I was going to write an article discussing my must-have tools & accessories suggestions, but thought that after a while it would get buried under new articles. So I decided to create an actual page to house these items.
Over the years I’ve developed a preference for specific items. Sometimes it’s out of convenience, others it’s out of lack of options. Trial and error has given me a lot of insight into what works and what doesn’t. I think I’ll actually add a section at the bottom of items that just don’t work for me as cautionary examples.
You can’t quill without paper. And, let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to buy precut strips than to make your own. The challenge is figuring out where to get it and the differences between the various brands.
I’m going to keep it simple here and list the three companies that I use the most when buying quilling paper – as well as “why.”
Quilled Creations was the first company I bought paper and tools from and are probably the place I keep going back to over and over. They don’t have the ginormous color selection like another company I’ll discuss further down, but they are wonderfully consistent and the colors they do have work perfectly well for 95% of my needs.
QC offers standard weight strips in three sizes (1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″) and more recently a cardstock “Quillography” line in two sizes (1/8″ and 1/4″). There is a near 100% match between their standard weight colors and the corresponding cardstock colors which is really nice when planning out projects.
Note: QC offers several other specialty quilling strips but since I rarely use them, I'm not going over each type.
- Buy Quilled Creations Standard Weight Quilling Strips
- Buy Quilled Creations Quillography Weight Quilling Strips
Little Circles has the biggest color selection I’ve found so far. If you’re looking for subtle shading and potentially too many options, this is the place to shop. They are slightly more expensive than Quilled Creations, but this is offset by the fact that all of LC’s paper comes in resealable bags, whereas QC paper comes in acetate which is single-use. The owner, Erin, will also cut her paper to any custom size upon request. She did this for me when I made the Ulta Beauty Logo in 2017.
- Buy Little Circles Culture Pop Standard Weight Quilling Strips
- Buy Little Circles On Edge Cardstock Weight Quilling Strips
JJ Quilling is a company in the UK and normally I wouldn’t suggest something to people that isn’t readily available, but JJ Quilling has gilded paper and this is a hard-to-find specialty item. Until recently, this was the only company I could obtain this from easily and the gilding is just beautiful. The owner will also custom cut to whatever width you want if you place a bulk order with her.
Note: JJ Quilling wholesales their papers to some Quilling e-tailers in the US and I will try to find a list for you in the near future.
Background Papers and Boards
For standard artwork, I primarily use this Accent Opaque Cardstock by International Paper. The paper itself is very rigid, very thick, and very resistant to buckling. I haven’t have issues with it warping or bowing out of shape, even with heavy glue use. It’s thick enough to support several layers of quills on top of it, but can still be cut on a the Posterboard board setting of my Cricut.
When I want something more sturdy or need a really large, solid background, I tend to use Fiber Infused Artboard from Dick Blick. The advantage to this is that you can remove anything you put on it, including glue globs and booboos. The disadvantage is that it takes longer to glue stuff down onto it. But, it’s fantastic for large projects.
I have recently been buying these Juya Quilling Tools. The biggest reason is that they come in a really deep 10mm size so I can easily work with 3/8″ paper. The set of four comes with a fine slotted tool for standard sized strips that is super tiny.
Portable Workboard plus Storage
This item is actually just a clipboard with storage, but I can’t express how useful it’s been for me. I bought this to test it out a couple of years ago and am always telling myself I need to grab another one or two. Why? Because you can attach your project to the surface and store tools and project specific paper inside. If you have multiple projects going on at the same time, it’s a great way to organize them. You’ll very often see my WIP photos of this in use. (Another huge plus is that it’s plastic so glue comes off it easily)
Portable, Spillproof Brushwash
Another must-have item that I will no go without is my handy little portable brushwash. I like this one in particular because it has two small bays and lids that seal completely. I put cut a sponge and set it in the bottom of each for something to rub my paintbrushes against to clean them.