14 Not-Tacky Ways to Use Contact Paper

You want to change the look of your space and add a bit of personality to your home, but you're unsure about what you want. Or, maybe you rent and are limited in what you can change. Enter, contact paper. From pretty patterns to nature designs, wood grains and even paper that looks like tile, there are a lot of options to choose from. Here are 14 ways to use contact paper in your home. Note: Always be sure you choose removable contact paper on walls, cabinets, etc., if your landlord hasn't approved your project.

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Wall design Contact Paper

Create a Feature Wall

If you’re looking to create a feature wall, contact paper is a good option if you’re not sure about how long you’ll like the design. Let one of these 15 stunning accent wall designs help you get inspired to try something different.

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Kitchen Weekly Menu Planner

Weekly Menu Planner

Put light, solid-color contact paper inside an empty frame. When you’re finished, hang it in your kitchen. Use a washable marker to write on the frame to create a weekly meal planner, or use the board to make a grocery list.

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Chalkboard Table Runner

Chalkboard Table Runner

Having a potluck? Use chalkboard contact paper to make a table runner and then label all the dishes.

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Fake an Expensive Marble Countertop

Fake an Expensive Countertop

With contact paper, you can fake a pricey kitchen countertop. Like the idea of marble but can’t afford to upgrade? Find a tile contact paper that looks like marble and cover your kitchen counters.

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nursery Wall Decals

Wall Decals

Contact paper can help you create a nursery on a budget. Try using contact paper to create a wall mural or cut out different designs or shapes for wall decals.

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staircase contact paper design
Scott Glasgow/Shutterstock

Give Stairs a New Look

Give your stairs a new look with patterned contact paper. Just cut the paper to fit the stair risers for a fresh design.

Have squeaky stairs? You can fix them, even if you have carpeting.

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dog pet placemat food
Leah-Anne Thompson/Shutterstock

Make a Pet Placemat

Here’s a quick project to show your pet some love. Take a piece of cardboard and cover it with contact paper to make a pet placemat that’s super easy to wipe clean.

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fake tile backsplash contact paper
Ken stocker/Shutterstock

Fake a Tile Backsplash

It can be difficult to keep up with kitchen trends. If you’re unsure that trendy design will look good in your kitchen, give it a try first with tile contact paper. From subway tile to mosaics, tile contact paper comes in patterns that mimic the look of tile.

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bathroom window film privacy

Create Some Privacy

Need a little more privacy in the bathroom? Contact paper comes in a opaque film variety that when placed on windows makes it look like frosted glass.

Need privacy elsewhere in your home? Here’s a privacy screen you can make from salvaged doors.

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Personalize Flower Pots and Vases

Personalize Flower Pots and Vases

Cut some shapes out of contact paper and use them to decorate flower pots and vases. This is a lot less messy than paint, so it’s a great project to do with small children. (Keep them away from the scissors, of course.)

If you have old pots that are cracked or broken, try using them in a fairy garden.

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Make Spice Labels
Christian Draghici/Shutterstock

Make Spice Labels

Never mix up your chili powder with smoked paprika again. Use contact paper to create spice jar labels and then make a DIY spice rack for your kitchen.

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Magnetic Message Board

Make a Magnetic Message Board

Try covering a metal baking sheet with patterned contact paper, add some magnets and then use it to organize reminders. Use the board as part of your home’s message center.

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contact paper drawer liner
Family Handyman

Line Drawers and Shelves

Use contact paper to line your kitchen drawers and cabinet shelves. You can also use a fun pattern on the back of bookshelves.

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chalkboard wall

Make a Chalkboard Wall

Chalkboard surfaces are everywhere! Grab some rolls of chalkboard contact paper and use it for a wall in your child’s bedroom, or on a wall in your kitchen or dining room.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.