One of the benefits of paper quilling is that it is a very affordable craft. Even if you end up purchasing all of the special tools, it does not cost much when compared to some other crafts. Plus, there are ways you can spend no money at all when paper quilling! One of the ways to cut down on costs is to cut your own paper quilling strips. In this post I outline the pros and cons of buying paper strips vs cutting your own. Today I am going to focus on HOW to cut your own paper strips. There are two main ways.
- Use a paper shredder – This of course is the more expensive option since you have to purchase a paper shredder. but if you already happen to have a paper shredder at home, this is easy! You will be confined to the limits of the width of the paper that the paper shredder is able to make, so be aware of that if making a purchase. Also, the edges of paper that are cut with a shredder tend to be a bit rough instead of smooth. Some people don’t mind this.
- Use a blade – This technique only needs a blade and a ruler as special equipment, which most people have around at home. An x-acto type knife would be the best blade to use, but any sharp thin blade will do. Below you will find a pictoral tutorial on how to cut your paper with a blade. The benefits of using a blade to cut your own strips are that it is the cheapest and you can make any width that you desire. The downside is that sometimes it’s difficult to get the strips absolutely straight, so you mess up sometimes and not every strip is perfectly straight. This is the method I used to cut my own paper strips from when I was about 12 up until college when I first started purchasing pre-cut paper strips.
- A thin sharp blade (I like using an x-acto knife)
- A craft cutting mat (when I first started I used the back of a notebook to cut on, but this does dull your blade more quickly)
- paper to cut
To cut your own paper strips, first you must mark off how wide you want your strips. I use the ruler and mark off 1/8″ intervals on one edge of the paper. You can do any width you prefer, this is my usual working width of paper. Then make the same marks on the other side of the paper.
Here you can see that I have made marks on both ends of the paper (the ones on the right are more faint, but they are there 😉 ). Make sure that the entire length of the paper fits onto your mat and is not longer than your ruler.
Now it’s time to cut! The key to cutting straight strips is to have a SHARP blade, and to hold your ruler FIRMLY in place. If your blade is not sharp you might have to press too hard and it can slip. If you do not hold your ruler firmly enough in place it can slip and your paper strip will not be even. Gently but firmly cut your paper with your blade against the edge of the ruler. Make sure you have lined your ruler up evenly with the marks you made previously.
Continue cutting strips until you have as many as you need! When I used to cut my paper strips I stored them in a box that was the same length as the strips. I taped cardboard into the box for partitions for different colors.
I hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions about the process. Have fun cutting your own paper strips!
Click here to view free paper quilling tutorials!
Click here to view paper quilling tips and tricks!
Click here to view a list of places to buy quilling supplies around the world!
Click here to view some of my own quilling projects, with tips so you can make your own if you’d like!
*All products and supplies mentioned in this post I purchased and/or made on my own.
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