Introduction: Mini Shoji Screen Place Cards

This place card also makes a cute wedding favor!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

4 sheets rice paper
12 chopsticks
30 toothpicks
Paint, watercolors: red, white, black, green
Drinking straw
Dark wood stain
Wood glue
Modge Podge (handy, but optional)
Duct tape - Black

Baby miter saw (or grown up one)
Extra sharp scissors
Rotary cutter (easier than scissors for some things, but optional)
Cutting mat

Step 2: Stain

Apply stain to chopstick and toothpick according to manufacturer's instructions.

Step 3: Paint Tree

Start with a double sheet of rice paper. Spread thin layer of glue or Modge Podge on first sheet and lay second sheet on top. Allow to dry before you begin painting.

Okay, before we start, I cannot stress enough that I cannot draw, paint or even color to save my life.  Fortunately there is a fool proof method that allows anyone to make a semi-convincing tree.  (Unfortunately, it was way more difficult for me not to include an inappropriate joke here than it should have been).

Black paint should be the same consistency of ink
Take a plastic drinking straw and dip the end in the black paint and cover other end with your finger
Release paint on rice paper at the point you want your tree branch
Blow though straw, spreading the paint into branchy lines
Once you have the main branches complete, thicken black paint  a bit
Take small paintbrush and add additional little branches and some shading to larger branches

Fortunately, this is such a common design, that random little pinkish splotches can pass for cherry blossoms...just apply flowers and add some falling petals.

Add tinier, green splotches next to blossoms

Place Card Panel
Write name, table and any other info on rice paper
Add some cherry blossoms
Note: I am assuming that this panel would be removed by anyone who keeps the wedding favor so i did not include it in the main design.

Step 4: Outside Frame

Make Panels
  • Measure and cut paper into 4" sections
  • Glue chopsticks (larger side down) along the sides of each panel
  • Cute top and bottom pieces and glue those down to paper as well
  • Trim off any excess paper

Step 5: Inside Frame

The screen can be made more detailed by adding inner divisions...
  • Trim toothpicks to 2" pieces
  • Glue down vertical line down the middle of each panel
  • Glue down horizontal pieces 2 inches apart.  Additional trimming may be necessary to accommodate some variation.

Step 6: Hinges

I simply used tiny pieces of duct tape for the hinges.  This will keep the screen together but also make it easy to remove the place card panel.

Place three small pieces of tape equally along the sides:
  • Along the Front: Panel one and two
  • Along the Back: Panels two and three
  • Along the Front:  Panels three and four

Step 7: Reinforce Frame

You can strengthen the frame by adding another set of chopsticks to the back.  I didn't duplicate the toothpicks since they are purely ornamental.

Don't wait for a wedding, these are cute anytime : )

Caution: Shoji screen are lovely when back-lit by candles, but keep an eye on any place setting that includes an open flame.  It's a good idea with any candles, but especially when they are near a paper structure! 

DIY Wedding Challenge

Participated in the
DIY Wedding Challenge