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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

How to Store Quilling Strips/Papers/ & Prequills

How should I store my quilling strips?

This is a question that comes up frequently. When I first started quilling, I tried keeping my papers in a big box. I kept the unused portions in the plastic bags they came in. When I just started, I would buy multi packs, you know, lots of colors in one package. Unfortunately when I tried separating the colors, I often made a mess of the pack. I ended up with what looked like spaghetti! Once I started buying individual packages of colors, I decided to hang them. I bought a couple of bulletin boards, (about 2’x3’), and put T-pins along the long side of the board. (T-pins are the ones shaped like the letter “T”, they are nice and long and the “t” prevents the strips from sliding off. You can buy them wherever they sell straight pins.) It helped to keep the strips nice and straight. I put each of the different sizes of the same color on one pin. For example; if I had narrow, 1/8’ and 3/8” of the same color, they went on one pin. Once I had all of the strips hung, I could tell at a glance which colors I had and which I was running low on. The other thing I liked about this storage system was its portability. I could take my “bulletin board’ full of strips anywhere, in any room. When it was time to put it away, I would cover it with a trash bag and slide it behind the sofa or into a closet. I still keep my whites/ivories on a bulletin board since I use them so much.

Of course, you don’t use a whole strip for each quilled coil. There are always leftover pieces. I started keeping my leftover pieces and any extra coils in the little chests they sell in hardware stores. Once again I arranged them by color. This worked out well for me; if I needed just a couple of small pieces to make a flower for a gift card; I almost always had exactly what I needed in these drawers. I use a lot of 6”, 3”, and 1 ½” strips. These fit perfectly in the drawers which are just about six inches deep. I also use some punched flowers in my floral pieces, so any extra “punches” also get stored in these drawers.
Once my hobby became “Whimsiquills the business”, (and after my children left home), I set about making what we all call the ‘Whimsiquills room”. Now I have a whole room dedicated to my work I had a huge window put in to give me natural light, I use an Ott light at night. I hang all of my papers on a strip my husband put up for me that goes halfway around the room.
If you are lucky enough to have a work or craft room you can use the back of the door for storage as well. I have all of my 1/6’ and 1/8” Paplin papers stored on the back of the Whimsiquills room door and on a closet door. We simply put up some strips and then measure and put in nails so we could hang the packages. If you store your papers in packages, this might be an option for you. Then you also have the color number right on the package. I usually write the color number on the outside of one of the strips.

This is my not so neat work table which is right by a window, lots of natural day light.


Gene and Charli said...

Great article.

maureen schutz said...

I love this T pin idea. I've tried many tactics to keep the paper explosion under control and this seems like an economical method; nothing to lose by trying. And the portability is one of the best aspects. Thanks a lot.

Naomi R said...

I keep my strips in a #10 (business) envelope. One color per envelope. I seal the envelope then cut the end off. Bending the 24" strips in half I stick the curved bend in the envelope and the end stick out. I put the envelopes by color in a box lid that is about 12" wide that allows for the ends of each color to stick out of the envelope. I don't pack then in tightly so they don't get crushed. I also paste a strip of each color on the envelope so I can see at a glance what colors I have. Naomi R.

Jealith said...

Thanks so much for this :)I quill using a tray while I sit on the sofa while I listen to the TV. I end up surrounded by paper strips, lol. I do use a craft cart that has three drawers. One is for unopened packages of paper, one for wide paper strips and one for opened packages and pieces I store in baggies. My coffee table is covered with bottles of glue, dishes of completed flowers and shapes, patterns, graph paper, you name it along with the three or four current projects. (I can't just work on one at a time) If I used your idea and created a board to store my paper I could use my drawers for all the stuff laying on my coffee table. Plus I will be able to actually FIND the colors I need and know just what I need to buy next before I run out.

sonomarose said...

When I first started quilling, I was at a loss as to how to store them so they remained in good shape, at budget prices. I got a bright idea, and asked the local pizza parlor for a couple of extra large new pizza boxes. I cut up some cardboard strips and taped them lengthwise to make dividers. Then I could fill each slot with pinks or blues or yellows, etc.
It's not as fancy as your idea, but it worked for me. As I gathered more and more quilling papers, I filed the bags in a plastic box - easy to get to, easy to see. But then I don't intend to open a quilling store!