Scroll in a Box Art Activity Based on Christ and His Mother Reading the Scriptures by Henry O. Tanner

Let’s make a scroll in a box. This project has endless possibilities to use for school projects and special days and holidays. It will also remind us of our painting, Christ and His Mother Reading the Scriptures, by Henry O. Tanner, because of course, at that time they would be reading from a scroll.

Christ and His Mother Reading the Scriptures by Henry O. Tanner, 1909, Dallas Museum of Art, public domain

In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions  AND Variations, which are limited only imaginations!
  • Helpful hints
  • 4 Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
  • Clean-up tips
  • Molly Photo with a special announcement

Let’s get started!


  • A box with a lid
  • Paper of all kinds
  • Glue, scissors, pencils, rulers, crayons, markers, etc
  • Craft supplies, such as ribbon, yarn, stickers, shells, etc

Directions AND Variations:

The Scroll

  1. Cut a long piece of paper to make a scroll that will fold into the size of your box (if you need to tape or glue several pieces of paper together)
  2. Fold this as you would a fan to make sections that fit the box’s length and width (make the paper a little smaller than the box so it folds in smoothly)
  3. Do not glue the scroll into the box until you have done any writing or other decoration on the scroll

Here are a few suggestions for ways to use your scroll in a box. I bet you can think of lots more:

  • Book reports
  • Favorite verses you’ve decorated
  • Stories you’ve written
  • Facts about an animal you’re studying
  • Mother’s Day “card”
  • Christmas “card”

The Box Cover

  1. Choose how you want to decorate the cover of your box
  2. I cut and glued colored paper to cover the original design first

Here are a few suggestions for cover designs:

  • Your design may be a pretty paper you once marbled or blew colored bubbles onto
  • If this is for a book report, you may draw and color a picture from the book and include its title and your name somewhere on the cover
  • If it’s a history project, you might glue on a map showing the area you studied
  • For an animal report you could glue or draw a picture of the animal for the cover
  • If it’s a story you’ve written about the beach you might glue on some shells and color waves or lighthouses
  • Try printing a leaf and then gluing on some more leaves, pinecones, etc.
  • If the box is for a special day such as Mother’s day decorate with artificial flowers, etc

When the scroll and the box cover are done, it’s time to glue the scroll into the box and hand in for a terrific grade or give as a special gift to someone in your family or a friend!

Helpful Hints

  • If you use thin paper for the scroll, liquid glue will pucker it. Try glue sticks instead
  • Some of the 3-D elements may need to be attached with a glue gun (parent oversight of this is recommended)
  • Parents or caregivers will need to make the scroll for younger children and glue it into the box. But children will enjoy decorating or writing on the scroll.

4 Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development

  1. Using pencils, brushes, scissors, etc. helps children develop fine motor skills.
  2. This project is a wonderful way to encourage children to use their imaginations and creativity
  3. Making art refreshes minds and eyes tired from screens.
  4. This project gives children new ways to do school projects or to explore their interests and talents as they decide what to put on the scroll.

Clean up Hints:

  • Be sure to put a plastic table cloth or large paper under your work
  • Have paper towels handy
  • Wax paper under things you glue keeps them from sticking in the wrong places
  • Keep a wastebasket handy for trash

Special Announcement:

Starting next week and for the whole month of September Molly and I will be interviewing 6 great children’s author’s and the new books they have coming out, including nonfiction, picture books, and board books.

Here’s a picture of Molly with 2 earlier books by Annette Whipple, which I use in my art room all the time.Those eyes have her mesmerized!

Next week Molly and I will tell you all about Annette’s newest book and give you a sneak preview of some of its amazing illustrations!

Before You Go

Molly hopes you enjoy making a scroll in a box! On August 31st our newsletter will come with curriculum connections, a museum gem, suggestions for related research, children’s books to read, and a freebie or 2! Don’t miss it. Sign up with the button above. And also receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages. Add link






12 thoughts on “Scroll in a Box Art Activity Based on Christ and His Mother Reading the Scriptures by Henry O. Tanner

  1. JD Wininger

    What a fun project that is with the kiddos. Thank you for sharing all these creative ideas Ms. Kathy. What a blessing your talents are ma’am.


    1. Kathy O'Neill Post author

      Not exactly Sunday School in a box, but it would be a great place to write out favorite verses and decorate them! Thank you for always being so encouraging with your comments, J.D. I hope you have a blessed Lord’s Day!


  2. Carol

    Kathy, you are amazing! Where do you get so much energy! Always love seeing and reading your posts.
    Blessings always,
    Molly is always a delight to see!


    1. Kathy O'Neill Post author

      Thank you so much, Carol! I have to admit the energy sometimes lags behind the ideas, but I love finding the ideas and showing people how they can be fun to do! Blessings to you, too, and Molly says, Hi!


  3. Becky Van Vleet

    I love this idea, Kathy. I always wonder where you come up with all these projects! Always very unique and fun!


    1. Kathy O'Neill Post author

      I’m glad you like this idea, Becky. I guess I’m always looking for ideas and inspiration for how to use things, and this project has such endless possibilities for home and school activities! Hard to believe it’s school time again! I bet your grandchildren are excited!


    1. Kathy O'Neill Post author

      Thank you, Jean! I love finding ideas and turning them into ways for children to express their creativity! I’m sure you have some grandchildren who are getting ready for school. I pray they have a super year!


  4. Katherine Pasour

    What a wonderful craft and so versatile in the ways children can use it. Wish I had been blessed to know you when my children were doing school projects! Looking forward to your newsletter.


    1. Kathy O'Neill Post author

      Hi Katherine. It is versatile, and I thought it would be great to show as a back-to-school project! Thank you so much for visiting and always being so encouraging! I hope you have been getting enough, but not too much rain!



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