How to Make a Japanese Style Scroll

Written by samantha kemp
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How to Make a Japanese Style Scroll
Learn how to make your own Japanese scroll using craft supplies such as dowel rods, glue and paint. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Japanese scrolls are authentic accessories to accent your Asian decor. They take a place in history as an important component during the Japanese tea ceremony. Many individuals of Japanese ancestry include them as heirlooms and wall hangings. They often feature Japanese word symbols and artistic imagery that can help make your Asian inspiration a cohesive design. They are also suitable for a craft project. Rice paper provides the foundation for your piece of art; decide on an appropriate image for your design.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rice paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Tempera paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • Watercolours
  • Teaspoon
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Fabric
  • Glue
  • Iron
  • 2 dowel rods

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  1. 1

    Cut a piece of rice paper to the preferred size of your scroll using a tape measure and scissors. Scrolls are as small as one foot up to several feet in length. Find rice paper in your local craft, stationery or import store.

  2. 2

    Add words to your scroll image either directly onto the rice paper or on a separate piece of paper first. Paint Japanese symbols using black tempera paint and a paintbrush. Use a calligraphy pen as an alternative.

  3. 3

    Add a picture to the image paper. Trace the image that you want to use, such as a cherry blossom, face or dragon. Use a stencil if desired.

  4. 4

    Dip the paintbrush into the water colours and make soft strokes on the paper on which you are painting the image. Let each colour dry before adding the next.

  5. 5

    Tint the paper where you drew your image using coffee. Mix 1 teaspoon of coffee with enough water to dissolve the coffee. Dip a paintbrush in the mixture and apply all over the paper.

  6. 6

    Mount the paper with the image on another decorative paper or fabric. Silk is an appropriate choice for a Japanese scroll. Use the fabric as a mat for the paper and trim around the edges with scissors.

  7. 7

    Glue the fabric to the rice paper. Iron the fabric and image down so that it will roll up easily in the scroll.

  8. 8

    Wrap each end of the scroll around a wooden dowel. Wrap the paper tightly around the dowel. Glue the edge to the wooden dowel until it is completely covered using a glue gun.

  9. 9

    Roll up the scroll as tightly as possible. Place a decorative tie or braided rope around the scroll.

Tips and warnings

  • Use recyclable materials like cardboard tubes and paper for a green alternative. Use a decorative scroll holder with wooden knobs for an upscale look.

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