How to Make a Rice Paper Window Film

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Mimic a traditional Japanese rice paper window with wax paper.
Mimic a traditional Japanese rice paper window with wax paper. (Image: girl in kimono at tea house image by TMLP from Fotolia.com)

Traditional rice paper windows are made by stretching thin, translucent rice paper over a wooden frame. This Japanese style of construction has been used for generations. It allows daylight to enter a room without excessive heat from the sun or loss of privacy. Commercially available window films use a plastic sheeting impregnated with pigment to stick to windows using static electricity as the primary adhesive. You can make your own faux rice paper window film from wax paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Wax paper
  • Spray oil
  • Squeegee
  • Razor blade

Measure your windows to determine how much wax paper you will need. Multiply the length and width of your windows to determine the total area to be covered. Wax paper is sold in rolls of a set width and then the length of the roll is given. Multiply the length and width of the wax paper to compare the area of wax paper to the area of the windows, use the same unit of measure for a direct comparison. Purchase enough wax paper to cover your windows. Round up to the next whole roll of wax paper to make sure you have plenty.

Spray a light coat of cooking oil on the surface of the window to be covered. Line the top, left corner of the wax paper up to the top, left corner of your window. and press the paper to the window across the top of the window. Then press the left edge of the paper to the left edge of the window. Cut the paper across the bottom leaving about 1 inch of overlap from the bottom of the window.

Press out any air bubble or globs of oil with the squeegee starting in the upper left corner and working toward the bottom right. Use slow, gentle strokes to just adhere the paper to the window and press out the bubbles, but not so much pressure that you tear or dislodge the wax paper.

Cut the right edge at the corner of the window and window frame. Use the window frame as a guide to keep your cut straight. Cut the bottom edge in the same fashion. If you see any more air or oil spots, press them out with the squeegee. Repeat for all your windows.

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