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.
*This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase products through the affiliate links I get a small percentage (at no extra cost to you!). I only link to products that I believe in and/or love to use myself. Thank you for supporting my blog!
Luv your tutorials,What kind of paper should I use to make paper strips?? Appreciate your help..:)
Hi 🙂 You can use any sort of paper you’d like. Quilling paper is usually 90-120gsm (the weight of the paper). Typing paper is usually 70-80gsm so it’s thinner. You can use it, or you can search for the thicker paper. The weight of the paper is usually labeled on the packages
Thank you so much for your quick response ..:)
I want to ask that which type of paper did you use when you were 10 years old and started quilling?
Hi 🙂 When I first started I actually used lined notebook paper. I would paint it or color it and then cut the strips with scissors. About a year later I started using colored printing paper and I would cut it as shown in this post. So it was a lighter weight paper than typical quilling paper, but it worked for my purposes, I didn’t know any other paper to use at the time, so it was fine.
Hi Honey Madam! I really love your designs !! Regarding paper shredder, what is fixed width ?
Thank you 🙂 With regards to paper shredders, I’m pretty sure that it depends on the brand you buy. So take a look at the box before buying one to see what the width is. I think it’s pretty common for it to be about 1/8″ or 1/4″
Ohh great… In case if i wanna sell strips, how to stick strips together to make one pack of 100 strips?
For that I don’t know – I don’t sell strips that I cut myself. I believe that those who professionally cut strips have huge paper cutters, not shredders. They cut many sheets of paper at once and then apply glue to the ends to stick them together.
i luv dis site… i am vry much interesting in paper jewel… so i thought why i try my own paper quilling… bt i dont knw from where i start… please help me… tel me tat what are all need first i mean tools… and from where i start…
Here is a good post for beginners: http://www.honeysquilling.com/quilling-101-how-to-start-paper-quilling-a-free-tutorial/
where you buy the tools?
Here are some places you can buy tools: http://www.honeysquilling.com/paper-quilling-supply-sources/
If you are looking for a paper shredder you can check an office supply store like Office Max. If you are looking for a craft knife and cutting mat, you can get them at any craft supply shop or even some stores like Walmart
Hi,I have made a jhumka with quilling paper by exactly following your steps, this is just my third pair and it turned out to be really good.even the colours were a perfect match . this was really a very helpful website …. Thank you
Thanks for the comment, I’m glad it was useful for you!
Just found your blog a couple of days ago — it is great and thanks for all the tips and inspiration! My question is how do you determine the length of the strip of paper to use? Looked this up on my Kindle and found your post published 10/15/2009 with a very helpful suggestion. At the end there is a place to click to download the Strip Length Chart.
Wanted to download this on my desktop. Cannot find this. Can you help? Thanks!
Hi 🙂 thanks, I’m glad you find the blog helpful! I actually don’t have a post with a chart to download, maybe that was on some other blog? As for determining what length of strip to use, it depends on what you want. If you are following a pattern, it should tell you e length to use. If you are not using a pattern, you’ll have to experiment. In a recent design I made 6 different pieces before deciding exactly how long I wanted the paper to get that size of circle looking the way I wanted. So it’s just trial and error many times 🙂
your tutorial is very useful. May I ask if there any secial kind of paper to make jwellery? pls help me..
Hi 🙂 Most papers will work, though I do suggest using acid free papers. Acid free papers will not fade and discolor easily the way other papers do. The paper pack should say whether the paper is acid free or not. Since you are putting on sealants and topcoats which can react with paper, this is especially important when making jewelry.