03 Feb, 2009
How to make your own ancient scroll
Before I launch into the nitty gritty I should mention that the actual scroll idea was Sarah’s. She’s always doing this kind of thing. She’s very much into “drop everything and do art” philosophy, i.e. Suddenly (usually in the middle of my making dinner), she’ll announce that she’s going to make a toy, or an ice-fishing pond (which she did, complete with fur-lined Inuit-style hood, all out of paper), shoes out of tissue boxes, masks, glasses made of twisted wire… etc etc. That girl is such a creative kid. She’s always amazing me with her creations.
ANYWAY, one day a couple of weeks ago she decided she was going to do some “Chinese writing” and make a scroll. As an afterthought I offered to age it for her so we could pretend it was an ancient scroll … the kind you’d find in a treasure chest, for example. The idea went over pretty big. Yay! I like being the fun mom.
You can do it too.
- 1. Decorate a plain piece of printer paper with a waterproof marker. Use your imagination (if you are 8 or under this step will be very easy for you)! Write a letter in curly cursive or other fancy lettering. Sarah made up some some Chinese text … but you can write your letters using hieroglyphics, or in Inuktitut, or some other language.
- 2. Take a break and make yourself a cup of tea. (Black tea works great.)
- 3. When the (used) teabag cools down a little bit, let your child wipe it across the sheets of paper. Let dry.
- 4. This next part is only for grown-ups. Grown-ups: light a small candle and run the edges of your paper along the flame. It’s best to do this over the kitchen sink … the ashes have somewhere to fall and if you get an accidental flare-up you can drop the paper or douse it pretty quickly. It’s up to you how much burning to do.
- 5. Shake off the extra ash and make sure no part of your scroll is still smouldering.
- 6. Tie with ribbon. Your ancient scroll is done!
Wondering how a kid could incorporate this into their playtime? How about using this technique for:
- invites to a pirate- or explorer-theme party
- clues for a scavenger hunt (we did something similar for a birthday party)
- “props” for dress up
- secret messages between friends and family
- … or just for fun!