21 Best Contact Paper Alternatives: Affordable and Easy Solutions

Last updated on November 9, 2023

Discover a world of creative possibilities as we explore various contact paper alternatives to transform your home and craft projects.

peel and stick wallpaper

Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank wall or a tired piece of furniture, wishing you could give it a fresh new look without breaking the bank? If so, you’re in luck! There’s a versatile and affordable solution that can transform just about anything: contact paper. This self-adhesive material comes in countless colors and patterns, making it easy to add personality to your home decor.

However, if you’re looking for something different or want to avoid the hassle of applying contact paper, there are plenty of alternatives out there. In this article, we’ll explore some creative options that will help you achieve the same stunning results without relying on traditional contact paper.

Let’s dive in!

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper is a fantastic alternative to traditional wallpaper and contact paper. It’s easy to apply, remove, and reposition without damaging your walls or leaving any residue behind.

Plus, it comes in an endless variety of patterns and colors that can add personality to any room.

One of the best things about peel-and-stick wallpaper is its versatility. You can use it on an accent wall for a bold statement or cover an entire room for a cohesive look.

It’s also perfect for renters who want to personalize their space without making permanent changes.

Another benefit of peel-and-stick wallpaper is its durability. Unlike traditional wallpaper that may tear or fade over time, this material holds up well against wear and tear while maintaining its vibrant color.

When choosing peel-and-stick wallpaper, consider the texture as well as the pattern you want to achieve your desired effect fully.

Fabric Wall Coverings

fabric panels for walls

Not only do they add texture and warmth to your space, but they can also be easily removed or changed out when you’re ready for a new look.

One option is to use fabric panels that are designed specifically for walls. These panels come in various sizes and colors, making it easy to create custom designs or patterns on your walls.

Simply apply adhesive strips or hooks onto the back of the panel and hang them up like wallpaper.

Another option is to use regular fabric as a wall covering by applying liquid starch directly onto the wall surface before smoothing out the fabric over it. This method allows you more freedom with pattern choices since any type of lightweight cotton material will work well with this technique.

Vinyl Wall Decals

Vinyl Decals wall

They come in various designs, sizes, and colors that can add personality to any room. These decals are easy to apply and remove without damaging the walls or leaving residue behind.

One of the best things about vinyl wall decals is their versatility. You can use them as an accent piece or create an entire mural on your wall with multiple decals.

They’re perfect for renters who want to personalize their space without making permanent changes.

Another advantage of vinyl wall decals is that they’re affordable compared to other home decor options like wallpaper or paint. Plus, you don’t need any special tools or skills – just peel off the backing paper and stick it onto your desired surface!

Washi Tape Accents

Washi Tape

This decorative adhesive tape comes in countless colors, patterns, and widths, making it easy to add personality to your home decor without committing to a permanent change. Use washi tape accents on walls for an eye-catching feature or create custom designs on furniture pieces like dressers or bookshelves.

One of the best things about using washi tape is that it’s easy to remove if you make a mistake or want to switch up your design later on. Plus, since it’s not as strong as other adhesives like duct tape or masking tape, you can use it safely on delicate surfaces without worrying about damage.

To get started with washi tapes accents in your home decor projects:

  1. Choose the right width: Washi tapes come in various widths ranging from 3mm-50mm; choose one that suits the size of area you want covered.
  2. Plan out your design: Sketch out what pattern/designs/shape etc., before applying them onto any surface.
  3. Experiment with different color combinations: Mix and match different colors/patterns until you find something that works well together.
  4. Apply carefully but confidently : Apply each strip carefully but confidently so they don’t wrinkle up while sticking them down
  5. Step back & admire! : Once done stick back & admire how much difference such small details can make!

DIY Stencils and Paint

Paint and Wall Stencils

With just a few supplies, you can create custom designs that perfectly match your style. Start by choosing the surface you want to stencil – it could be anything from a wall or piece of furniture to a pillow or canvas.

Next, find or create the design you want to use as your stencil. You can print out images online, draw them freehand on paper, or use pre-made stencils from craft stores.

Once you have your design ready, cut it out carefully using an X-Acto knife (or purchase adhesive vinyl sheets for easier cutting). Then place the stencil onto your chosen surface and secure with painter’s tape if needed.

Now comes the fun part: painting! Use acrylic paint in any color(s) of choice along with foam brushes for best results. Dab lightly over each section of the stencil until fully covered but avoid saturating too much at once which may cause bleeding under edges.

Temporary Wall Tiles

Temporary Wall Tiles

These peel-and-stick tiles come in various materials such as metal, glass, or stone-look finishes that can transform any room into a stylish space.

One of the best things about these tiles is their ease of installation. You don’t need any special tools or skills; just clean the surface where you want them installed and stick them on! They’re also removable without damaging the wall underneath.

Another advantage is that they can be used in areas with high humidity like bathrooms or kitchens since they are resistant to water damage. Plus, if one tile gets damaged over time, it’s easy enough to replace it with another one.

Removable Chalkboard Surface

Chalkboard Paint

These self-adhesive sheets can be cut to any size or shape, making them perfect for creating custom message boards, calendars, or even art pieces. Plus, they’re easy to install and remove without damaging your walls.

