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What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Window Films?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith

When making DIY window films, clear contact paper may be used and decorated with acrylic paints or paint pens. These supplies are generally inexpensive, and may be found at local hardware and crafting stores. All measurements and markings should be made on the peel away backing side of the contact paper, while artwork and additional decorative media may be added to the transparent side. The final product can be pressed into place one small piece at a time to avoid creating air bubbles and uneven edges.

Window films may be used for a variety of purposes, including improving a home's energy efficiency, adding privacy to indoor or outdoor glass areas, and adding a touch of art to an otherwise drab interior glass paneled door. Films can be purchased ready for immediate use for these various purposes from home improvement stores. Individuals who prefer to create their own art, while additionally saving money by completing the project themselves, may prefer the unique look of DIY window films for their homes or apartments.

A utility knife may be used to cut designs from contact paper for window films.
A utility knife may be used to cut designs from contact paper for window films.

Clear drawer liners make an excellent base for this type of project. These should be completely transparent or slightly opaque so that light may still penetrate through the window or door. Colored tinted films may be used as well to create a type of stained glass effect.

To make the DIY window films, the glass panes should be measured exactly and traced onto the non-transparent side of the drawer liner. Most contact paper provides a solid backing surface, which can be drawn on using pencil or pen, then cut to exact size. To guarantee sharp, clean edges along the window film, the artist can benefit from laying a ruler along the cutting line and running a utility blade or standard rotary cutter down the side. This allows the artist to avoid jagged, uneven edges, which are often the result of cutting with scissors.

Some individuals can add a small border of paper around the edge of their design when cutting it out of the larger piece of film. This border will stick up from the glass around the edges of the window when the design is pressed into place. The blade of a utility knife may be pressed into the edges of the frame to cut away this border creating perfectly sized DIY window films.

The contact paper itself can be decorated with any type of media, based on the preferences of the artist. Acrylic paints or fine tipped paint pens often work the best for creating DIY window films. These paints create a fine line and precise detail, which can be used to draw unique images onto the surface of the paper. Any intended artwork should be completed on the clear side of the film prior to exposing the sticky backing.

When it is time to place the film into the window pane, the artist can line the top edge and opposing sides of the film with the window frame. Only the top half inch should be exposed and pressed onto the window at first. The remainder of the backing can then be rolled gradually away from the film in a downward motion as the contact paper is pressed onto the glass. To avoid creating air pockets, the artist can press small sections of the paper onto the window at a time using the flat of her hand or a flat bladed putty knife.

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    • A utility knife may be used to cut designs from contact paper for window films.
      By: Theo Malings
      A utility knife may be used to cut designs from contact paper for window films.