Monday, January 21, 2013

Switch plates

I have had a little list of simple home improvement tasks hanging on the door right next to my computer since last summer. These are such easy things that they have slipped through every crack and never gotten accomplished. How does this happen?? I decided to tackle the "new kitchen outlet covers" item at long last. My kitchen is painted fire engine red, with black and copper accents. I recently came across some terrific fabric that complemented these colors perfectly:

"Byzantium Wavy Stripe" by Makower UK. (I used the upper color.)

I have decoupaged fabric to customize switchplates in my hallway and living room before, and it comes out great. It's also a terrific way to use those beautiful designs in even more places in your home.
Triple switch in my's like I'm giving you a home tour, right?
Although it only takes a few minutes to glue a 6" square of fabric onto a switch plate cover, it takes a bit of finagling to cut the holes and let the fabric dry into the correct position. It turns out that the standard switch cutouts are exactly the same width as a popsicle stick, so for those I just wedged in a stack of the boys' craft sticks. I hadn't done outlet covers before, so I had to find something that would hold the not-quite-circular shape open. What I eventually used was a snippet of the cheap-o bargain-store foam pipe insulation that I have used for painting circles, and which are also handy as whacking swords if you know anyone in the five-to-eleven-year-old demographic.

The job requires a few coats of Mod Podge so they will be sturdy enough to be cleaned after sticky little boy fingers paw all over them. I have eight separate switches and outlets in the kitchen, so I'm still not entirely finished, but the first five are now installed, two more are drying, and only the larger double-switch plate remains. Here's a photo of the first two in situ:


  1. Those look great - nice idea. Our switches here are different, as I'm sure you know, so I'm not sure you could decoupage one. Perhaps you could still do so... Will you do any with the gold fabric?

    1. Unfortunately I don't have the gold color, just the black. (It was the only photo of the fabric I could find online.) Maybe you could do this for UK outlets if you turned the edges of the circle cutout, like a reverse applique, BEFORE you glued it down...?

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! Even the boys noticed (and claimed to like them)!