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The original tile tattoos: Vintage Con-Tact self-adhesive tile appliques

I am cleaning out my basement “museum” and came across these lovelies: Vintage vinyl decals by Con-Tact designed to turn blah tile into flower power awesome tile. I have four designs in my collection >> 

I put them up in my own bathroom just to see how they worked. Even after all these decades unopened, the adhesive stickiness still worked. The decals look really good — really natural — on the tile: Unless you looked really closely, you would think each tile was a ceramic-fired design.

In addition, it seems that the vinyl will come off easily, if you pry your fingernail under one edge. That is, the adhesive is easy-on, easy peel-off. But, the decal won’t come off on its own.

On the back of each package, Con-Tact gave you lots of suggestions about how to use these tile tattoos. It also notes they are waterproof and not affected by steam. I’m going to leave these up in my bathroom for a while and see how they do.

As I said, I have four designs in all. Even though I want to hoard them — for art projects or maybe another weebit apartment in the future — I think I’ll be putting these up on ebay soon. I need to lighten up the “museum”.

I googled and found that “tile tattoos” are a thing today. It’s fun to see their Con-Tact brand historical antecedents: Sock it to me baby, let it all hang out! 

  1. Wendellyn Plummer says:

    Those are great. I used some in a kitchen of a rental I had in the 1990’s. When I moved, I just peeled them up and away I went. Remember when they had the Mural’s of tiles? I bought some of those in the 1990’s and even some about a year ago for my 1965 kitchen. I got those at the Everything For A Dollar Store. You guessed it, for a buck!!

  2. Katie says:

    Its also really easy to get custom vinyl stickers printed, if you can’t find enough originals to complete a project.

  3. Karin says:

    I just found a new thing to look for. These decals are so pretty and fresh. They would be a wonderful addition to a 70s style kitchen.

  4. Carolyn says:

    The package shows putting them on kitchen surfaces. I imagine these would work only on completely/fairly smooth surfaces like laminated wood but not on wood cabinets?
    I can see the daisies on large bathroom mirrors – those outside edges cry out for something since you need the proportionate mirror to fill the wall but then it just kinda sits there except where your face is.
    What a cute inexpensive way to get “mod” touches without making a commitment! Gawd! I wish I hadn’t been so young when I was younger – missed out on a lot of stuff I didn’t know about til now. Eh? If it wasn’t The Monkees or Bobby Sherman, then it didn’t exist.

  5. Pam Kueber says:

    I haven’t tried one on a wood surface yet, but tend to think they would look best on tiles. Even though Con-Tact shows them on cabinetry, my fear would be that you would see the edge of clear vinyl. The edge is not prominent on a 4.25×4.25 tile.

    I think that if you wanted a similar effect on cabinetry, a water release decal would be better. But then, I don’t know how easily removable those are.

  6. Phyllis says:

    Cute but the adhesive will peel after a couple years. But I hope someone makes real glazed tiles with these designs, which are freaking AWESOME.

  7. Pam Kueber says:

    Hi Martha, I just put them on ebay if you’re interested in taking a look. I won’t post the listing info here – just search ’em.

  8. Susan D says:

    We did sort of the reverse when we bought our house – covered up u*** [edited] peach & blue “country style” 80’s accent tiles on our kitchen backsplash with solid red, green, yellow, and black squares we cut from ConTac paper. They held up for almost 20 years until we finally did a full remodel.

  9. Ginny says:

    We did this too for some randomly placed fruit, nuts, and flower tiles that are truly unattractive. I ordered mine online (StickPretty) and they look **so much better**.

    I covered the mini-mural behind the stove with a lovely aluminum tray. I used fishing line to loop the handles and secure it to two screws in the vent hood.

    With both, the early-90s tiles have vanished!

  10. Maria says:

    You can make your own with a digital cutter like silhouette cameo & oracal vinyl, it’s made in semi permanent & permanent.they can be put on wood,walls,glass,etc.

  11. Leah says:

    Ha! I’ve been peeling these off of the original 1930s tiles all morning! Any idea when these came out? I had the orange/brown ones. I much prefer the plain tile.

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