Paper Quilling FAQ – Part II

Paper Quilling FAQ – Part II – What type of glue to use and how to apply it, quilling tools and how you can make your own slotted tool and varnishes for waterproofing your quilled jewelery.

Time for the second and last part of the paper quilling FAQ! In case you’ve missed the first part, where I talked about how to choose between different paper densities and how to cut your paper strips, just click here.

Disclaimer: I will talk mostly about my own style of quilling which is based on my personal preferences and what I found that works best for me throughout the years. There are no rules set in stone, so I encourage you to experiment and try different things!

3. What type of glue do you use? How can I apply the glue so I don’t get stains and smudges and my projects stay clean?

Any PVA glue which dries clear is perfect for quilling. Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue is also known as white glue, wood glue, carpenter’s glue or school glue. It’s very cheap and comes in a non-toxic and washable formula, making it safe and easy to clean from different surfaces, if stained. I have used several brands throughout the years and never had a problem with any of them: Bic, Toy Color, Planet Craft, to name a few.

Even if the glue dries clear, the key to make a neat and clean project is to only use the tiniest amount of glue needed to make the paper strips adhere! For this, you can either use a fine tip applicator or add a small amount of glue on a non-stick surface and then apply it with the tip of a toothpick or a needle.

4. What quilling tool do you use? How can I make my own quilling tool?

The quilling tool was another thing I had to improvise back when I started quilling. You can also make your own slotted tool by slitting a toothpick in half using a cutter or an x-acto knife. It’s very easy and almost free!

Paper Quilling FAQ - Homemade Slotted Quilling Tool

Paper Quilling FAQ – Homemade Slotted Quilling Tool

For a better grip, I’ve inserted mine into a drawing mechanical pencil, but you can easily use just the toothpick. I eventually bought a proper quilling tool, but I still prefer my homemade one.

Paper Quilling FAQ - Homemade Slotted Tool vs. Store Bought

Paper Quilling FAQ – Homemade Slotted Tool vs. Store Bought

Paper strips and a quilling tool are the very basic supplies you will need when you start quilling, but you should also consider investing in:

* circle template – to create coils the same size (I couldn’t live without mine!);

* mini mold – to create domes and spheres;

* tweezers.

5. What type of varnish do you use to waterproof your jewellery and other quilled items?

I will only talk about water based varnishes because these are the ones I got the chance to try out so far. Once applied in 1 or 2 layers, the varnish will protect the paper, making it waterproof and stiff, almost plastic like. They come in 2 finishes and depending on the effect you want to create, you can choose from:

* glossy – for a shiny, smooth finish. The colors will appear brighter, maybe even a few shades darker than the untreated paper;

* matte – for a flat finish, without a shine. The colors will stay the same or even turn a shade lighter after coating.

Some of my favorite water based varnishes are from Maimeri and Pentart. There are other types of varnishes on the market, but my experience with those other products is pretty limited. Once I will try out more, I will come back here and share my opinions. Other quillers use with success clear nail enamel, so this could also be an option.

TIP: If you feel like the paper absorbs too much moisture from the varnish, try to first apply a layer of glue and after it dries completely, coat your quilled items with the varnish of your choice. (Big thank you to Pritesh from Quilling Me Softly for this tip!)


That’s it for now! If other questions arise, I will definitely write a third part for the paper quilling FAQ. I hope you learned something new today and that my FAQs helped straighten out any previous unclarities.

Thank you for your visit and happy quilling!



    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Multumesc, Denisa! Deocamdata nu mai am material si pentru parte a 3-a, dar daca vor mai aparea neclaritati sau intrebari, cu cea mai mare placere! 🙂

  1. avatar
    ruchira surangi says:

    Thanks manu, this is more help my quilling life. I am a beginners. You meet0after i lear more tips. Thank you so much.

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      I buy them from local craft shops, not online. Both brands which I’ve mentioned are European, but you can always check their websites and see where they deliver. Hope this helps!

  2. avatar
    Gorescu Mirela says:

    Buna, Manuela . Tin sa te felicit pentru ceea ce lucrezi , te apreciez foarte mult, te urmaresc si aici si pe facebook si am multe de invatat. Te rog si eu ceva ,daca se poate ,sa ma ajuti si pe mine cum se fac ramele de tablou. Am gasit pe net un tutorial dar doar pentru coala A4 si iese f mica . Pentru tablourile mai mari ce fel de hartie se foloseste, ce marime ? Merci 🙂 Un An Nou fericit si cu multe realizari !

  3. avatar
    Lina says:

    Hi Manu, I’m Zumailina. Thanks a mill for your great tips, i’m a newbie in this so your FAQ is really helpfull 😀

  4. avatar
    beena says:

    hi manu, i am beena i ant know about how you giving shpe of the flowers ,i tried somany times but i didnt get that shape s can you help me

  5. avatar
    Rebecca says:

    what type of glue is best used if you want to glue a piece to the actually wooden frame? And, should I use a protective coating on that particular piece ?

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Hello Rebecca! I would use PVA glue to glue a quilled piece to a wooden frame. I never use a protective coating as most of my pieces are framed behind glass, so I am afraid I can’t help you here.

  6. avatar
    Ele says:

    Buna Manu, ceea ce realizezi este absolut minunat si te felicit din inima pentru asemenea talent. Sper sa ajung si eu la nivelul tau.
    Am o intrebare: de unde cumperi ramele pentru ca eu am cautat insa am gasit rame destul de scumpe iar modelele nu erau chiar cele mai frumoase.

  7. avatar
    Neeru Gandhi says:

    Thank you so much Dear Manuela! That is a great help ! I’m a big fan of your Creativity, I love your work and have learnt a lot from you.???????

  8. avatar
    Norma Jean says:

    Sorry but I’m puzzled by your #5 question? Varnish What? Your quilling project when it is done? I didn’t know you had to do that, please explain more. I’m a first time quilling.

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