Decorating Ideas: Rice Paper Lamp Shades

Looking for a home decorating idea that's mothproof, rotproof, natural, and easily customized for your home décor? Rice paper lampshades are your economical décor solution.

Why should I use Rice Paper Lamp shades in my home decor?

True rice paper, which is more often than not imported from China, has many benefits as a home décor object. Rice paper is:

*Moth Proof

*Rot Proof


*Made of natural materials

*Available as 1-, 2-, or 3-ply

*Available in different absorbencies

*Available sized or unsized

*Soft, unobtrusive lighting

*Wide variety of styles from traditional hanging to freestanding

So what does this mean in your home décor? Moth Proof and Rot Proof rice paper shades will have endurance not found in other paper products used to create lamp shades. This will allow you to enjoy their natural beauty over time and even pass on the fragile looking rice paper shades as family heirlooms. The thickness will allow you to choose the amount of light filtered, and sized or unsized rice paper lamp shades allow you a great range of creativity whether you purchase pre-made rice paper lampshades, or craft and embellish your own for a unique home décor item and conversation piece.

What does thickness have to do with a lamp shade?

Rice paper comes in 1-, 2-, or 3-ply thicknesses. This lets you know how much light penetration will be achieved with the rice paper lampshade. A 1-ply lampshade will let a lot more light through than a 3-ply lamp shade which has three layers, or thicknesses of rice paper for the light to penetrate. If you use a rice paper lampshade in your living room as a corner accent, you may want a 1-ply lamp shade so that you can emit a lot of light to brighten the living space. However, if you want a bedside reading lamp, you may wish to dress it in a 3-ply rice paper shade so that the light filtered through the shade is soft and welcoming, and more befitting sleep.

What does it matter to me that it's natural?

Rice paper is handcrafted in China and is created of natural materials. Choosing to decorate your home interior with rice paper lamp shades not only supports artisans, but also means fewer toxins in your home. Another wonderful thing about rice paper lamp shades is their timeless simplicity and neutrality. Since rice paper is made of natural materials there are a wide range of earthtone and neutral colors to the lamp shades that will compliment any décor or style.

What do you mean sized or unsized?

Rice paper that has been left unsized has not been coated, so it is more absorbent. Rice paper is naturally absorbent, but its absorbency decreases becoming less and less absorbent with time. This factors in if you are creating your own rice paper lamp shade and embellishing it. You will either want paper that has been sized, or that has been aged to decrease absorbency. This will allow you to decorate the lamp shade using rubber stamps, paints, and other colorants such as liquid inks without having them soak into the paper. Using these techniques can create beautiful illuminated works of art that serve both to create an atmosphere of creativity and personal home interior designs. Your personalized rice paper lamp shades will function to filter light and cast soft glows around your home as well as highlight your talents at making unique, one of a kind art objects.

But what if I'm not the creative type?

Rice paper shades can be purchased pre-fabricated in a variety of shapes styles and colors. Whether you want a classic lantern shape in off-white or a more textured rice paper framed by wooden supports, rice paper lamp shades are becoming increasingly popular. Where once they were only available in specialty markets, you can now find economical rice paper shades in a wide variety of styles from hanging to freestanding at just about any store where you can by home décor products.

But aren't rice paper lamp shades dangerous?

You may have heard the myth that rice paper shades are dangerous because they are made of paper. A common misconception is that rice paper shades burn easily, which is not the case at all. As with any light fixture in the home, rice paper shades should be handled carefully. Anything with electricity flowing through it can be a potential hazard, but by following the manufacturer directions of use they pose no more danger than any other light source in your home. The only real danger with rice paper lampshades is that they may be addictive, providing such soft, luminous accents to your home that you want their beauty in every room.

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