I needed a few big pieces of artwork for my Airbnbs and found a few old shoji screens, so I crafted some washi shoji screens. Shoji are the wooden screens that Japanese homes traditionally use to separate rooms. However, in newer homes they are less popular due to the lack of privacy so you can usually pick up quite inexpensively at antique markets. My friends and visitors have asked where I have purchased the washi shoji screens and were surprised when I said they are easy to make. So here is my quick and easy tutorial to make your washi shoji screens. I have made four screens now and find they take between 2-3 hours.
Craft: Washi Shoji Screen Art
What You Need to Make a Washi Shoji Screen:
- One wooden shoji screen – you can buy on Yahoo.co.jp action or at Kofukan antique store
- One roll of double sided shoji paper tape (available at Amazon.co.jp or home centres such as D2 and Super Viva)
- 4-6 large sheets of washi (I buy mine at Itoya in Ginza) – color choice up to you
- One cutting knife for removing shoji from the edges of the wooden screen and also cutting the tape and paper
- One set of picture frame hooks and wire if you will hang on the wall
5 Easy Steps to Making a Washi Shoji Screen:
- Strip the shoji of all paper. You do not need to get off every bit on the back, but the old paper should not get in the way of the new paper. Just use your hands, finger nails and/or cutting knife. This is the messiest step.
- Once the shoji is clean of all old paper, take your 4-6 washi colors and patterns and plan out which will go here. You can always remove if you hate what it looks like but best to plan first.
- Take the double sided tape and start with one rectangle (a frame) of the shoji and tape down on all four edges. Once the four edges are taped remove the upper tape peel and stick the 1st chosen washi down on the tape. Do one edge of the paper first and pull the paper to remove ripples. This is the trickiest step to remove wrinkles and bubbles. My 1st screen – the pink one below – has many wrinkles from not pulling hard enough.
- Once the 1st washi paper is stuck down use your finger to push down on the edges of the shoji screen to help yourself see there the wood and know where to cut with the cutting knife. Cut in the middle of the wooden frame.
- Move on to the next frame reviewing your paper choices as you go. Once complete attach the picture hanger and wires. Voila.
Craft: Washi Shoji Screen Art
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Nice article thanks. Would Itoya carry shoji paper rolls do you think? First I read of the dble sided shoji sticky tape! Is it better alternative than the glue in your experience? Thank you for any feedback you may have.
Hi Ava, I recommend you buy Shoji paper at a home center. Both D2 and Super Viva sell both the paper and the tape (they are merchandised next to each other). D2 — > https://bestlivingjapan.com/d2-home-center/ Super Viva –> https://bestlivingjapan.com/super-viva-home-center-toyosu/