Learn how to make a simple quilling tool for rolling paper flowers!
I love to make rolled paper flowers, and the best way to roll them is with a quilling tool. I have several commercial quilling tools, but my favorite is the one I made myself from a dowel and some electrical tape. My DIY quilling tool was really inexpensive and I think it works better because it produces a fuller flower thanks to the dowel’s diameter. Let me show you how to make one right now!
2023 Update: Since I made this post nearly six years ago, I’ve found a much better quilling tool — the Flowtool. This is a safe, paper-flower friendly quilling tool! I highly recommend it over making one, as the “bed” of the Flowtool is larger than you can get with my DIY method using electrical tape explained below. You can get a Flowtool here.
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DIY Quilling Tool – Materials Needed
How to Make Your DIY Quilling Tool
IMPORTANT: An X-ACTO knife is VERY sharp and you can cut yourself if you’re not careful. Please make sure you use one safely. Here are my safety tips:
- Always wear safety glasses – a blade may break and fly away from the work surface.
- Always use a sharp blade. Dull blades are more dangerous.
- Your hand should NEVER be in the path of the blade.
- Review this safety sheet before using an X-ACTO knife or other craft knife
First, use your X-ACTO knife to cut an 8″ length from your 3/16″ diameter dowel.
Next, use your knife to cut a slot down the middle of the dowel, about 3/8″ deep. The slot should be just wide enough to allow a piece of card stock to enter it, and no more.
IMPORTANT: Make sure the tip of the dowel is facing away from you on a flat, firm surface, and your blade is also pointing away from you, as you create the slot with your knife. Do NOT hold the dowel in your hand as you cut the slot. This is very dangerous. Your hand should never, ever be in the path of the blade.
Now roll electrical tape around the dowel, about 1/2″ down from the tip with the slot. Keep rolling the tape around the same point until it builds up a “bumper” about 1/4″ deep.
Here are some close-ups of the tool:
And even closer up!
Voila! You have a DIY quilling tool, all handmade by you. Wasn’t that easy and inexpensive?
Now use your quilling tool to go roll up some roses, carnations, peonies, magnolias, tulips, sunflowers, gardenias, and daisies! The electrical tape “bumper” you made will keep your paper from slipping down too far as you roll — this is really helpful!
Watch my DIY quilling tool in action in my Paper Tulip tutorial video:
Tip: Some rolled flowers look better a little larger and looser, so feel free to experiment with wider diameter dowels — they may just make the perfect flower for you!
Did you know? Quilling is an art that involves rolling strips of paper to form beautiful decorations. Quilling began during the 16th century by nuns and monks who re-used the gilded edges of books to decorate book covers.
You can, of course, purchase a commercially-made quilling tool — I have several of these, too! I recommend the Flowtool.
I store my homemade quilling tool in my easy craft tool organizer, while my Cricut quilling tool goes on my pegboard craft tool organizer.
Did you like this tutorial? Let me know in the comments below, and please pin it for later!
Want to remember this? Save DIY Quilling Tool to Your Favorite DIY Pinterest Board!
Marie Andersson says
Thank you for all flowerfiles and this perfect quilling tool!!! Love to make rolled flower but it´s hard with arthritis to get flat bottom. Happily my son is at home, so going to make some quilling-tools with his help.
Hello, Marie! Glad to hear your son is going to help you make a quilling tool!
Marie Andersson says
Hurray! I made it nearly myselt the only thing he did was to cut of the so I got 2 dowels. Now I´ve tried ome of them and it was superb!! Tried with older cutouts but now I´m going to try your lovely flower-files. Happy for finding your blog. Waiting for the next email from you with more interesting things to do.
Leigha Fulton says
Wow, it’s really such an amazing quilling tool. I love your workout. Amazing work.. It looks beautiful and is adorable. Waiting for your next DIY.
Great idea. Sounds dangerous…I can’t be trusted with an exacto. lol Hoping it’s easier than I’m thinking it might be.
Thank you so much for you tutorial on how to make the tool! I didn’t have a dowel so I actually used a chopstick I had at home from a restaurant we ate at the other day. It worked out great!
Thanks again!! I love your files and defiantly your videos!
Angie Crabtree says
Thank you so much for this!! My niece has Cystic Fibrosis which is nicknamed 65 Roses, I want to make her a shadow box filled with roses and this is perfect! I found my extra packs of chopsticks that always come with our Chinese takeout and they are the perfect size!
Leslie Green says
I made one but my tape keeps sliding up towards the top. Not sure what i did wrong!
My guess would be that your tape was not taped on tight enough. Maybe remove it and try again?
Just got started with making flowers on my cricut and your site is amazing!!
Louisa Collins says
I made your quilling tool! I am a rank beginner and I have to say it made making flowers incredibly easy! Thank you so much!!
I used a wooden shish kebab stick & thin pump tape ! Thank you for this DIY!
Bette Daoust says
I wish I had read this post before I bought a quilling tool (after a huge search for days). This would have saved me a ton of time to just make my own.
Carol Prats says
I love the different flowers that can be made with the same instructions. especially the last bit circle to make it all come together.
The first thing I thought of when I saw it was a Tinker toy rod. Most of you are probably too young to remember those. I have dowels but not a qullii
ng tool. I will make one. Thank you.
I remember! Hope you found this blog post helpful!
Sylvia Rios says
Great idea. I love reading your posts. I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you for all you do for us crafters.
That is awesome to hear Sylvia!
How in the world are you cutting wood with an Xacto knife?? This seems very dangerous and I am applying a lot of pressure, but nothing is happening 🙁
Be very careful when doing this, Nicole! It is possible!
Claudia Miller says
Hi Jennifer! I just found you on facebook and signed up to receive your emails. Loved your blog and all your resources! Thank you for being so generous in sharing with all of us.
I can’t wait to start some projects.
Thank you so much for your kind words!
Everything on your Blog has been such a great help to Thank you. I am commenting to let you know that your SVG file #17 the Peony is coming up 404 Error. You have so many other things to try I will start them first. I only wanted you to be aware.. Thank you again.
Lynn Chebanyuk says
We just tested it, and it worked fine, Malinda! Try deleting your file and downloading it again. 🙂
My husband just made me a quill and I want to Thank You for showing how it’s made. Thank You Jennifer!
Lynn Chebanyuk says
What a great husband you have, Kathy! You are welcome for the instructions – you are going to find yourself turning out flowers left and right now!!! 😍