I surround myself with color, detail, and anything that may be a great conversation piece. So, having plain white light and outlet plate covers screamed BORING in my mind!
The big box hardware stores did nothing to help me, and the small box hardware stores did not have my ‘style’. Designing my own was the way I needed to go, and I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it was.
Our DIY plate covers are slowly covering every light switch in our little home, bringing special character to each one. I have made some using pages out of a magazine, wrapping paper, & scrapbook paper, and each option has been easy to work with.
A standard US plate cover measure 3 1/2 x 5 inches, and to guarantee that the cover is going to be completely covered I make my cuts 1/8 of an inch more on each side.
When I first started making them I was using scissors to cut the material, but I found that using a paper cutter was giving me not only straighter cuts, it was taking a lot less the time.
Most scrapbook cutters are light weight, compact, and will cut up to 5 pages at a time.
The only materials we use are Mod Podge and sponge brushes, and I will say that I LOVE Mod Podge….I absolutely love the stuff! It is available in gloss, matte, tinted for an antique finish, and tints of color. The sponge brushes apply an even coat, and trust me, you do not want to use any other type of brush. These do not cause as much streaking to your work.
You are now ready to do some gluing! Apply the Mod Podge to the front of the plate cover, then add the precut paper evenly to the cover. It doesn’t have to be perfectly even, as long as each side is completely covered you will be fine.
However, it does get a bit tricky when the print needs to line up evenly. I use a very traditional method of holding my work up to a light to ensure that it lines up….yeah, I am the type that will eyeball it and so far it has worked out in my favor!
Remove any air bubbles by using another high tech tool, your finger; give the entire surface a good rub. One day soon I will purchase the application roller, but until then I will continue to rely on my pointy finger to do the job.
TIP: do not apply the Mod Podge to thick, and allow it to dry for about 30 seconds prior to applying paper; it becomes tackier as it sits. IF the glue dried to fast, you may apply another thin coat.
In order to allow the corners to fold nicely, I cut a notch; diagonal and then straight. I know, reading this is NOT helpful…good thing I have photos!
You can now begin gluing down the sides. I always start with the pointy cut first tucking in the corners; this allows for the entire corner to be covered. I then glue down the other sides.
My final cut will be the hole where the actual switch is. I cut an X, apply the Mod Podge onto the paper and the plate, then gently working each piece into place.
Through trial and error I learned to allow the plate cover to dry for 30 minutes prior to apply the final coat of Mod Podge. The reason behind this is to see if any air bubbles have formed. If for some reason some have formed, you can take a razor blade and cut a very small incision to remove them.
You are now ready for you final step! Apply a light coat of Mod Podge to the front and sides of the plate, set it aside and allow it dry for a few hours. Once it is no longer tacky consider it dry and ready to go back up.
There you have it, you own customized plate cover!
And you will be happy to know that the total material cost is less than .50 per plate cover, BUT if you use pages from a magazine or paper that you already have, and use existing covers, your out of pocket cost is less than .05 per plate cover!