Welcome! I'm so glad you're here.
My goal in this post is to take out the guesswork for you and help you find the best materials to get started with paper quilling.
The great thing about paper quilling is that you don't really need a lot to get started.
For most projects, here's what you need:
a quilling tool (slotted or needle)
backing (what you plan to put your work on)
something to spread glue on (a paper plate, a plastic sheet, etc.)
These items are also super helpful for most projects, though not 100% necessary:
a circle sizing board (to ensure consistent shapes)
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Here are my recommendations for the most essential supplies to get you started.
Kits are great for a one-stop shop. If you're just getting started, I recommend getting a kit. It will come with just about everything you need to get started, but note that you'll still need items for backing, and some kits don't come with glue. See notes for those items below.
This kit from YURROAD is my top choice, based on the quality and variety of paper. It comes with different widths of paper, which are great to have as options for different projects. It also comes with a few other fun tools like a paper crimper and quilling comb, without being too overwhelming with too many gadgets.
This kit from JUYA has everything you need to get started. If other kits seem a little overwhelming, this one has more basic supplies, still with plenty of paper to last a long time. Note the options to have the kit come with or without glue, and for 3mm or 5mm wide strips. The width you choose is personal preference, but I find wider strips to be easier to handle.
Kits will not come with backing, and most will not come with glue. Here's info for those items:
Backing is whatever you plan to put your quilling artwork on. You can use a variety of items, depending on your project. Card stock is a great option if you're starting out. It can be cut to your desired size, or even cut and folded in half to make cards. Here are other ideas for backing:
mat board sheets (cut to desired size) or pre-cut mat board (8x10) or (5x7). (Mat board is kind of a next-level option. If you want to keep it simple, especially as you're getting started, I recommend card stock.)
You'll need something to spread glue on so that you can dip your pieces into them. This can be as simple as a paper plate.
I use a plastic sheet because the glue dries and peels off, which makes it reusable. You can use a plexiglass sheet like this one, or many quillers will use a plastic lid from a food container, or plastic box, etc. It's not necessary to buy something special.
I also use a small craft squeegee to really spread it thin, but you can use an old credit card or the edge of your ruler to spread the glue.
Keep your glue in a needle-tip bottle to control small amounts of glue.
Some glues (like Aleene's) are too thick for these bottles, but add a few drops of water and you'll be good to go.
The following items will come in a kit, but if you'd rather not get a kit, or want to add individual materials or tools, here are my recommendations:
Available in 3/5/7/10 mm, or a pack of all 4 sizes.
What width paper is best?
I say there's a perfect paper for every project! There isn't really a "correct" quilling paper. For more subtle designs and things like cards that need to go in an envelope, 3 mm (1/8") is best. For big, bold designs, I like to use 1/2" strips (or usually 10 mm is the closest you'll find pre-cut.) The smallest strips seem to be standard, but I find wider paper easier to handle. I recommend getting a variety pack to start with. Play around and see what you like!
How do I cut my own paper?
I'm working on getting this information on another blog post! For the time being, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll gladly help you!
I recommend this pack from YURROAD. It has a variety of tools that can be used with different sizes of paper and for different techniques.
You'll find a lot of toys in some kits, like husking boards, combs, and paper crimpers. I don't use most of these, and they can create some fun options, but they would probably need their own additional guide! Especially as you're starting out, don't worry about these.