Creating a Shoji Screen Light Box

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Home renovation can involve more than just dividing rooms with a shoji screen. You can also use these screens to add height and an exotic touch to your living space. To create a stunning Asian-inspired wall installation, use the translucent quality of a shoji screen. By adding warm, glowing light, you can extend the appearance of your ceiling height and create a breathtaking focal point.

To make your own shoji screen light box, you will need plywood, a table saw, a four-panel shoji screen, rope lights, fasteners for the lights, paint or stain, black electrical tape or duct tape, a drill, and screws.


  1. Start by loosening the hinges on the shoji screen. Turn the hinges 90 degrees clockwise and screw them back down with the new alignment. This will prevent the screen from folding and make it more rigid.
  2. Use black electrical tape to cover the seams where the hinges were turned. This will prevent light from seeping through the cracks between the panels.
  3. Measure the length and width of the screen once it is flattened out. Build a plywood frame that is the exact size of the screen with a depth of no less than 6 inches. This will allow room for the rope lights to reflect off the wall and create an even glow.
  4. Drill a hole in the bottom of the frame for the wires to escape.
  5. Paint or stain the frame to match the finish on the screen.
  6. Mount the frame to the wall and mark its exact location in pencil. Anchor plywood strips to the wall as close to the inside dimensions of the frame as possible. Then, mount the frame to the plywood strips by screwing them together from the side of the frame.
  7. Attach the rope lights to each panel, mounting them on the wood border as close to the paper inserts as possible. To connect the rope lights to one plug, use an extension cord that connects to the different lights inside the light box. Run the cord through the hole drilled in the bottom of the frame.
  8. Attach the shoji screen to the frame, making sure the lights face toward the wall, using wood screws.
  9. Plug in your light box and enjoy the warm and exotic ambiance it provides.


1. What is a Shoji Screen Light Box?

A Shoji Screen Light Box is a decorative and functional piece of furniture that combines traditional Japanese shoji screens with modern lighting technology. It consists of a wooden frame, paper or fabric panels, and LED lights that can be adjusted to create different lighting effects. The screen can be used as a room divider, a decorative element, or a source of ambient light.

2. What are the benefits of using a Shoji Screen Light Box?

One of the main benefits of using a Shoji Screen Light Box is its versatility. It can be used to create a cozy and warm atmosphere in any room, and it can also be used as a decorative element to enhance the look of your interior design. The screen can also be used as a room divider, providing privacy and separating different areas of your home. Additionally, the LED lights used in the screen are energy-efficient and eco-friendly, making them a great choice for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint.

3. What materials are used to make a Shoji Screen Light Box?

A Shoji Screen Light Box typically consists of a wooden frame and paper or fabric panels. The frame is usually made of high-quality wood such as pine or oak, and the paper or fabric panels are made of materials such as rice paper, silk, or cotton. The LED lights used in the screen are also of high quality and are designed to last for many years.

4. How do you clean a Shoji Screen Light Box?

To clean a Shoji Screen Light Box, you should use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the wooden frame and panels. You should avoid using water or cleaning products, as these can damage the paper or fabric panels. If the panels become dirty, you can use a soft brush to gently remove any dust or debris. It’s also important to avoid exposing the screen to direct sunlight or moisture, as this can cause the panels to fade or warp.

5. How do you install a Shoji Screen Light Box?

The installation process for a Shoji Screen Light Box will depend on the specific model you have purchased. In general, the screen can be installed using brackets or screws that attach to the wall. Some screens may also come with freestanding legs that allow you to place the screen on the floor. It’s important to carefully read the installation instructions that come with your screen to ensure that it is properly installed and secure.

6. Can a Shoji Screen Light Box be used outdoors?

While a Shoji Screen Light Box is designed for indoor use, some models may be able to withstand outdoor conditions. If you plan to use the screen outdoors, it’s important to choose a model that is specifically designed for outdoor use and is made of materials that can withstand moisture and weathering. You should also ensure that the screen is properly installed and secured to prevent it from tipping over or getting damaged by wind or other elements.

7. How much does a Shoji Screen Light Box cost?

The cost of a Shoji Screen Light Box will depend on the size, materials, and features of the specific model you choose. In general, prices can range from around $100 for a small, basic model to several thousand dollars for a larger, more elaborate screen. It’s important to carefully consider your budget and needs when choosing a screen, and to shop around to find the best price.

8. Are Shoji Screen Light Boxes customizable?

Yes, many Shoji Screen Light Box models are customizable and can be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. You can choose from a variety of sizes, materials, and designs to create a screen that fits perfectly with your decor and style. Some models may also offer additional features such as adjustable lighting or built-in shelves or storage.

9. How long do LED lights in a Shoji Screen Light Box last?

The LED lights used in a Shoji Screen Light Box are designed to last for many years. In general, they can last for up to 50,000 hours or more, depending on the specific model and usage. This makes them a great choice for those who want a long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting solution.

10. How do you change the LED lights in a Shoji Screen Light Box?

Changing the LED lights in a Shoji Screen Light Box is a relatively simple process. Most models will come with instructions on how to change the lights, which typically involve removing the old lights and replacing them with new ones. It’s important to use high-quality replacement lights to ensure that your screen continues to function properly.

11. Where can I buy a Shoji Screen Light Box?

Shoji Screen Light Boxes can be purchased from a variety of retailers, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Some popular retailers include Amazon, Wayfair, and Home Depot, as well as specialty furniture stores that specialize in Japanese or Asian-inspired decor. It’s important to shop around and compare prices and features to find the best screen for your needs and budget.

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