Shoji Panel Screens as Patio Door Window Treatment

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Project by Muzhik posted 04-27-2015 10:09 AM 1427 views 13 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As part of a larger, ongoing project, I made these three sliding Japanese-style Shoji panel screens to replace the bamboo curtain that was a window treatment for my patio door when I bought this house a year ago. The original hardware holding up the bamboo gave way one night and traumatized the pup in the first picture when it came crashing down!

The doors are made of cherry, and the paper is laminated for a little water resistance and more importantly durability. A paw is far less likely to go through these screens that if I had simply used kozo paper, like I did on my lamps.

For sliding hardware, I went with a bypass door kit from Johnson Hardware. Originally I wanted to figure out a way to incorporate barn door hardware, but it would require some custom fabrication to get the doors to stack on one another. Rather than acquire all of the tools and skills necessary for that (or pay a blacksmith), I decided to build an enclosure to conceal the hardware and stick with a more “traditional” look. Typically, shoji ride in wooden tracks, both on the floor and up top. That would have been problematic in this case, though, just because the bottom track would require regular maintenance and cleaning, which would get old in a hurry. Instead, I went with a metal hardware kit that foregoes the bottom track altogether.

Admittedly, they look a little funky from the outside, but our house backs to woods and the only people that will ever foresee-ably be out there with these screens closed are people who don’t belong!

13 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3664 posts in 3142 days

#1 posted 04-27-2015 12:44 PM

Beautifully executed! Shoji screens are so much more attractive than bamboo curtains!

Maybe you can add some sort of Japanese style pergola on the outside to merge the East and the West architecture.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View jumbojack's profile


1666 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 04-27-2015 03:21 PM

Please consider this project STOLEN by me. I have been battling those cheap door blinds for far too long. May even do the closet doors in similar fashion. Thanks for posting.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Daiku's profile


227 posts in 2328 days

#3 posted 04-27-2015 03:59 PM

Very nice job! I really like the kumiko (lattice) pattern that you used.

Thanks for posting,

-- Cal Noguchi -

View jim65's profile


800 posts in 1353 days

#4 posted 04-27-2015 05:42 PM

really nice work, love the look!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View Muzhik's profile


172 posts in 3558 days

#5 posted 04-27-2015 09:51 PM

Thank you for the kind comments.

Cal, I’m pretty happy with the kumiko pattern, but I do have to admit I botched the proportions a little, compared to what I had planned. I set my table saw fence wrong for the first series of cuts, making the squares in each corner slightly smaller than I wanted, and affecting the other proportions accordingly. Here’s a .jpg exported from my original sketchup drawing

View finns's profile


99 posts in 2537 days

#6 posted 04-27-2015 09:54 PM

Looks great. Nice looking dog as well.

View Muzhik's profile


172 posts in 3558 days

#7 posted 04-27-2015 09:59 PM

Thanks, finns. He DOES compliment the doors… Americanized Akita for my bastardized shoji panels :)

View Mean_Dean's profile


4932 posts in 2568 days

#8 posted 04-27-2015 11:57 PM

Great looking Shoji screens! I’d love to build some of these to use as closet doors—you wouldn’t have happened to blog about this, would you?

-- Dean

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 3546 days

#9 posted 04-28-2015 12:56 AM

I Love this! – Thinking about stealing! (highest compliment!!) – Very nigh, original work!


-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View JerrySats's profile


237 posts in 3030 days

#10 posted 04-28-2015 01:00 AM

they look great , do you have any problems with the bottoms flopping around without the bottom track ? A blog on these doors would be cool .

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1051 days

#11 posted 04-28-2015 06:06 AM

Very cool looking, I am probably going to steal the project as well. Might go with a different pattern, but otherwise looks like what I will do. :)

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View ken_c's profile


314 posts in 2583 days

#12 posted 04-28-2015 03:16 PM

nice job on the screens and nice Akita too…

View Muzhik's profile


172 posts in 3558 days

#13 posted 04-29-2015 10:36 AM

Not sure I’ll do a blog on them (I tried blogging here before and didn’t really follow through). To answer the questions, though, I used Johnson Hardware’s 111MP kit. Not sure I can post a link, but a simple search should pull up their site.

The problem I encountered was shipping. Since I needed 10-foot tracks, that incurred a $125 freight charge. On a $155 kit. Unacceptable! I tried calling several local mom-and-pop shops that are listed on Johnson’s site as retailers. They all would have to tack on the freight charge as well. I think I lucked out with the big orange box store, in the fact that nobody involved seemed to really have a clue. I wound up getting the kit cheaper than $155 there, AND no freight charge!

Anyway, the beauty of this kit, as I mentioned is no bottom track. Instead, the door that moves the least distance, or “anchor door” (in my case, the far right one), guides on the bottom off hardware mounted to the floor. The center door guides off of the anchor door, and the left door, in-turn, guides off of the center door. So long as the slots in the doors are milled accurately (tight, but allowing for seasonal wood movement), everything slides well and doesn’t have sloppy play.

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