One of the best things about chalkboard surfaces is their versatility. You can use them in just about any room of the house – from the kitchen where you can jot down grocery lists and recipes; in kids’ rooms as a creative outlet; or even in home offices as an organizational tool.

To get started with this DIY project all you need is a roll of adhesive-backed chalkboard paper that’s available at most craft stores (or online). Simply measure out how much surface area you want covered on your wall before cutting it into strips with scissors or a utility knife.

Once cut-to-size peel off the backing paper from one end while pressing it onto your wall slowly smoothing out air bubbles along its length until fully adhered.

Decorative Tapestry Hangings

Fabric Wall Hangings

They’re a timeless way to bring color and pattern into your home, but they can also be quite expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable tapestry alternatives that will give you the same look without breaking the bank.

One option is decorative tapestry hangings. These lightweight fabrics come in a variety of sizes and designs, making them perfect for adding interest to any room in your home.

You can find everything from bohemian-inspired prints to modern geometric patterns.

To hang these tapestries, all you need is some adhesive strips or hooks – no nails required! This makes it easy to switch up your decor whenever you feel like it without damaging walls or leaving behind unsightly holes.

Decorative tapestry hangings are also great for renters who want an easy way to personalize their space without making permanent changes. Simply remove them when it’s time move out!

Magnetic Paint Options


This type of paint contains iron filings that allow magnets to stick directly onto the wall surface. You can use it as a fun way to display photos, artwork or even notes and reminders.

Magnetic paint is easy to apply with a roller or brush, but keep in mind that it requires several coats for optimal magnetism. Once dry, simply prime the surface with regular primer before painting over it with your desired color.

One thing worth noting is that magnetic paint tends not be as strong as traditional magnets on metal surfaces; however, they are still strong enough for lightweight items like paper and small objects such as keys or jewelry.

Adhesive Window Films

Adhesive Window Films

These films come in various patterns and textures, from frosted glass effects that obscure the view while still letting light through, to colorful stained-glass designs that can brighten up any room. They’re easy to apply and remove without leaving residue behind.

One of the best things about adhesive window films is their versatility. You can use them on any smooth surface besides windows – such as mirrors or even cabinet doors – for a unique look that’s all your own.

Plus, they offer added benefits like UV protection and insulation against heat loss during colder months.

Protective Cork Liners

cork liners for cabinet

Not only do they add texture and warmth to your decor, but they also protect surfaces from scratches and spills. Cork is naturally water-resistant, making it ideal for use in kitchens or bathrooms where moisture can be an issue.

Cork liners come in various sizes and thicknesses, so you can easily customize them to fit your needs. They’re easy to install – simply cut the liner with scissors or a utility knife to fit the desired area.

One of the best things about cork liners is that they’re versatile enough for use beyond just lining shelves or drawers. You can also use them as placemats on dining tables or as coasters under potted plants.

Colorful Shelving Paper

Contact Paper

This adhesive-backed paper comes in a variety of colors, prints, and textures that can be easily cut to fit any shelf size or shape. Not only does it add visual interest, but it also protects your shelves from scratches and spills.

One great thing about colorful shelving paper is its versatility – you can use it on bookshelves, kitchen cabinets, pantry shelves or even dresser drawers! It’s an affordable way to update the look of any room without investing too much time or money.

To apply colorful shelving paper simply measure the length and width of each shelf surface you want covered then cut out pieces accordingly. Peel off the backing sheet from one corner then carefully align with one edge before smoothing down across the entire surface area using a credit card or similar tool for best results.

Custom Photo Collages

Photo Collages home decor

This option is perfect for adding a personal touch to any room in your home. You can choose from various sizes and shapes of frames or canvas prints, depending on the space you have available.

To create an eye-catching photo collage, start by selecting photos that share similar colors or themes. For example, if you want to showcase family vacations at the beach, choose pictures with blue skies and sandy beaches as backgrounds.

Once you’ve selected your photos, arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing manner within the frame or canvas print. You can use different sizes of images and add decorative elements such as stickers or washi tape accents.

Creative Mirror Placements

Creative Mirror Placements

They can also be used as an alternative to traditional wall art, creating a unique focal point that reflects your personal style. Creative mirror placements can transform the look of your home without breaking the bank.

One idea is to group several small mirrors together on one wall for an eye-catching display. You could use different shapes and sizes or stick with uniform frames for a more cohesive look.

Another option is placing mirrors in unexpected places, such as behind shelves or above doorways. This adds interest while also making rooms appear larger than they actually are.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, consider using mirrored tiles on entire walls or even ceilings! This creates a stunning effect that’s sure to impress guests and make you feel like royalty in your own home.

No matter how you choose to incorporate mirrors into your decor scheme, remember that placement is key.

Dry Erase Wall Panels

Dry Erase Wall Panels

These panels come in various sizes and shapes and can be easily installed on any smooth surface. They provide a blank canvas that can be used over and over again with dry erase markers.

You can even create custom designs by cutting the panel into different shapes or adding borders with washi tape. Not only do these wall panels add functionality to your space, but they also serve as an eye-catching accent piece that will impress guests.

