How to cut quilling paper

Written by marge burkell
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How to cut quilling paper
Paper cutters make clean-cut quilling strips. (paper guillotine image by Alison Bowden from

Although it's not recorded in history, quilling is thought to date to the invention of paper in A.D. 105 in China. Quilling is the making of decorative pictures with thin paper, usually 1/8 inch to 1 inch wide, that is curled and glued into various designs. Originally a hobby of nonworking-class women, quilling has evolved to a craft enjoyed by many. While precut strips are available for purchase, it is also easy to cut your own quilling paper using a variety of methods.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • See-through ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Rotary mat
  • Rotary ruler
  • Paper cutter
  • Craft or utility knife

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  1. 1

    Use a see-through ruler to mark off the desired width of your strips across the width of your paper with a sharp pencil. The strips should be between 1/8 inch and 1 inch wide. Carefully cut along the drawn lines with sharp scissors. Continue marking and cutting strips as necessary for your pattern.

  2. 2

    Slice quilling paper into desired widths with a rotary cutter. Lay your paper on top of a rotary-cutter self-healing mat, and cover the finished width of the quilling strip with a clear rotary ruler. Run your rotary cutter along the edge of the rotary ruler to produce a perfect quilling strip. Repeat for as many strips as your project calls for.

  3. 3

    Cut perfectly straight quilling strips with a paper cutter. Lay your quilling paper on the bed of the paper cutter with the desired cut width extending into the cutting area of the machine. Slide your paper under the safety guide, if available. Lower the guillotine blade, cleanly slicing through the paper. Repeat for the number of strips called for in your project.

Tips and warnings

  • In lieu of a rotary cutter, substitute a very sharp utility or craft knife.
  • Avoid rotary cutter accidents by immediately closing your tool after each use.

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