How To Use Contact Paper To Make A Beautiful Privacy Window!

6 Materials
2 Weeks

It was time to do something about these windows. We live at the top of a busy neighborhood and my bay windows offer a front row seat to everything going on inside my house. No more eye contact with the joggers, dog walkers and school kids.

I have three of these bay windows on the front of my house! THREE!

With time and patience, you can create an awesome privacy window with contact paper and a stencil.

This project is very time consuming! My wife Mariko and I do everything custom. We have all sorts of the precut, easy to install cling films available over here in Japan too. They look great!

This is an art project and we have all the time and patience in the world for art.

EDIT: This is adhesive contact paper

Adhesive contact paper: extremely difficult to get off of a window. It feels almost impossible! I wouldn't do this to a window still under warranty either. The stickers might void that warranty. The window cleans the same too. Just spray and wipe.

Self-adhesive (cling film): pulls off effortlessly and is reusable. Cleans effortlessly. Some cling films have lovely designs on them, so you don't need to cut out shapes. I don't recommend cutting shapes out of cling film, because they will move or fall off. Static holds cling film to the window where adhesive is help up by glue.

Let's start!

My wife did this entire project by herself. Here's what she did:

First decide on a pattern. I made this pattern in Photoshop and created my stencil on cardboard. The worst part of this job is tracing and cutting. Figure out how many stickers you'll need and get them all cutout before you start. It'll make this job easier.

You'll need:

-A spray bottle full of water and one drop of dish soap,


-A small squeegee


-Paper towels. (I used newspaper as paper towels. It's actually common here in Japan on windows. No, the ink doesn't come off :)


-Boxcutter or exacto knife

-Did I mention patience..?

Spray the window well with the spray bottle and then put up your sticker. They're easy to move around on top of the water and dish soap solution. Adjust them into position and then squeegee out the water and bubbles. The stickers might still move a little, but will adhere stronger after a couple minutes. Keep wiping the window down and keep extra towels on hand for the mess. It's easier to see air bubbles when it's dark outside too.

Some of the stickers you'll need to cut. Use a good ruler and boxcutter for this. Be careful not to scratch the window or window seal/caulking.

If you get a stubborn air bubble that you can't get out, make a little cut on it. This should work and be unnoticeable most of the time.

*In my experience, contact paper is extremely difficult to get off of windows when its dry. We did this on a window as practice and spent a lot of time getting them off. Don't use a heat gun on a window, because it might crack the glass. Hair dryers work well though. You can also use sticker remover spray for the stubborn sticker residue.

Try to squeegee out every single little bubble. There will be a lot!

Finished picture from the inside!

Finished picture from the outside!


Here's a shot from the inside in the morning.

We went with this pattern. We made this in illustrator to fit our window.

Here are those pesky bubbles! We put down newspaper to catch all of the run down.

If you're interested in crafting, building, antiques and themed parties stop by Bryan's Workshop Facebook and Instagram page!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 71 questions
  • Georgia Shoemaker Addison
    on Mar 18, 2019

    Where can you buy the cling film?

    • Kathy Kendl
      on May 20, 2019

      Most hardware stores carry this kind of contact paper as well as Walmart and Target.

  • Anna May Painter
    on May 16, 2019

    Where can I purchase this contact paper?

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on May 19, 2019

      Hey Anna! Check out Amazon or your local Home Center. There is contact paper which is a sticker and cling film that sticks using static. Both are applied the same way, but the contact paper is extremely difficult to remove and cling film removes effortlessly.

  • Shirley
    on May 20, 2019

    Hi there I have a double pain windows , 1 faces my neighbors front door. How can I get some privacy as them? I still wanna be able to look out but I want something where they can’t see me ? Thank you Shirley from Ca

    • 'T'
      on Jun 7, 2019

      Just a quick note....

      "One way window" film works only during daylight. It does not work at night.🤔 So, don't undress while thinking you have privacy!😲 😉

Join the conversation

3 of 896 comments
  • Dianne
    on Jun 6, 2019

    Very practical & enhances your home!

    I’d like to create a “stained glass” look, thanks for the idea.

  • Paula Berlowitz
    on Jul 27, 2019

    Wow! Incredible! I was looking for a solution for my neighbors troublw with my habit of walking around naked in my living room which doesn't include start wearing clothes at home. Thx!

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