DIY Do it yourself Clumsy

DIY for Clumsies – Five foolproof tips for Contact Paper success!

Sometimes we see things on the internet. Sometimes we want to try those things out. This segment chronicles the journey of one incredibly undextrous woman’s attempts to make beautiful things, often to disastrous results. Sometimes against all odds, those results are good.

Contact Paper Success bird
Soar high you beautiful, successful bird, soaaaaar.

If you read a lot of DIY (Do it yourself) articles, you might have already seen a number of useful suggestions for contact paper. For people from different countries, contact paper is a vinyl type plasticky paper that is sticky on one side and patterned on the other, a little like self sticking wallpaper. If you’re in Canada you can get nice patterns of contact paper at Dollarama for only $2.50 a roll.

Speaking of rolls, roll to the bottom of the article for my five foolproof tips on success when using Contact Paper, but you’ll be missing a wild ride.

To sum up the relation between Contact paper and DIY, it goes like this; Stick that mother-fudger on everything! Got a bare wall? Contact Paper. Mother-in-law coming for tea? Wrap her in contact paper so she can’t talk! Wife wants to know why you won’t sign the divorce papers, cover her car in contact paper, with her new boyfriend inside! Children are hungry? You can survive on contact paper, losers!

Contact Paper success sad boy
“But mummy I’m hungry.” “Not my problem, small person, I’m busy with my new child; Contact Paper.”

So I was in a rather unique situation that not a lot of people are in, since I decided to stick some of my frames on an outcrop of small wall for a unique and slightly crazy look.

Contact paper success spirited away art my parrot art
What a perfect place to portray just the maximum amount of crazy cat lady, said everyone ever.

The problem was that even though the frames looked amazing (in my ‘already confirmed to be nuts’ opinion), when walking into the room the ugly backs of the frame could be seen.

Contact Paper success Bare frames
Special guest; My cat Cornelius.

As with all of life’s problems there was a solution and that solution was *drumroll* Contact Paper!!!

I inadvertently forgot to start taking photos until half way through, but here is the result.

Contact Paper success covered frame
If you’re like me, you’re gonna want to measure really roughly and lazily and encounter many problems because of it.

I decided to only cover the visible half because I figured if I was going to get out of my chair to do this I might as well half-ass it. At this point, in classic Lorna fashion, I realized I’d covered the wrong half and was forced to peel it up and reapply it to the other side. No harm, no foul though, it all worked out in the end. And to my credit, it did look a million times better. I mean what’s better than seeing the back of a frame?

All together now: CONTACT PAPER!

Contact paper success complete
“I feel like I’m missing something”, said the lower frame, “there’s just a gap in my life, you know?”

Even though the frame situation is a little unlikely, don’t stop reading folks, cause I’ve got a DIY trick with contact paper that isn’t scarily specific. Since I’d already stood up for the day and had a reasonable amount of contact paper left over, I decided to take my own advice and throw Contact Paper on some more furniture and appliances.

Like the top of my Washer/Dryer set!

Contact Paper success covered washer dryer
Oooh snazzy!

And this corner shelf unit that barely had a corner to call it’s own and brazenly flashed it’s bare bum at all my guests:

Contact paper success half covered wood
Less of a before picture and more of a middle picture.
Contact Paper success Finished corner cabinet
An actual after picture!

At this point I ran out of both Contact Paper and the will to live, so let me leave you with Lorna’s five foolproof Contact Paper tips:

Contact Paper success pinterest tips
Five tips for Contact Paper Success!

1. Measure: Dear Glob, measure. Do not just ‘estimate’ measure and pre-cut your contact paper for the surface you want covered and thank me later. Don’t forget to take and strange shapes or hardware into account!

2. Get Help: Not medical help, rope in a friend or hated one to help you. Peeling the backing off, while lining it up and trying to avoid air bubbles can be tricky.

3. Watch out for Air bubbles: After gently applying the edges of the paper onto the surface and making sure it’s primed to line up, fetch your second person. When laying it down have one person hold it taut and the other person pushing it down to stick on the surface. Rub from the centre outwards in a smooth motion to avoid air bubbles.

4. Peel: If you do get bubbles, peel it up and try again before giving up. Be picky, or you won’t like the end result. Keep going and the air bubbles are stuck forever.

5. Know your surface: If it’s something like a washing machine you pretty much have unlimited leeway to stick and re-stick, unvarnished wood will stick to the paper, giving you limited tries.

What’s your biggest DIY success or the most recent thing you’ve thrown some Contact Paper at? Let us know in the comments!

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Contact Paper Success Ostrich
Don’t let the innocent eyelashes fool you.

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Montreal based Scot who writes about tech, beauty, DIY, Plus size issues, fashion, video games, life, how to be frugal and many more.