In school we were taught that cotton is king, however, in part of my world, contact paper is king. I grew up with a very crafty mother that sewed, painted, bejeweled, and used everyday things to make things for me. I wanted a GI Joe headquarters, what I got instead was a bunch of shoe boxes and a paper towel tube. Back then I was jealous of friends that had the real thing, but looking back I appreciate what my mom did for me. Not only was she saving money on something that I really didn’t need, she showed me that you can take something simple and turn it into something very cool.
One of her favorite tools was contact paper. Some people have duct tape, my mother had contact paper. She had various colors and patterns. From simple white to simulated walnut. If something needed covered (and protected) quickly, contact paper was (and still is) the route to take. As I grew up and started to enjoy my own crafting I naturally looked to contact paper as a cheap alternative to, well…everything.
Need stickers? Contact paper.
Book cover? Contact paper.
Magnets? Contact paper.
Guitar Hero designs?
Wait, huh? Guitar Hero?
Yes, when the Guitar Hero bug bit me one of the first things I did was look to customizing my little plastic guitar. The game came with cheap stickers but those hardly did the trick. The other option was paint or Sharpies. In my world, paint and markers are just a little too permanent. I’m a crafter that likes to fiddle so I’m never really done with anything. Or, in the rare cases where I do finish, I get tired of it quickly and constantly tear it down and redo it. Contact paper, however, is the perfect middle ground - it’s just permanent enough but still easy enough to remove if you want.
My first GH contact paper project used a sheet of white contact paper as a base, on which I drew with markers, then covered it with clear contact paper for protection. At the time I thought it looked pretty boss, and maybe it still does, but I got tired of it and looked for a new look. I dug out the contact paper once again for a new design and this one turned out really cool and remains on the GH2 controller to this day. It’s called Flurry and is just straight white contact paper. I traced a design and cut it out - instant sticker.
I wanted to share my methods with other crafty gamers so AngryEdison.com was born out of that desire. Angry Edison is the band name I used in the game (and still use on-line to this day).
Then when GH3 came out and along with it the Les Paul model so did a new canvas for custom contact paper creations. With a white removable faceplate it was the customizers dream and around me sat rolls of contact paper and a pile of Sharpie markers. I had fun this time and drew up several designs, one of my favorites being Drago from “Rocky IV.”
Cotton is great, but contact paper will always be king in my craft book. It’s easy, cheap, and very forgiving. I’m sure I’m preaching the choir here at TDS about the perks of contact paper, but it was contact paper that led me to brief internet fame, at least within the GH3 tournament people. And for that, I thank you contact paper. I hope all you crafters out there can turn your fun and games into brief notoriety too. Some of you already have.
I’m Brian, known to at least dozens as Morning Toast. I write over at MorningToast.com about games, toys, cartoons and web stuff. I also co-host a weekly radio show with my wife that you can find over at CAVEradioLive.com. We talk about all sorts of nerd stuff including craftiness, and we talk about TDS all the time so I hope you’ll stop by and read and listen.