Sunday, October 22, 2017

No Sew Delux Scroll Case

Every scribe needs a way to get their artwork safely to the event, and every recipient needs a way to get that artwork safely home.  Scroll cases are AEthelmearc's answer to this.  They are a glorified portfolio made from cardboard and scrap fabric on the most basic level, and fun imitations of medieval book covers if someone gets fancy. 
***Please note, scroll cases are not intended to be kept forever, they are supposed to be returned to your local scribe or court herald after your award scroll is framed.***

For my friend's peerage scroll, I made a simple 'fancy' case, which can easily be made from less expensive materials.  This is a 'no sewing' technique, which is quite effective.  Thorsol's scroll case was large, measuring 18x22.  This method is very easy, and can be done more quickly with glue that sets up faster.  If you don't sew, you can still make scroll cases!

2 pieces of foam core (cardboard) cut to size
large leather hide (decorative fabric scrap) 20x44 + 5" flap
Gorilla glue - wood glue (hot glue is an option but you may get burned)
buffalo horn buttons (any buttons will do, ribbon ties are also an option)
5" strip of cotton or linen fabric
High quality cotton rag paper (this can be smooth fabric like cotton or linen*)
Leather thongs cut from hide scraps (ribbon)
Artificial sinew (modification, not necessary)

Metal ruler or long t-square,
Mat cutter or utility knife
Cardboard or folded paper scrap for spreading glue
Weights (books)
A large table to work on
Awl or hole punch
Damp cloth and soap for clean-up
Paper clasps for clipping corners (optional)
A timer or clock

- Measure and cut the cardboard or foam core to size with the mat cutter or utility knife.  The case should be 2" larger than the artwork all the way around to protect it, but if making these as largess, stick with standard frame sizes
8x10, 10x12, 14x16, 18x20.
- Iron any fabric so it is smooth.
- Cut the outer material (leather)  2" larger than the foam core/cardboard, plus flap.

- Lay the outer material face down on the table, and glue the front cover in place.  How much glue is up to you, I went around the outside and did some squiggles in the middle.  Smooth it with the folded paper.  While this is still wet, lay the back board on top of the front cover board (so they are positioned like they would be when closed), put glue on, smooth it, and fold the outer material over that.  Do not glue the spine.  Weight everything down and set the timer according to your gluing directions (30 minutes in this case).
- Open the cover and glue the 5" strip of fabric on the inside of the binding.  This will reinforce the binding and prevent the scroll case from opening too far in court (no flopping).

- Cut a 45 degree angle on the corners without the flap, a little away from the edge so everything will be covered.  Spread glue evenly on the edge of the leather/fabric and fold this up and over the foam core to the inside of the case.  You may have to lightly clamp it, but be careful as foam core & cardboard are easily damaged - I didn't have to, it just stuck. Do not glue the flap edge.  Let dry 30 minutes (or according to instructions).
- At this point if you are using buttons for the flap, attach them.  Poke holes through the front cover with an awl, put the leather strips (ribbons) through the buttons and push them into the holes, then glue down on the inside of the front cover.  In a real book, the channels for this would be carved in, but for a scroll case, this is not necessary.  Leave room for a bit of a shank or you won't be able to button the cover.  Wait 30 minutes for glue to dry.  Slit buttonholes in the leather flap (if fabric, do this before gluing the covers on). I had to cut and stitch the flap to make it lay flat.

- To finish the inside, I glue high quality cotton rag paper on each cover; as long as the paper is acid free, you can use whatever you like, but thicker paper works best.  Cut the paper to size, with the flap side being slightly wider to cover the raw edge that the flap doesn't.  Spread the glue evenly along the outside, do the same for the squiggles on the inside.  Don't leave the glue as a worm, it will make weird ridge that could damage the scroll.  You can also use smooth cotton or linen for this.  Funky fabric is always appreciated.  If using paper, weight it down again.  If using fabric, you may not want to weight it as the glue could seep through and adhere your weights (books) to the case. 

*Inside fabric should always be smooth with no fuzz, scratchy texture or metallic anything.  This portion is designed to protect the artwork, and sharp, rough or fuzzy will damage it. 
** Protective sheets of paper are often put over the artwork to keep it from being damaged by improperly made scroll cases, or compromised cases (damp, paint transfer, etc).  If you are a court herald, please replace any protective coverings that were provided by the artist.  I know it's inelegant in court, but many scrolls are damaged by bad cases.