scroll tutorial

Naruto Sage Scroll Tutorial

Yayyyy! I remembered to take photos while making stuff this time so I can put together a tutorial. Usually when I make props/cosplay I look around online to see what other cosplayers do so I can condense it down to the easiest/most efficient process that creates the cleanest prop/cosplay…but I kinda had trouble finding a real definitive process for the sage scroll. So this was a lot of trial and error…hopefully my “tutorial” can help give others ideas on finding a better way to make a scroll…

Here’s pictures of the finished scroll…(Doc Martens for size comparison)…

But yah…anyways for this particular sage scroll I started out with a poster tube (you can easily find them at Staples). The one I picked out was 36″ long with a diameter of 3″. The dimensions worked out pretty well for my height so I didn’t make any changes to it…you could cut it down if you want it shorter…which wouldn’t be a bad idea, because I definitely had trouble fitting through doors with this strapped to my back. I spent most of the day at the con walking sideways OTL.

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Knowing that the only the ends of the tube would peek out I painted the ends black…

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…It ended up looking really ugly with just black paint over it…so I paper mached over the ends later and repainted it…and modge podge…God I love modge podge and paper mache.

After that I needed to make an armature for the outer scroll part…I don’t even know what to call it…basically the red/black part that wraps around the black thinner scroll part. To do that I cut out a bunch of circles out of foam boards. They were 7″ across with a 3″ hollow area cut out from the middle. IMG_0383

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I cut out a lot of them…by hand…my hands hurt just thinking about it x____x If you somehow happen to have access to a CNC machine or a laser cutter, please do use it…it’ll make your circles much more perfect and smooth…which will make your life easier in the step that follows.

Note: I made 11-12 circles. The more circles you make the stronger your scroll will be…I’d recommend a minimum of 6 or so…

So after cutting out all the circles…I put them onto the poster tube like so.IMG_0390

I evenly spaced them out and glued them into place. This part was kind of a struggle because I cut them out by hand…they were exactly perfect so the overall armature to drape the black/red part over was kinda uneven…which bothered me. x__xIMG_0395

After that I took yarn and glued them in circles/loops on the ends.

I used hot glue…be sure to go slowly and carefully and not to burn yourself. (In the pictures above you can also see the end product of the paper mached ends…it just gives a cleaner look…at least I think so :O)

Okay…after that, I went ahead and made the red/black part that goes over the “skeleton” of the scroll. To do so, I glue black fabric over red fabric and then glued that over a piece of poster paper that was long/wide enough to wrap around the armature/skeleton part.

Gluing the fabric to a poster board gives it strength to take the wear and tear of bringing it to a con. But yeah after this is done, I just took the red/black part and very carefully wrapped it and glued it around the rings/circles. In the end I got something like this…

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And I could’ve stopped here if I just wanted a scroll to wear on my back/didn’t roll out. But I wanted it to be functional and I had a bunch of scrap fabric that I thought I could finally put to use…so I sewed it all together to have one side of it to match the black/red pattern as the main scroll and the side the faces up white/red…the white area being the place to write on all the characters. It looked something like this…

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I attached the part that rolls out to the scroll-scroll (lol…I’m getting real descriptive here) part with velcro. I also thought about just completely hot gluing the two parts together but I was thinking that maybe somewhere down the line the part that rolls out might get gross and dirty so with velcro I could easily detach it and wash it.

Next step was to write on all the characters. I used black fabric paint and a stubby paintbrush for the “人” in the middle. And then a calligraphy brush for the other smaller characters…I thought it would be easier using a calligraphy brush…since that’s the kind of brush that naturally gives that “calligraphy” look when writing with it…yeah…no…not on fabric…or at least with the fabric I used. GGRIP…it was such a struggle. I realized calligraphy brushes are meant to be used with very runny liquid ink but fabric paint is really thick. I had a bottle of black ink but because it’s fabric I was painting on, the ink would seep into the fabric and I couldn’t get a really sharp look to the characters.

TL;DR…use fabric paint. Dilute it a bit with water if you’re really intent on using a calligraphy brush…otherwise a normal paintbrush will make life a lot easier.

Also as a note…in the anime/reference photo I used to base my scroll off of the writing is not explicitly chinese/kanji/anything writing that I can recognize. It looks something like chinese/kanji so when I was writing all the small characters…I just pulled up random characters and painted the ones I like…lel…my writing is really poor so most of it didn’t end up looking like real characters 😛

Here’s the reference photo I used…

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So after finishing my booty calligraphy…I attached it via velcro.

GG in the picture on the right you can see what I was referring to when I meant that as a result of cutting on the inner circles by hand…the structure became uneven so when I went to drape the red/black part over everything the edges wouldn’t line up perfectly. Also…be really careful when using hot glue with fabric x____x it leaves really ugly marks .

Yahhh…basically the scroll is about finished at this point. FullSizeRender (5)

The only thing to make after this is the brown strap/carrying part…lel…unfortunately I forgot to take photos of this part…but it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s just a bunch of rectangles sewn together (I used some heavy duty brown canvas) with a strap sewn onto it and velcro (thank you heavens for the invention of Velcro) used to close it.

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Closeup of how the strap was sewn on. Naruto wears it crossbody over his left shoulder. So it’s sewn like this to prevent warping/tangles when worn crossbody.

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So that’s it. :DDDD hopefully that was kinda helpful. Comment below if you have any questions!