Today I’m answering a question that I get frequently asked: “Which width of paper do you use for your paper quilled jewelry?” or “Which width of paper is best to use for jewelry made from paper quilling?”
To first answer the question about what I use, it is 1/8″ or 3mm width paper. But why? I first started using that width for my jewelry because that is the only paper I had. It seems to be one of the most common widths used and it worked well, so I stuck with it. I have since tried other widths, so I can mention how those do as well.
It really does NOT matter what width you use. It totally depends on the look you are going for. I actually have some pretty cool designs in mind (haven’t had time to make them yet!) that use 1/4″ or 3/8″ width papers. I have also recently made some designs with narrow (1/16″ 1.5mm) paper, so I can comment about that as well. Here is the rundown on different widths:
Narrow (1/16″ or 1.5mm)
- This width gives a very delicate looking earring. It is also physically more delicate, so I would save it for earrings and not use it for pendants unless it is in an inset pendant.
- It is a bit more difficult to make large rolls with narrow paper because it can bend more easily which can make the whole roll come undone.
- Narrow paper is nice to use when you make a multi-layered design, such as my owls. This is because with multi layers you don’t want to end up with a super thick earring, so starting with narrow as the base helps this.
- With narrow paper, you can use jump rings that are very small, which can be convenient if you want that more delicate look.
1/8″ or 3mm width:
- This paper is the most commonly used for projects (except for 3D work). It is easy to work with.
- You can use a small size jump ring in your paper. I find that rings that are 4-5mm in diameter work will for this width of paper.
1/4″ or 6mm width:
- This paper makes for a more sturdy design.
- Because it is thicker, you would need a bigger jump ring, one that is at least 7mm on the inside diameter. This might give your jewelry a more bulky look (but sometimes that is what is wanted!)
- Of course you can also combine different widths in the same design! In the owls pictured above I used narrow for the base an claws and 1/8″ for the rest of the design. This gave it a more delicate look than if it was all 1/8″
- If you are making your design with wide paper you could still use a 1/8″ piece for the hoop on top to put the jump ring in. That way you can have the more sturdy look, but still don’t have to have a huge jump ring to put it through.
Feel free to experiment with different widths of paper when designing your paper quilled jewelry. Each person has their own look and feel, so only by experimenting can you figure out what works best for you. Which is your favorite?