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10 Ways to Decorate Your Home with Contact Paper

Con-Tact paper, otherwise known as self-adhesive paper, is an inexpensive, DIY-friendly option that can transform the look of a room or a piece of furniture.

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dottie self-adhesive papervia

About the Name

First, let’s get the name right. Most people refer to self-adhesive paper used to line shelves and more as “contact paper.” That’s because the trademark name, Con-Tact Brand, represents the product that has been around for more than 40 years and is the major player in the self-adhesive paper category. We’ll call it self-adhesive paper unless we’re referring to the specific brand.

And a note of caution: Be aware that self-adhesive paper can be difficult to remove, depending on what surface you apply it to. Before attaching it to any wall, cabinet or piece of furniture, do a quick search online to see what methods of removal are recommended. Some removal techniques include applying heat with a hairdryer and using a scraper and adhesive remover. Also, consider products specifically labeled as “removable.”

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chalkboard paper memo boardvia

Create a Memo Board

If you haven’t looked at Con-Tact paper in a while, you might be astonished at all of the different patterns now available. Try using removable chalkboard Con-Tact paper ($8) to create a memo board or message center. Just cut out a piece and attach it to your refrigerator so you’ll always have a place to jot down your grocery list, phone numbers or a quick note to family members. You could also use chalkboard self-adhesive paper on a wall and encourage family members to show off their creativity with drawings.

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circle self adhesive papervia

Use as a Backsplash

Does your kitchen or bathroom need a splash of color? Use some self-adhesive paper such as this circle print design ($15) to create a temporary backsplash. This option comes in handy if you’re renting and want to give your kitchen or bath a fresh look, or if you’re having a hard time deciding what type of permanent backsplash you want to add to your home. Here are some backsplash ideas to get you started.

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marble self adhesive papervia

Create the Look of Marble or Granite

Get the look of pricey granite or marble in just minutes with self-adhesive paper. Use this decorative self-adhesive paper ($18) to cover an old nightstand, inexpensive trash cans or even a tabletop—any object with a smooth surface. Here are some more ways to upgrade your kitchen on a budget.

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stone-look self adhesive paper beyhanyazar/Getty Images

Add to a Bookshelf

Transform an old bookshelf with some self-adhesive paper. Find a style of paper that works with your decor, remove the shelves and attach the self-adhesive paper to the back of the cabinet, for depth or a pop of color that will show between items on the shelf. Once you’re done adding the color, fill your shelves with these foodie books.

You can make these simple box shelves.

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night stand self adhesive papervia

Update a Desk or Dresser

Self-adhesive paper ($24) is also an easy DIY way to update the look of your desk or dresser. Remove handles or knobs and add some paper to the front of the drawers. This customized piece of furniture could become your new favorite! Did you know that your furniture could make a small room feel larger?

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self adhesive papervia

Get Creative with Shapes

A Cricut knife ($14) will allow you to cut any self-adhesive paper into precise shapes and sizes. Use these shapes to create one-of-a-kind home decor with the paper. Create a wall hanging, attach cutouts to an old vase or decorate wood furniture. Take a look at these affordable home accents you can get on Amazon.

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accent wall UnitedPhotoStudio1/Getty Images

Create an Accent Wall

Use self-adhesive paper to create a standout accent wall. Whether you use solid sheets or cut out patterns, it’s an inexpensive way to change the look of your room. Consider clouds, polka dots or stripes. Check out these ’80s decor trends that are making a big comeback.

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wood grain self adhesive papervia

Make Photo Frames

Find some favorite photos and use self-adhesive paper to create photo frames. Cut out space for the photo and use the paper to frame the photo and attach it to a board you’ve painted or stained. You can also use self-adhesive paper to give tired frames a new look. Try wood grain self-adhesive paper ($13) over an old painted wood or metal frame. Frames are among the valuable items you should pick up from Goodwill.

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stainless steel self adhesive papervia

Cover an Old Appliance

Do you have an older appliance you plan to replace, but need to live with for a bit longer? Use shiny, stainless steel-looking self-adhesive paper ($11) to cover the front of a dishwasher or even your refrigerator. On the other hand, here are some appliances that are cheaper to replace than repair.

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Room divider with wallpaper detailFamily Handyman

Make a Room Divider

If you have old CDs or DVDs you no longer want, use self-adhesive paper to cover them and create a room divider. Start by covering the discs with self-adhesive paper. Then, drill four holes in each disc—one on the top, bottom and each side. You should end up with four holes equally spaced toward the outside edge of each disc. Tie fishing line to attach the discs to one another and hang them between rooms, or as a wall hanging. Next, read about the new decor trends you’ll probably see this year.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.
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