Privacy Window Using Contact Paper

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 899 Posts

finished windowI decided that I didn't want to use curtains on our bathroom window so I was trying to find an alternative. I looked at the window films that they sell and didn't like how expensive they were. This idea I saw on Pinterest was much cuter and cheaper. So instead, I purchased a roll of contact paper and cut out shapes that nested together. I did just the lower half of the window to allow light in. The neat part is that clear contact paper actually appears frosted on glass. I absolutely love it!


Total Time: 2-3 hours


window supplies


  1. Transfer your template onto a thin piece of cardboard and cut it out. Then trace around the template using a Sharpie onto the backing-side of the contact paper.
  2. trace template
    window film template
  3. Once you have a bunch of them traced, cut them out with scissors.
  4. cut out shapes
  5. Clean your window with glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Allow it to dry completely.
  6. clean window

  7. I chose to start applying the shapes in the center of the window. So I measured to find the center, then marked that spot with an eyeliner pencil.
  8. Peel back part of the paper backing and adhere the contact paper to the window. Then use the squeegee to remove any air bubble as you remove the rest of the paper. NOTE: It is important to get this first shape straight so that all of your other ones line up properly.
  9. using squeegee
  10. Apply the remainder of the shapes, nesting them with the ones next to them.
  11. adding shapes 1
    adding shapes 4
  12. Most likely you will need to trim the shapes down that are along the edges. I recommend adhering a full shape and then trimming it down. To do this, use the squeegee to adhere the shape up to the edge, then use the cutting tool to carefully trim off the excess where it meets the edge.
  13. trimming edges

  14. In some areas I could tell that I would only use one half of a shape so I cut it in half before adhering it. That way I didn't risk ruining the other half when cutting it along the window edge.
  15. cutting down a shape
  16. Now you have a privacy window without spending a lot of money. The best part is that conact paper is repositionable, so you can change the pattern later or just remove it.
  17. adding shapes 7

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
December 12, 20121 found this helpful

It looks wonderful! Great job.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
October 16, 20160 found this helpful

Love this idea, how creative !! Thanks for sharing.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 13, 20122 found this helpful

Way cool! I frosted my sliding glass door with frosting paint. It looks rather good, but I would have liked this better. I bought the house and presumed the door was "dirty" but as it turned out it was damaged (double paned), and also the room where the door is is very dark, so I didn't want much in the way of curtains, but I needed privacy.


I looked at the frosted scenery and the films you can buy, and thought it was too expensive also.

Reply Was this helpful? 2
December 15, 20121 found this helpful

Fantastic idea! I too feel the films are much too expensive. Especially appreciate your well thought out tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing and even sharing the particular shape you used!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
October 15, 20160 found this helpful


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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 122 Feedbacks
December 18, 20120 found this helpful

Excellent idea! I never would have thought of this, but I'm always looking for good ideas. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures, and for including the shape template.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 20, 20120 found this helpful

I hope you win this contest because this is the best post I have ever seen on privacy windows! I love this and I will be doing this soon!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 24, 20120 found this helpful

This is an amazing idea! I have a window that I don't want to put curtains on and that this would be perfect! I even already have all the materials needed! Thank you so much for this idea!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 899 Posts
December 28, 20120 found this helpful

Now that I have had it up a few weeks I thought I would follow up that even with the high humidity in our bathroom, the shapes have stayed on the window. That was my only concern with this solution, but it seems to not be an issue. :)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 29, 20120 found this helpful

Really looks nice!

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 141 Feedbacks
February 7, 20130 found this helpful

Oddly enough, that is not where we discovered this idea. We had to make our own template since we didn't have the benefit of that page.


Thanks for sharing it, though. It may help others interested in making this project.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 21, 20140 found this helpful

Incidentally this ad came up on this page. How do they do that?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 9, 20140 found this helpful

Would love to see a photo of how this looks from the outside, close up and distance.

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November 14, 20140 found this helpful

I'm in the process of doing this now. It is so time consuming, but I know it'll look great! Thanks for the idea! I don't think someone could pay me $1000 to do it again though lol.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 18, 20150 found this helpful

What size is the cut out design? I looks really big on your download page.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 899 Posts
February 12, 20150 found this helpful

Since there seems to be confusion as to whether I stole the template and idea...I never claimed that this was my original idea, nor did I admittedly take the time to look further than the photo I saw on Pinterest. I have sufficient enough knowledge to create my own template in Illustrator and the concept is simple enough. Especially when the Pin I saw even mentioned that it was done using contact paper.


As with almost EVERY idea on Pinterest it all has a source somewhere and has been recreated numerous times by lots of people. What appears to be the original source is mentioned in a previous comment. Here it is again:

She had a great idea. Hope you all enjoy the results as much as I did. :)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 12, 20150 found this helpful

Just wondering does the contact come off the window with the steam and humidity from bath and shower? LOVE the idea

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 22, 20150 found this helpful

I had brought some sheer curtains now that I have seen this idea I am going to add it for further privacy great idea

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March 19, 20160 found this helpful

I just did this for my dads apartment! Worked perfectly! My suggestions...instead of creating a cardboard template, I bought matte stencil film sheet (medium weight) and Drew and cut my template from that. I used a ballpoint pen to trace the stencil onto the contact paper. And the other hint I have is how to easily pull the contact paper backing off? If you press a piece of masking tape onto the edge of the backing, it usually pulls the backing apart from the contact film. Worked like a charm!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 24, 20160 found this helpful

When you need to remove it does it leave a sticky residue?

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July 15, 20160 found this helpful

Love this idea!! Thanks for sharing. Is this also removable? Love this idea for my apartment.

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September 3, 20160 found this helpful

Olive oils or lighter fluid

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September 6, 20160 found this helpful

Great idea! I'm going to use a stencil & frosted spray paint instead! Thanks for the idea!

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September 19, 20160 found this helpful

This looks super! Does the "frosted" appearance help with privacy at night? I'm trying to work with two small bathroom windows that need help with privacy at night.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 17, 20160 found this helpful

That looks fantastic, you did a great job!

I used contact paper on our bathroom window. It has "privacy glass", but it just didn't seem private enough. I just cut the sheet to fit the window. I used one of the opaque "marble" designs. Had I known about this technique, I might have tried it. Oh and there was never a prob with humidity either.

Someone asked what it was like to remove. I didn't use the clear/transluscent, so I don't know if that makes a difference.

I had mine up for years and finally the adhesive started to wear out, it was a very sunny window. At that point it had become brittle. Some parts came off easily in large pieces the rest it "broke" into sticky little bitty pieces and I had to use a razor to scrape.

Aside from that tiny annoyance, it worked great.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 5, 20170 found this helpful

Cool idea, inexpensive,fast I doing this!

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November 3, 20180 found this helpful

Looks great!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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