How To Create Decorative Window Film

Man installing window film
What You'll Need
Window film
Clear contact paper with adhesive back
Paint pens
Xacto or razor blades
Pattern or design
Heavy permanent marker
Scotch tape
Squeegee with rubber edge

Decorative window film comes pre-designed in standard rolls with pre-printed patterns or designs. However, you can also create your own film design for a unique look that compliments your home decor. Using film to create tinted windows or window frosting takes only a few simple tools. The following information will provide you with a guide to make your own decorative window film.

Step 1 - Find A Design

Anything can be a design. Geometric shapes, clip art, characters from a coloring book, anything with a strong outline. Look through magazines, books, posters or create your own design or art work.

Step 2 - Create Your Design

Once you find your design, use your permanent marker to outline the lines you want to transfer to your film. These lines will be the ones you trace over on the contact paper. Make the lines heavy--you'll have to be able to see them through the paper backing on the contact paper. If you're using a magazine or other artwork with a dark or colored background, make a photocopy of the design to lighten up the background, then draw over the lines again to darken the ones you want to use.

Step 3 - Make Your Film

blue heart drawn with a marker

Tape your design to a table, counter or board so it doesn't shift around. Unroll the clear or etched/frosted contact paper and tape it over your design. Make sure you can see the lines of your design through the paper. If the design is too dark, improvise a "light table" by using a piece of glass or Plexiglas to tape your design to, then shine a light up from beneath the glass. You can use a glass table top and set a light beneath that if needed.

Using your paint pen, draw directly onto the contact film. Once the paint dries, your design will now be on the outer surface of the contact paper.

Step 4 - Apply Your Film

Clean your window or glass surface thoroughly, making sure NOT to use an ammonia or vinegar based cleaner. It will dissolve the adhesive on the contact paper/film. Make sure the paint on the contact paper is dry. Use your scissors, or a ruler and razor to cut the film to fit your window pane. Peel the paper backing off of your contact paper and apply the film to your window. Begin by lining up the top edge of the film to the top edge of the window. Apply carefully, going slowly. It's possible to lift and replace the contact paper/film, but each time you do, you risk cracking the paint or getting creases in the film. Smooth the contact paper/film down with your squeegee as you go to remove bubbles and improve adhesion.