricut machines only)
  5. Cut mat board 12x10 inches
  6. Use the Cricut Deep Cut blade and the turn the dial to the last setting before "Custom"
  7. Glue all the layers together and let the template dry overnight under a stack of books to ensure your template will not have any bowing. I cut mine from 2 sheets of mat board for 1/4" wide quilling strips. 

Feb 5, 2021

Quilling Valentine’s Day Card – 3 Easy Heart Pattern Ideas with FREE PDF Template

If you’re new to quilling and intimidated to start, then try this easy Valentine’s Day card, using basic quilling shapes. Watch my tutorial or read more about it below.


Page 1 has two tinted hearts ready for your quilling, and page 2 has the added message of “be mine, valentine!”, so you don't have to worry about outlines or centering elements on the card.

Quilling Hearts Card Design Pattern

Steps:

Step 1: click here to DOWNLOAD my free PDF pattern, and print it onto card stock

Step 2: score vertically in half with a score board or a dried up pen

Step 3: cut horizontally, fold, then unfold so it lays flat on your desk

Paper used: conventional quilling paper, 1/8 inch wide


Quilling Heart for Valentine Card - basic scroll

Card #1: Quilling hearts with S-Scrolls and C-Scrolls

This card is based on a birthday card I made for my mom in 2007, inspired by a store in the mall called La Vie En Rose. She loved it so much she kept it on her fridge for years.

Length of S- and C-scrolls: 4” long


Quilling Heart for Valentine Card - heart design and loose scroll

Card #2: Quilling hearts with Loose Scrolls

Loose Scrolls look like question marks to me and are combined with easy heart outlines for this card.

If you struggle with accidental glue globs, what I do is set one end down first while keeping the other end up in the air. Then I set the other side down. This way your eyes are not struggling to look at so many crucial areas at the same time.

For more tips about glue, watch my video tutorial about Quilling Glue Basics - 5 Tips

Length of Loose Scrolls: 3” long

Length of Hearts: 1.5 and 2” long


Quilling Heart for Valentine Card - flower petals

Card #3: Quilling Flowers and Leaves

For this card, I used a die cut punch I bought at the dollar store to make easy leaves. After punching this flower,  I cut each petal loose, scored them in half with my needle tool, then folded – BAM! Your leaves are ready for your bouquet.

Length of Closed Coil Flowers: 2” and 3” long


Quilling Pillow Box Envelope


Pillow Box Envelope

Protect your quilled greeting card with a puff of air using my FREE pillow box envelope pattern. Read more.