Turn On the Style: 11 DIY Switch Plate Upgrades

Plastic isn’t always fantastic, and most standard light switch plates can be a total snooze. With a little DIY care, these often-overlooked elements of your home can be turned into design opportunities. From simple upgrades using materials like tape and Sharpie markers, to more involved methods such as detail painting, there is a switch plate design idea suitable for every skill level. Safely remove the plate from the wall while you are working on it, and when you are finished, be sure that there are no loose pieces hanging on the back that could get caught in the electrical wires. Whether your personal style is classic, cute, outrageous, or even humorous, let these stunning switch plate makeovers provide you with some inspiration.

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  1. On a Roll


    Washi tape, a crafting material similar to masking tape, is an easy way to dress up a switch plate. Because the material is so forgiving, you can peel and restick if you need to realign a pattern. The temporary nature of this makeover is perfect for renters or those who just have commitment issues.


  2. Touch of Gold


    The average plastic switch plate costs less than a dollar, but adding some gold leaf can make it look like a million bucks. Use painter’s tape to section off a portion of the plate, and brush on a coat of gold leaf sizing (adhesive) and allow it to partially dry. Firmly press on the gold leaf foil and seal it with a thin layer of Mod Podge.

    Related: How To Decoupage


  3. Tight Knit


    “Yarn bombing” is a style of public street art in which unusual objects, such as tree branches or bike racks, are wrapped in knitted or crocheted yarn. Bring a bit of the movement home with you by yarn bombing a switch plate for a soft, textural aesthetic.

    flickr.com / -leethal-

  4. Pleasing Plaid


    For a stylish switch plate that is not too froofy, consider adding a piece of plaid wool fabric. Simply cut a fabric piece slightly larger than the plate, cut out a rectangle for the switch, notch out the corners to create a clean fold, and glue in place around the back. Make sure to also cut out small holes for the screws.


  5. Glow in the Dark


    This DIY switch plate is made by pouring resin mixed with glow-in-the-dark powder pigments into a premade mold. Adding drops of blue dye makes the switch plate look appealing in the daytime too.


  6. May the Force Be with You


    If you’ve got a Sharpie marker and five minutes of free time, you can make a geek-tastic switch plate that is sure to get a laugh. This Star Wars–inspired design allows you to oscillate between a light side and a dark side, just like the Force.


  7. Disappearing Act


    If you are handy with a paintbrush, you can have some fun painting your switch plate to camouflage with the wall behind it. This can be especially fun if you are trying to match wall treatments like tiles or stonework. If you are less artistically inclined, simply painting the entire plate the same color as your wall will do the trick.


  8. Decoupage Details


    Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book pages, or even something you printed yourself. Simply cut the paper to a size slightly larger than the plate, notch out the corners, use an X-Acto knife to cut the inner rectangle, and glue in place.


  9. Steampunk Style


    If you are not afraid of fire, this DIY switch plate could be for you. To create a steampunk-inspired design, the creator took spare gears and soldered them onto a brass switch plate with a blowtorch. Using a glue that will adhere to metal is an alternative for those less keen on welding.


  10. Peel-and-Stick


    This DIY uses an electronic cutting tool sold in craft stores that is able to make pieces of peel-and-stick vinyl with the help of a computer program. The fine geometric pattern design, made of shiny gold vinyl, turns a simple white switch plate into a luxe conversation piece.


  11. Anything Goes


    One of the best things about making a DIY switch plate, is that you can really let loose and have fun with it. Because the plastic plates are so cheap and easy to replace, you can create wild designs and always replace them later. Kids can even get in on the fun by adding their own flair, such as in this design made from Lego pieces.

    Related: 12 Fresh Ideas for Your Kids' Room


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