Creating your own scrolls is an easy activity that people of all ages can enjoy. With only a few items and a little imagination, it’s possible to make an impressive-looking scroll within an hour. Your scroll can be as basic or as fancy as you wish, since there is virtually no limit to how ornate a scroll can be.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Quality Parchment Paper (several sheets—your choice of length)
- 2 Wooden dowels/rods (Their length should be 3 to 4 inches longer than the shorter edges of your paper. They can be as thick as you like)
- Glue (plus “Super Glue”, if you will be attaching optional embellishments)
- Ribbon or a tasselled cord
- 4 Decorative finials (optional)
- Metallic gold or silver paint (optional)
- Rhinestones, glitter, etc. (optional)
Take several sheets of parchment paper and lay them end-to-end on a work surface, being sure to slightly overlap them. For example, if each sheet measures 8 ½ inches by 11 inches, you would lay each sheet horizontally, with the 8 ½ inch sides slightly overlapping. The purpose of this is to determine how long you want the finished scroll to be. Add or take away sheets as needed until you find the desired length.
Once the paper has been laid out, carefully apply a thin line of glue along the areas where each sheet overlaps the next. Press firmly and allow to air dry for three to five minutes or so.
Once the glue has adhered well enough for you to handle the entire length of paper without it coming apart, take the two wooden dowels and centre them vertically at the ends of each 8 ½ inch side. There should be 1 ½ to 2 inches of dowel extending both above and below the paper’s edge on both sides of the scroll.
Apply a one to two inch strip of glue to the left edge of the scroll, and carefully, but tightly, roll the glued edge around the centre of the wooden dowel for up to two inches. Add more glue if your dowels are very thick. Press the paper into place and lay the dowel back on the work surface. Repeat with the right edge of the scroll. Allow the wrapped edges to dry for about 10 minutes.
After the dowels are secure, you may glue a finial on each end of the dowels. These finials can be painted and/or faux jewels can be glued on their ends. Wait for the finials to dry securely before rolling up both ends of the scroll.
Once your scroll has been finished and rolled, you may tie the ribbon or the tasselled cord lightly around it. Your finished scroll can be written upon or displayed proudly.
Tips and warnings
- Do not substitute cooking parchment for scroll or high quality writing parchment. Parchment for culinary purposes is often far too thin for this project and is often silicone-coated, which prevents anyone from writing well upon it. Go to a craft store and check their calligraphy section. Sometimes office supply stores may carry reams of 8 ½ by 11 inch paper which is usually used for resumes or cover letters. Shop around for the best prices, but try not to sacrifice quality.
- Some finials have a metal screw attached to their base. If you are using these, you will need a small drill to create a hole in each dowel end. For best results, place a drop of super glue into the hole after you have drilled it, then screw in the finial tightly.
- Prior to attaching the dowels, the paper can be "aged" by slightly burning the bottom and top horizontal edges, or by moistening the paper with a sponge soaked in strong tea, then allowing the paper to dry before completing steps 3 through 6.
- If you are doing this as a creative activity for younger children, do not allow them to handle super glue unsupervised! Super glue works well to adhere metal or wooden finials to the dowels of the scroll. However, if young children are participating, you should either handle the super glue yourself, supervise them closely, or perhaps use plastic embellishments on the ends (which can be easily fastened with regular glue) instead of finials.
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