How to Make Your Own Scroll


A homemade scroll lends an ancient, official look to text, drawings or maps. Virtually anything you like may be printed on the scroll, from childhood creations to event invitations. The size of the scroll is up to you – for a narrow scroll, start with a roll of adding-machine paper, or use white or brown craft paper for a wide, long scroll. If unable to come up with a roll of paper, tape pieces of copy paper together, taping on the back side only.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper, a roll or sheets, in desired size
  • Tape, if needed
  • Scissors
  • Straightedge
  • Dowel rods longer than width of paper
  • Wood glue or school glue
  • Binder clips
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Unroll several feet of paper if using paper off a roll, or spread out the paper you wish to use on a clean surface. Tear or cut the paper at the desired length. If using a huge sheet of paper such as craft paper, trim the width to the desired size as well, using scissors and a straightedge as a guide.

  • Tear tiny bits from the width of the paper – the narrow portion – on both sides to give it a more ancient, handmade appearance without any machine-cut edges.

  • Set a dowel rod at both ends of the paper, choosing dowels that are slightly longer than the paper's width. The proportion of the dowels depends on the paper. If using paper from an adding machine, the dowels may be the approximate size of a chopstick or pencil snapped in half, for instance. For office paper, the dowel may be 1/4-inch thick or thicker, sticking out at least an inch from each side of the paper.

  • Lift one dowel and apply a line of glue along the edge of the paper. Set the dowel on top the glue, smoothing the paper down so the glue adheres. Attach several binder clips to help hold the paper to the wood. Repeat the process at the other end of the scroll paper. Allow the glue to dry completely.

  • Draw, paint or write your design on the scroll. Keep in mind that the dowels are the top and bottom of the scroll, unless you want the scroll to open horizontally.

  • Roll the scroll around the bottom dowel by grabbing the bottom dowel and rolling it all the way up to the top scroll. If you prefer the scroll to open horizontally, roll each end toward the middle, so each dowel has an equal amount of paper wrapped around it.

  • Wrap a ribbon around the center of the scroll and tie to close.

Tips & Warnings

  • To age white paper, steep teabags in hot water for several minutes, squeeze out the excess water, then blot the teabags over the paper once they cool. Another option is to use parchment paper or scrapbook paper tinted to look like old paper.
  • For an additional decorative touch, paint the dowels gold, red or black before adhering them to the paper. Small embellishments such as flat wooden discs may be used to dress up the dowel end using wood glue.

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  • Photo Credit seregam/iStock/Getty Images
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