How to make a parchment scroll

Written by stephanie mitchell
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How to make a parchment scroll
Parchment scrolls can be plain or decorated. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The classic look of a rolled-up parchment scroll can allude to many different countries and eras, from Shakespeare's England to Ceasar's Rome. Whether you want to add some flair to a class project, personalise a birthday or wedding invitation to suit your event or craft the perfect prop for a play, making your own parchment scroll hearkens back to earlier days and other lands. You can tailor this quick and easy project to match the time period you want to represent.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Baking tray
  • 118 ml (1/2 cup) cold coffee or tea
  • Hairdryer
  • Wooden dowel
  • White glue
  • Clothes pegs
  • Ribbons and tassels (optional)

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  1. 1

    Print, write or calligraph the text of your scroll on a plain sheet of white A4 paper. Use only the middle 10 cm (4 inches) of the paper's width. Add any designs or pictures you want to represent a historical era.

  2. 2

    Tear off the unused inches from the sides and any unused space at the bottom. Crumple the paper into a tight wad, and then flatten it out again.

  3. 3

    Lay the paper flat on a baking tray, and pour cold coffee or tea over it. Make sure the liquid covers the entire page. Let it sit for five minutes.

  4. 4

    Pour the liquid off the baking tray into the sink, leaving the paper on the sheet. Blow dry the sheet for about five minutes on a high setting. When it begins to lift off the sheet, change the hairdryer to a low setting and dry the paper for about another two minutes or until it is completely dry.

  5. 5

    Cut two dowel rods to about 15 cm (6 inches) long. Apply white glue to the top 2.5 cm (1 inch) of the printed side of the paper, and place a dowel onto the glue. Roll the dowel forward across the paper 1.5 rotations, and hold it in place with clothes pins while the glue dries.

  6. 6

    Glue, roll and peg the other dowel to the bottom 2.5 cm (1 inch) of the parchment.

  7. 7

    Tie the scroll closed with decorative ribbon to dress it up further, or glue tassels to the ends of the dowels. Decorate it to fit your theme.

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