Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Decorate your light switch covers.

I think generic light switch covers are so ugly.  Our living room has a double light switch, and the first time I saw that huge ivory-colored plastic cover I knew it would have to go.  So I cut a piece of illustration board, grabbed my acrylic paints, glue, an art card, and made a new cover.  That was 15 years ago, and it's still on our wall.

Over the years I've covered almost every light switch in our house.  This one I wrapped with origami paper.

 I made one from clay.

I even etched a design onto a thin sheet of metal, and covered the outlets in our bathroom.

It's so easy to make your own decorative cover.  I'll show you two light switch covers that I made for just pennies a piece!  You'll need some illustration board (I bought a sheet from our local craft store for less than $4.00), a ruler, pencil, a cutting blade, glue, and a decorative postcard.  I'll use two postcards I received free from the Washington State History Museum.

To begin measure and cut pieces of the illustration board to fit the postcard.  Then trace the light switch and screw openings onto the back side of the card, and cut them out.

Place the postcard onto the illustration board, trace the openings, and cut them out.  The illustration board is pretty sturdy so don't try to cut through the board in one stroke.  Use medium-hard pressure on the blade, and slowly go over the line several times to cut the light switch opening.

For the holes I find it easier to cut partway through the board, and then carefully screw the metal screw through the rest of the board.

Spread the glue over the entire surface of the illustration board, and then place the postcard over it.  I like to use Elmer's gel glue because it gives me time to reposition the image if necessary.  Firmly press the card to the illustration board to join them together.  Then all you have to do is screw your new cover to light switch!  Be careful not to tighten the screws too tightly to avoid bending the cover.  Your new cover will not sit flush against the wall.

I repeated the process for the second cover.  I think they both came out great!

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