How to Make Your Own Shoji Lamp

Written by stephanie ellen
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How to Make Your Own Shoji Lamp
Shoji lamp (Dustout/

Traditional shoji lamps make beautiful interior decorations for any furnishing style. Choose paper to match your decor, or keep it simple with soft white paper and unpainted skewers. The entire lamp can be made in under two hours using recycled materials and a purchased wiring kit.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • 20 long wooden kebab skewers
  • 5 sheets of paper, each longer than the length of one skewer
  • 4 sheets of corrugated cardboard, each about the width of one skewer
  • Prewired lamp wiring kit with an off/on switch on the cable
  • Low-watt light bulb

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  1. 1

    Start by making a side panel. Cut 1 inch from two skewers for the top and bottom of the frame.

  2. 2

    Place the two cut sticks on top of two long sticks to form a rectangle, overlapping corners by 1/8 inch. Ensure all corners are right angles. Glue in place.

  3. 3

    Cut 3 inches from four skewers and position them to make the pattern in the centre of the lamp. Glue one end of each stick to the outer rectangle and the other end to where the stick touches another stick. Sticks should not overlap, but rather be glued flat. This will be sturdier once the paper is glued on.

    How to Make Your Own Shoji Lamp
    Placement of trimmed skewers for motif
  4. 4

    Place dots of glue every centimetre on the skewer frame and place one sheet of paper on top. Allow to dry, then trim outer edges.

  5. 5

    Repeat to make three more side panels. Make one top panel from four short skewers, the same width as the side panels.

  6. 6

    Cut four layers of corrugated cardboard to the same size as the top panel. The multiple layers are for strength: This will be your bottom panel.

  7. 7

    Cut a small hole in the bottom of your corrugated cardboard base and thread the electric wire and plug through. Glue the fixture into place. Attach the cardboard base to the frame by hot-gluing around the edges of the cardboard and pressing the frame down firmly.

  8. 8

    Set on a table or turn upside down and hang from the ceiling with a ceiling hook.

Tips and warnings

  • Prewired lamp wiring kits are available at home improvement centres.
  • Do not use incandescent bulbs for this paper lantern because of the risk of fire.

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