I made no new purchases and only made use of whatever items I had on hand. You can modify the dimensions or materials to suit your needs.
Step 1: Materials
Materials I used to make a 2-panel, 36" x 18" Shoji screen:
4 pieces of cardboard (36" x 18"), the thicker the better. These pieces were all taken from a single moving box that I had. Cut carefully and make your edges as clean as possible. You can find free cardboard on Craigslist, if you live in the U.S. People that have recently moved or have bought furniture will usually be eager to get rid of their excess cardboard boxes and will list them for free.
12 pieces of onion-skin paper (8.5" x 11"). These can be purchased at any office supply store. You can substitute onion paper with rice paper, vellum, or any other semi-transparent paper. The semi-transparency will filter light and give it a nice glow.
3 Cable ties/Zip ties
Other items: ruler, fat color markers, pen/pencil, clear tape, box cutter, glue. I would've used Gorilla Glue, if I had any. ;-)
Step 2: Paper Layout
Step 3: The artist in me
I did not extend my drawing to the very edges of the paper, because this will covered by the borders of the cardboard.
Step 4: Using my left cerebral hemisphere
I made the bottom border about 6" from the bottom. If you're making your screen taller, you will need to make the bottom border larger (higher) so that the screen will hold its rigidity. For instance, if you're making a 72" x 18" screen, make the bottom border at least 20" high.
Next separate your drawing, and place 1 half on top of one of your cardboards and start making marks so that you will know where to cover the seams of the paper. You will want to make your "seam" borders (where each paper is connected) about 1" wide, and make sure that these borders cover your paper seams.
Once you've made all your marks, lay your drawing on top again to make sure that all the seams are covered. You should be able to see all your lines through the transparency of the paper.
Step 5: Clean cut
I find it easier to cut cardboard on top of my carpet rather than on tile. If you need to, use a ruler to guide your box cutter. Use your first cut-out as a template for the rest of the cardboards. Again, make sure you are not making any marks on the clean side.
Step 6: Gorilla glue
Do this with the rest of your panels.
Step 7: Done!
Your very own cardboard Shoji Screen is now completed! I placed my Shoji screen in front of my fishtank to capture the light effect in the background. This project took me around 2 hours to complete.
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, and I would appreciate any feedback and votes. Thanks!