Quilling with Adelina is a series about the art of quilling. In this series Adelina will write about a variety of topics, from the basics to quilling to pro tips!
Quilling is the type of crafting that gets better with practice. While it follows some simple principles, it takes many failures until your fingers will start rolling paper flawlessly. And until you will be able to glue pieces together in the most delicate possible way. Even so, aside from good old practice, knowing a few secrets will make everything easier. I’ve learned some of them the hard way, but you should be able to read about them instead of making them:
The slotted or the needle tool? It’s a common conundrum. With the slotted tool, everything is much easier, since it holds down the center of the coil. But it also leaves an unpleasant crease right in the center of the shape. It might seem harder to work with the needle, but it would definitely help you to master it as well. If you want the crease to be as small as possible, do your best to insert the paper strip into the slotted head as little as possible.
The narrower or the wider strips? When you see that many dimensions and colors, it really is hard to pick just one size. You could probably use more of them, but it all depends on what you are planning to craft. Quilling daisies and other 3D models, jewelry included, could work much better with a wider strip. For patterns that are more delicate, you need the narrower strips. Especially as you are starting out, you might find it more difficult to work with such strips.
Plain glaze or glaze with water? If you want to preserve your masterpieces, adding a protective layer of glaze is mandatory. Some people prefer, however, to dilute the glaze with a bit of water, making it as thin as they want. When the glaze is thinner, you can simply insert the quilling into it and take it out shiny and ready to stand the test of time. Of course, you can also try to apply the concentrated glaze, with a brush, straight onto the piece. Nevertheless, you might not be as happy with the results.
A special corner or smart storage solutions? Quilling can get messy even with the more experienced artisans. Your first attempts will probably end up with many failures and many glue stains around your desk. If you have a special corner where you can put all your instruments and let them be, lucky you. I, for instance, do not have one so I had to find some smart storage solutions. While some people think of how to store hundreds of paper strips, I just buy fewer packages and stash everything into some cheerful cardboard boxes. I place them one above the other and that’s it.
How much should you spend? As I said, you are probably going to make many mistakes. Investing a lot in all those quilling instruments and materials is probably not a good idea. Stick with the basics, use whatever glue you have (for starters), cut your own paper strips (with a cutter, if necessary) and do not rush into buying quilling books! The internet is filled with photos and step-by-step tutorials. Whether you look at some models and you play with colors to make new chromatic effects or you just look at a flower on your desk and try to recreate it, you have more affordable inspiration sources!
Yes, all these look like a lot to worry about so why should you? As long as you have your equally cut paper strips, a bit of glue and a rolling tool, you need nothing else but perseverance. That one, my friend, is not for sale!