You don't need much in the way of quilling tools or equipment to get started in the craft.
As you progress through learning the craft, a paper fringer or even an onion holder (we'll come back to that one later!) may come in useful.
These come in all shapes and sizes. It is important that the head of the tool is long enough for the paper you wish to use. If it is too short, the paper will keep falling off, which can be frustrating when you are trying to learn a new craft.
As a beginner you may find a slotted tool easier to use. Many of these have a "collar" or section that the paper can rest on making it easier to roll it evenly. The end of the paper is threaded through the slot which helps to keep it in place. Find out how to use a slotted tool in my basic paper quilling instructions.
However this simple to use tool does have a slight drawback.
If you look closely at the photograph, left, you will see a kink in the paper in the centre of the square. The teardrop was made with a needle tool and doesn't have this unsightly kink.
However, as you gain more experience do not discard your slotted tool as it is useful for making folded paper roses.
Using a needle tool is not as difficult as you may imagine. The best tip is to moisten the end of the paper first, then lay it across your index finger beneath the pointed end of the needle tool. Using your thumb roll the paper around the tool, keeping the tool still.
Needle tools traditionally have a wooden handle making them easy to hold, but you could also use a hat pin or even a cocktail stick or toothpick in the same way.
Expert quillers often find that they don't need quilling tools at all! They can roll the paper strips using just their fingers and thumbs. And they can get a tiny hole in the centre of their rolls too. But this does take practice.
You can cut the strips yourself from coloured paper on a paper trimmer, but they do need to be cut accurately! Some people even use a paper shredder for quilling strips. However, prepared strips in a wide variety of colours are easily available so most crafters tend to spend their time quilling rather than cutting papers!
Gold or silver edged quilling papers are wonderful for christmas quilling designs or wedding projects. Pearlised paper strips are now available as are acid free strips for scrapbook quilling. The lovely pale colours of parchment strips make pretty quilled flowers.
There are also graduated quilling papers that change colour throughout the strip. One end of the strip is coloured and it fades to white at the other. A variation on this idea is where the strip is coloured at both ends and fades to white in the middle. Of course you can use this paper from either end so that the white is either on the outside or inside of your coil.
Another type of quilling paper is known as two-tone. Each side of the paper is a different shade in this case, so perhaps a dark green and a lighter green for example.
The reverse side of the board is handy for pinning out your pieces. A piece of waxed paper or baking parchment over the board will prevent the quilled pieces sticking to it.
Purchased from quilling suppliers these quilling tools are often numbered making it easy to follow the accompanying instructions. However, there is nothing to stop you painting your own numbers onto a wooden holder bought from a kitchen supplies store.
If all else fails you can even use an afro comb for the same purpose.
What is quilling?An introduction to this ancient craft of quilling or paper filigree.
The place to start to learn how to quill.
Free quilling patterns
Try the craft with free quilling patterns.
Folded paper roses
Quilling baby cards