Whether you choose a sleek whiteboard look or opt for something more colorful like neon pink or blue-green metallic finish options available in some brands; there’s no limit to what you can achieve with this versatile material!

Adhesive Cork Liner

traditional cork boards

This versatile material can be used in a variety of ways, from lining drawers and shelves to creating unique wall art. Adhesive cork liner comes in rolls or sheets that are easy to cut into any shape or size you need.

One of the best things about using adhesive cork liner is its texture. The soft, porous surface provides excellent grip for items like dishes and glasses while also protecting surfaces from scratches and dings.

To use adhesive cork liner as wall decor, simply cut it into your desired shape (such as hexagons or circles) then peel off the backing paper before sticking it onto your walls. You can create a fun pattern by mixing different shapes together on one wall or keep it simple with just one shape repeated throughout the room.

Embossed Cabinet & Drawer Liner

This type of liner features raised patterns that create a tactile experience when opening and closing drawers or cabinets. Embossed liners come in various designs, from classic floral prints to modern geometric shapes, making it easy to find one that complements your decor style.

Not only do these liners look great, but they also protect the interior of your cabinets and drawers from scratches and spills. They are easy to install – simply measure the area you want to cover, cut the liner paper accordingly with scissors or a utility knife if needed, then peel off the backing paper before sticking it onto surfaces.

Embossed cabinet & drawer liners can be found at most home improvement stores as well as online retailers like Amazon.com.

Scented Floral Print Liner

Wall Skins

This adhesive paper comes in various colors and patterns, featuring beautiful floral designs that will make any space feel more inviting. Not only does it look great, but the scent also adds an extra layer of charm.

You can choose from different fragrances such as lavender or rose petals that will keep your clothes smelling fresh for weeks on end.

The best part about using scented floral print liner is its versatility; you can use it in almost any room in the house! Line your dresser drawers with this lovely paper to keep lingerie smelling sweetly all year round. Or place it inside kitchen cabinets where dishes are stored so they smell like freshly picked flowers every time they’re used.

Write-On Chalkboard Liner

Write-On Chalkboard Liner

This adhesive material can be applied to just about any surface, from walls and cabinets to tabletops and even the refrigerator. Once in place, it provides a smooth black surface that can be written on with chalk or liquid chalk markers.

One of the great things about write-on chalkboard liner is its versatility. You can use it as a message board in the kitchen or office, create custom labels for jars and containers, or even turn an entire wall into an interactive art space for kids (or adults!).

Plus, because it’s removable and repositionable like traditional contact paper alternatives we’ve discussed earlier in this article – you don’t have to worry about making permanent changes if you change your mind down the road.

To get started with write-on chalkboard liner projects at home:

  1. Measure out how much material you’ll need.
  2. Cut pieces of desired size.
  3. Peel off backing paper.
  4. Apply onto clean surfaces such as walls/cabinets/fridge etc., smoothing out any bubbles along the way
  5. Use regular white/chalk markers/liquid pens on top of them!

Flexible Plastic Cutting Boards

Plastic Cutting Boards

These thin and lightweight mats are made of food-grade polyethylene or similar materials that can withstand sharp knives without dulling them. They come in various colors and sizes, making it easy to designate different ones for meat, vegetables, fruits or other types of food.

One advantage of using flexible plastic cutting boards is their flexibility (as the name suggests). Unlike rigid wooden or plastic boards that require a flat surface to use effectively, these mats can bend and flex around corners or curves.

This makes them ideal for small kitchens where counter space is limited.

Another benefit is their ease of cleaning. Flexible plastic cutting boards are dishwasher safe (top rack only) but also easy to wash by hand with soap and water.

Plus they take up minimal storage space when not in use – simply roll them up like a yoga mat!

Overall if you want an inexpensive yet functional option for your kitchen prep work then consider adding some flexible plastic cutting board sheets into your cooking routine!


What can be used instead of contact paper?

Instead of contact paper, one can use clear packing tape and wax paper.

Is peel-and-stick laminate the same as contact paper?

Yes, peel-and-stick laminate is the same as contact paper, as both terms refer to a material used to change the appearance of countertops without major renovations.

Can you use peel-and-stick wallpaper instead of contact paper?

Yes, you can use peel-and-stick wallpaper instead of contact paper as it is similar to large-scale contact paper and offers a temporary, inexpensive solution for adding color to walls.

Is adhesive vinyl the same as contact paper?

Adhesive vinyl and contact paper are similar, as contact paper is a type of self-adhesive vinyl designed for various applications and surfaces.

What are eco-friendly alternatives to contact paper for lining shelves and drawers?

Eco-friendly alternatives to contact paper for lining shelves and drawers include using recycled paper, cloth, cork, or bamboo liners.

How do the durability and ease of application compare between contact paper and its alternatives?

Contact paper generally offers greater durability and ease of application compared to its alternatives.

Can fabric with a sprayed adhesive be used as a substitute for contact paper in DIY projects?

Yes, fabric with a sprayed adhesive can be used as a substitute for contact paper in DIY projects.


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