How to make a paper scroll

Written by aksana nikolai
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A scroll is a piece of paper attached to two rods used to open and close the scroll. The inner side of the paper, or that which faces the viewer when the scroll is in the open position, often features a message or image. Scrolls date back as far as ancient Egypt, where scrolls made of papyrus served as a means of transmitting information. Many instructors ask students to make their own paper scrolls when learning about communication in ancient times.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Roll printing paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or utility blade
  • Glue
  • Paints, coloured pencils or other media
  • Yarn or string

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  1. 1

    Decide how long you wish the scroll to be.

  2. 2

    Unravel some of the paper from the roll and spread it out on a flat surface. Use a ruler to measure the paper and identify where you need to cut. Add approximately 4 extra inches to this measurement. Use a pencil mark to indicate where the final length ends.

  3. 3

    Use scissors or a utility blade to cut a piece of paper from the roll corresponding to the final measurement. Spread the newly cut piece of paper out across a flat surface so that the scroll's top edge faces away from you and the bottom one faces towards you.

  4. 4

    Apply glue to one of the cardboard paper towel tubes or wooden dowels, covering its entire outer surface. Keep in mind that you will need heavy-duty glue if working with dowels.

  5. 5

    Press the top edge of the paper against the tube or dowel. Wind the paper around the tube or dowel until is it completely covered.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the other dowel or tube, attaching it to the other end of the scroll. The tubes or dowels will serve as the scroll's rods.

  7. 7

    Use coloured pencils, paints or other media to add text and/or graphics to the scroll.

  8. 8

    Wait until any wet paint dries. Close the scroll by rotating the two rods towards each other, until they touch each other. To open up the scroll and reveal its contents, rotate the rods away from each other.

Tips and warnings

  • Thread a piece of yarn or string through the tube or tie it around the rod at the top edge of the scroll. Use the yarn or string to hand the scroll.
  • Tie a short piece of string around both rods when the scroll is in the closed position to prevent the scroll from unrolling on its own.

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