Tutorial Tuesday: DIY Light Switch Covers

Get out your scissors, grab the paint brushes, and dig out the old magazines: we’re going to beautify your light switch covers! Fancy light switch covers are really expensive, and limited to what stores can carry. Why not totally customize them to suit your whimsy, mood, season or room? No reason why not: this tutorial sets the stage for you home’s transformation from bla to shabang! Just imagine, heads of lettuce or heirloom tomatoes adorning the garbage disposal switch plate, old dress patterns in your sewing room, flower blooms in the garage or coloring pages in your kiddos’ room. Sounds like fun, right? Let’s do it!

Materials needed:

  • The sticky: Elmer’s glue OR Mod Podge OR acrylic gel medium. I highly recommend Mod Podge or Gel Medium, as the Elmer’s just wasn’t cutting the mustard
  • Old magazines, sewing patterns, book pages, etc. Look for colorful or interesting images on lightweight paper NOT cover weight.
  • A paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper for protecting your work surface
  • Screw driver
  • Creativity!

Thanks to my folks for providing the switch plate and the laundry room for this tutorial. Mama #2 wanted something lovely and Dad wanted something ‘tye dye.’ We ended up finding a neat photograph of butterflies from Sunset magazine. The photo was a bit small: you want to find an image that extends at least 1 inch around the edges of your switch plate. Once you find that perfect image (or images – try a collage!), grab your pen and scissors.

Start by marking the corners of your switch plate.

Cut the paper out for easy working, then snip from the corners in a bit, to create tabs. Cut like this illustration, not the way Dad did it.

Paint a thin coat of sticky onto the face plate, and on the back of the image.

Lay the faceplate face down on your image and center it, carefully smoothing the tabs along the back of the switch plate. Flip it over and smooth out the bubbles and paint another coat of sticky directly onto the image (it’s a good idea to test the water solubleness of your image first).

Poke through the screw holes and slice from the inner corners of the switch hole and smooth the paper back around to the back of the switch plate.


So, i must admit: i was rushed, ready to eat dinner, and lacking some really good sticky to use. I highly recommend using gel medium or Mod Podge, and choose glossy if you want it shiny and washable, or matte if you want it more subtle. Be careful to smooth the lumps out as it dries, and paint a few more coats over the top to ensure good washability.

What would you like to decorate your kitchen light and outlet switches with? Veggies? Old cookbook pages?



Filed under DIY, Home, Tutorial

2 Responses to Tutorial Tuesday: DIY Light Switch Covers

  1. Jen

    This is great! I used your template. Elmer’s makes a spray bond that I used underneath. It’s nice because its so light it doesn’t bubble. Then I used mod podge glossy on top. I used pages from a really old Sears and Roebuck catalog my grandmother had and love the outcome. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Awesome! Thanks for posting that comment, Jen! Glad it worked for you. I still have big plans of covering rooms with these light switch covers but haven’t gotten to it yet.
    Miranda recently posted…Corgi Friends!

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