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Bathroom Mini-Renovation {Part 2: The Window}

The crusade to update the bathroom continues! Flooring and wall treatments are in the works, but step one for the window is complete.  I’m excited to share an awesome idea from Ashley at 7th House on the Left that can create privacy for any window. As with most projects, there’s usually a balance between time and money. You can pay a lot and get it done quickly, or you can take the cheaper route and spend more time. This DIY project was definitely the latter.

Upclose privacy window

First things first, the window before:

Window with curtains

These were the curtains I hung as soon as we moved in to provide privacy and hide a window that didn’t have any trim or caulk or really even an attached sill. Even though the curtains are white, the fabric is thick and they blocked a lot of natural light and made the  window sill a generally useless space, which in a bathroom as small as ours (about 6×6), is pretty silly. Initially, I searched and searched for a pre-made adhesive window film. After seeing inexpensive, but generally hideous and/or plain patterns for quite some time, I came across some stunning films from Emma Jeffs at 2Jane.

Emma Jeffs Otto Film

Emma Jeffs’ Otto Film

Emma Jeffs Orba Film

  Emma Jeffs’ Orba Film

Gorgeous right? Absolutely. However, a single large sheet costs $115 (aka 76% of my budget). Onto the next idea…the DIY window film.

supplies for window

First, I gathered supplies. Scissors, X-ACTO blade, pattern template (link below), clear contact paper, and glass cleaner (learn to make your own glass cleaner here).

I printed the template and traced and cut out around 25 of them. The tracing and cutting process took somewhere around 3 hours, but it doesn’t exactly require all of your mental faculties so I just watched a lot of Desperate Housewives on Netflix (don’t judge me). Then, after very thoroughly cleaning the window I started my pattern at the bottom of the window in the exact middle. Then, I moved up to create a full line and worked my way out.

During window screen

If I wasn’t doing this for a bathroom window and privacy wasn’t a requirement, I like the look of just the middle of the window being covered with the pattern. But, that’s not the case so I continued on. And, 40 minutes later…

Bathroom window after with text

I absolutely love this window. I can still see outside, the room gets plenty of light, the pattern looks pretty from the outside, I gained much needed storage space, and the total project cost was $6. It’s a win-win-win-win-win.

To see before pictures of the entire bathroom, visit Bathroom Mini-Reno {Part 1}. To see the storage solution that will sit on the newly accessible window sill, you can visit DIY Bathroom Storage. Lastly, for the full instructions and a downloadable template, click here. Thank you, Ashley!

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a great look and the cost–unbelievable…
    thanks for sharing such a fabulous idea~

    July 6, 2013
    • Thank you! I think the idea itself is pretty adaptable to any interlocking pattern, so if the Moroccan tiles aren’t your preference you could definitely switch it up.

      July 10, 2013
  2. Chris #

    Thanks for linking this from Apartment therapy – what is removal like for this stuff? I rent, and I want to make sure it comes off nice and clean!

    July 10, 2013
    • Hey Chris,

      It actually doesn’t have any adhesive backing, so it is as easy as peeling off each cutout piece. Incredibly renter friendly! Thanks 🙂

      July 10, 2013
  3. Gina #


    Great idea! The contact plastic thingy on my bathroom window peeled right off and I had issues putting it back on. Awesome alternative and I love the pattern!

    Thanks 🙂

    July 16, 2013
    • Hey Gina,
      Glad you like it! The template really made it so easy. Now, I’m trying to come up with a different pattern for a window I have in my kitchen that doesn’t have a lot of privacy.

      July 17, 2013
  4. Patricia #

    So beautiful! I have a window box in my shower and I am over having shower curtains on each side of me. How does the contact paper hold up with steam and moisture? Thanks for sharing!

    August 22, 2013
    • Hi Patricia,
      So far, it’s holding up perfectly. But, I am waiting until winter time to really see if it can stand up to steam since hot showers are kept to an absolute minimum during the summer. Also, my window is a few feet from the shower so it isn’t getting the brunt of the moisture. Before cutting all of these little “tiles” out, it might be worth it to cut a few simple shapes out and stick them to the window and see how they hold up? Hope that helps – Good luck! 🙂

      September 9, 2013
  5. Sue Ann #

    Hi Patricia, do you think that it could be spaced closer together, or would the pattern be off.? Thanks, Sue

    March 11, 2019

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Bathroom Mini-Renovation {Part 3: DIY Shower Storage} | So pretty is as pretty does.
  2. Privacy Window: Part II | So Pretty is as Pretty Does.
  3. Bathroom Window – “Frosted Glass” | An Engineer & a Pinner

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