Long before the beloved book there were scrolls, which first surfaced in ancient Egypt. They were traditionally made from parchment or papyrus, and provided a more practical way of keeping records than clay tablets. No kidding. By the 5th century, use of the codex book format, developed by the Romans, had surpassed that of the scroll. Today, scrolls are reserved primarily for religious purposes, and Harry Potter.
How did I end up with a monster scroll? First, I came across some very cool work by street artist Cranio, who made an extremely long drawing of his favourite characters, Indigenous Brazilian Indians, doing all sorts of fun things – the kind of drawing perfect for a scroll format. Why the monsters? Because my daughter had to draw some for art class, and I joined in and got carried away with how much fun it was.
- a long length of paper
- pencil and eraser
- craft knife and cutting mat
- 2 dowels or similar, to make the ends of the scroll
- glue gun
- ribbon or string
1. Cut a long length of paper, and decide how you’ll be adding monsters to it. I decided to draw a long column shape, in keeping with Cranio’s idea. I then filled in the space with monsters, and added shapes to the outside as a final step. The monsters can first be added in pencil, or directly with marker. Keep in mind, the ends will be attached to a dowel, so you can leave those parts of the paper blank.
Once they’re coloured in, you can outline them with black marker (a fine Sharpie works well), or leave them as is.
2. To turn this long drawing into a scroll, you’ll need to add dowels of some kind to each end. Mine were 1/2 inch wide, which was a great size to work with. Cut them so they are slightly longer than the width of the paper. Roll one of the ends around a dowel to get an idea of how much paper you need to add glue to. You can mark off the area with pencil.
Using a glue gun, cover the area with glue and roll it onto a dowel.
Repeat at the other end.
Select some ribbon or string to tie around the rolled up scroll.
To make the back of the paper look nicer when it’s rolled up, you can cut a length of coloured paper, same length as the drawing, but the width can vary if you want some of the edges showing. Attach it with white glue or double sided tape. That way, you won’t see the marker showing through like it does below. This step needs to be done before attaching the paper to the dowels.