If you want to learn how to paper quill, the best thing you can do is to find a set of instructions and follow them carefully. Depending on the shape you want to make from the coiled paper, the instructions will tell you the size of the strips of paper that you need. Usually bought instructions call for a quill that you buy in a craft store, but you can achieve the same result with a simple toothpick. It is important to use the right kind of paper, such as construction paper or card stock. Ordinary writing paper is not a good choice because it will bunch when you take it off the quill, (the winding tool, such as a toothpick) and it will tear very easily.
You do not use a scissors to cut the paper when quilling. Rather you tear the paper into strips. To make sure the strips are all of uniform size, use a ruler to mark the measurement and the ruler or some other flat edge to use as a guide for tearing. When you use a scissors to cut the paper into strips, the sharp edge will be very noticeable in the finished product, whereas the torn edges will look natural.
You also have to take note of the different technique you should use depending on the quilling tool you use. If you use a slotted quill, you move the quill to turn the paper. If you use a toothpick or a needle, you have to wind the paper around the quill. These instructions are for using a slotted quill because using other ordinary tools does require a certain amount of skill in this craft.
Moisen the paper a little and fit it into the slot on the top of the quill. Make sure that you only have a tiny bit of paper protruding through the slot. Hold the tool in one hand and the paper in the other between your thumb and index finger. Then slowly turn the quill so that the paper winds around it, making sure that the paper winds evenly around the tip. Keep the edges of the paper lined up and don't exert more pressure at one point of the turning. You have to keep the same pressure on the paper at all times when you are winding.
Once you come to the end of the strip, turn the quill upside down and let the roll slide off into your hand. You still have to keep it in its roll because if you don't it will simply uncoil, even though it will uncoil a little, but it is supposed to do that. Then you take a toothpick and dab a little bit of glue to the end of the strip and let it stick to the center of the coil. You can hold it in place with your fingers or use tweezers to hold it place until the glue dries.
Once you have the coil made, then you can manipulate in by pinching parts of it to make various shapes that you can glue together.
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