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Thursday, September 04, 2008

What Weight Paper Should I Use for Quilling?

I had someone ask me about paper weight, specifically, what weight paper should she use when cutting her own paper? What a brave soul she is to cut her own.

Here is my response:

Hello Sylvia,

This is not an easy question to answer. I will share you my thoughts/experience and encourage you to experiment. Yes, experiment, play, you may find something that you hadn't thought of that looks incredible - and don't forget to share your exeperiences here.

Paper weights in the US can be deceiving, from what I have read here, the US measurement of pounds (#) can be deceiving. The same number in #s can be used for thicker and thinner paper. They use the example of 80# Cover and 80# Text. Text weight paper is thinner. So, keep that in mind as well. I am US based, so I will talk in terms of what I use here.

The easiest paper to cut is the "copy" paper, generally 20# - 24# weight. I use this paper when punching, it can be a little bit thin for making coils, but this doesn't mean that you shouldn't use it. They generally are the same color on both sides and you can get a huge variety of colors. I will shortly be posting instructions for making the wild or spiral roses, and I used this weight paper for the examples I have.

I like the scrapbooking paper. Most of this paper is white on one side, so it will look like those quilling strips that are 2-toned with white on the back. You can always alter this by stamping an accent color on the back of the strip if you don't want the white. This is generally a 60# weight on the scrapbook packs that show the paper weight. Please Note: I do not mean the heavy cardstock, as that is a little thick and the coils don't roll as nicely, I am talking the thinner weights.

Many of the quillers I know who frame lots of invitations have pointed me in the direction of using envelopes. You know how you get a bill and the inside of the envelope has that black or blue design so that you cannot see through the envelope? That paper makes fantastic fringed flowers. When you get a nice card with a colored envelope, use that paper as well. This weight (not sure what it is) is great for punched and fringed flowers. You hit a bonus when the inside is lined gold or silver metalic. The envelopes work well to make coils, but the downside is that there is not that much paper to work from.

Magazines and those mailers you receive with ADs also make nice variations in your quilled strips. They can run the gambit with the weight of the paper and the quality, but if you get a good quality it will work for you. If you go this route, you will have to be ok with the variation in colors, etc as they are not one solid color. But like above, they make for interesting fringed flowers and generally cut nicely.

Vellum - I have seen some examples of vellum punched and coiled flowers. The trick is be the glue. Just like a metalic or shiny paper I would recommend a thicker/tackier glue so that it holds. You will need to hold your glue in place longer than you might normally to give the glue a chance to adhere to the more slipery surface.

A few final thoughts:

Always keep in mind the grain of the paper. According to my friend Sherry, when you cut paper, it is best to cut against the grain because the coils will hold better when rolled against the grain. Think about when you fold a piece of cardstock to make a card. If you fold it and you get a nice crisp edge you are folding with the grain, if you get a bumpy fold, you are folding against the grain. So, how do you know which direction the grain goes? The direction of the grain is usually the 2nd number in your paper size. For instance, an 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper has the grain going parallel to the 11 inch side.

One final thought, in addition to the weight of the paper, you may want to check to make sure the color on the paper doesn't bleed, especially if you use a water based glue. You can test this by dabbing a bit of water in a test area of your paper and see what happens.

PS - I have written this in the past, I don't have a great track record of cutting straight lines so I generally don't cut my own strips, I have found that for the time and energy, I can get enough supplies to last me quite a long time for about $20 - $30 (including shipping and handling in the US) so I generally go this route.

The manufacturers also produce sheets of paper that match their quilling strips which work well with punches, or alternatively could also be cut down into strips.

Enjoy!
Copyright for Personal Use Antonella DeFalco

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4 comments:

Jezebelle Sinned said...

very nice post. informative and well written.

SHEILA BURCUL said...

Most interesting and informative! Really enjoyed this; always interesting to hear other Quillers opinions! Thank you.

Emily Korremula said...

I buy both copy paper and card stock for cutting my own strips.
When you get the "card stock" you have to be careful and find one that says solid-dyed core on it, this means the paper is the same color front back and inside. I find this is plastic packages not in the books. The paper in the books is to thick and bends and creases when I use it, I believe this is because it's more than one layer of paper sandwhiched together.
When cutting my own strips I use a small handturned table top shredder that I found on Amazon. It does leave the edges a little rough but it works well for most projects.

Maria Le-Bron said...

I.ve been doing research on quilling, and your site really does explain paper use. Thank so much for the information, God bles you,

Maria

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