How to Make Shoji Paper Doors


Shoji screens feature thick, fibrous paper glued securely between hardwood grids. The paper is thick enough that it provides privacy, but thin enough to allow light to shine through. In Japan, rooms made of shoji screens require few lamps because the paper reflects a warm, cozy glow. You, too, can create shoji doors to divide rooms, replace doors, or simply decorate walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Yardstick
  • 1/8-inch-thick cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Black spray paint
  • Vellum parchment, rice paper or shoji paper
  • White school glue
  • Aluminum U railing
  • Electric hand drill
  • Black steel screws
  • Measure the height and width of the doorway you wish to cover, using a yardstick. Include the door molding in your measurements. If you want a truly Asian look, you'll want the door to cover the molding as well.

  • Cut two pieces of cardboard matching your measurements, using a utility knife. A door 6 feet high and 18 inches wide with a 3-inch molding all around requires a piece of cardboard 39 inches (6 feet, 3 inches) high and 30 inches wide.

  • Draw a grid on your cardboard consisting of 4-inch-wide, 6-inch-high rectangles spaced about ½ inch apart. Leave a 1-inch border of cardboard all the way around the edge. Cut out the rectangles with a utility knife. Work slowly to avoid wavy lines and torn cardboard.

  • Spray-paint the cardboard black. Spray-paint each piece on both sides. Let each coat of black paint dry for two hours before applying another coat or flipping the cardboard over. Let the totally painted cardboard cure overnight.

  • Lay one of your cardboard grids on the ground. Smear the grid with glue. Unroll a sheet of vellum parchment, rice paper or shoji paper onto the grid. Press down gently where the glue is. Glue the other grid on top of the paper so that the edges of the grids line up exactly. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

  • Spray-paint two pieces of aluminum U railing black. Allow them to dry overnight. U railing looks like a square tube missing one side. It's often used to create sliding doors.

  • Screw one piece of U railing into the floor at the base of your door. Screw the other into the wall right above the door molding. Slip the top and bottom edges of the shoji door into the U railings. It should slide easily.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may construct your grid from half-round molding, dowels or bamboo to get a different look.
  • Paint your paper with a watercolor print or use colored or printed paper to create an ornate door. This also adds visual interest to a room full of shoji screens.
  • Create a wall of shoji screen doors to hide shelving, bookcases and other utilitarian items.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Build a Shoji

    Wood and paper panels were brought to Japan from China as early as the 8th Century. The Japanese adapted the form to...

  • How to Design With Shoji Wall Panels

    You can design with shoji wall panels in a variety of ways, including using the traditional Japanese latticed wooden frames with translucent...

  • How to Make a Japanese Paper Door

    A Japanese paper door or screen is known as shoji, named for the translucent neutral-toned paper that covers a wooden frame. Westerners...

  • DIY Shoji Screen

    Make a contemporary version of a folding shoji screen using lightweight materials and some ingenuity. This shoji screen project does not require...

  • DIY: Japanese Style Sliding Screens

    A Japanese-style sliding screen, or shoji, is the product of finely honed craftsmanship and woodworking techniques that can take many years of...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!