Hey friends, welcome to another beginner-friendly diy project for the Less Is More Series! Once a month a few amazing home bloggers get together and share some simple and budget-friendly diy projects with you. This month, I am sharing a fun way to make a custom light switch plate! And make sure to follow the project link for Windmill & Protea at the end too!
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Inspiration For The Plate Cover
In my son’s bedroom, there is a switch plate with a tiger on it that belonged to my husband as a kid. My son loves it. It’s different than the rest of our boring white plate covers. And he loves it even more now that tigers are his favourite animal. It’s fun for them to have a little personality in such a simple thing.
I recently transformed a spare room into a nursery for our newest family member and decided to give it one more diy project. Her own custom switch plate cover. There’s a bit of a floral theme happening in her room. I picked a flower that’s also in her wall decal figuring it would be fitting for a custom plate too. The winning flower is a peony. They come in so many colour options that I could easily use the coral pinks that are present throughout the nursery.
Here’s the Supply List
Step 1: Find Your Design
I researched some peony line art drawings to get an idea of what a basic peony design would look like. This was easily done on Pinterest. I then used that concept to draw out a peony with a pen on the cover plate.
You don’t have to necessarily go with a peony. Or even a flower. It could be geometric shapes, a landscape, a car, a name, or a cartoon! The best part about this diy is that it’s completely customizable.
Step 2: Draw Your Design Outline
Once you have your design picked out then you can draw it on your cover plate. I used a black ink pen. You could also use a marker for this. The nice thing about using a black ink pen was I could easily wipe away a line that I didn’t like. If you aren’t as certain of your art skills you could try to print out a drawing scaled down to fit on your plate cover. Lay the picture over your cover plate and use a permanent marker to outline your design. Hopefully, the marker ink will pass through onto switch plate.
Step 3: Fill In The Spaces
The paint was applied in layers to create a more realistic look. I started by mixing up a few shades of pink and then painting in the sections of white spaces on the switch plate. The goal with the first layer of paint is to completely cover the plate. So don’t worry about painting details yet. Focus on completely covering the white space and then let it dry. If you don’t let it fully dry before trying to do more layers of paint, it will peel the first paint layer off. Yes, I learnt this the hard way so I could warn you.
Here is what my first layer looked like once dry:
The second layer was adding more colour depth to the peony. I added more layers of pinks, reds, and yellow to the peony petals. This gave more depth to the flowers. Keep in mind that the colors in a flower are often richer closer to the inside of the flower and fade on the outer edges. Once you’ve added the second layer of colors, let it dry.
The third layer was adding dark and light areas to the peony. Instead of black, I used brown for shading and in the center of the peony. The outline of the petals was done with white and very pale pinks. This really made the shapes pop! Once again, let it fully dry before attempting to seal.
Make sure to paint the tops of the screws too in the matching colors to the screw-hole areas! It’s one thing to leave the actual switch white (it would wear off with use anyway), but white screws would be an eyesore!
Step 4: Seal Your Painting
You could use a spray-on clear coat to seal your switch plate. I chose to use a matte Mod Podge. I used some twisted plastic-wrap to plug the screw holes so they didn’t fill up while sealing. Pour some mod-podge into a bowl and use a foam brush to brush on a layer of mod podge all over your plate cover. Cover the outside edges, the inside edge of the switch hole, and don’t forget to seal your screws too! I used a corner of a paper towel to clear the extra mod podge out of the screw line before it hardened.
Once again, let it dry completely. You can put a second coat of mod podge on- I did. I found it helped to smooth out the brushstrokes on the final results.
Step 5: Install Your Custom Light Switch Plate
Now that you’ve created your own custom light switch cover plate, it’s time to install it and admire it! Be careful when using a screwdriver on the screws so you don’t mark up your paint job. It looks so much better and adds a dash of personality to the room! I’m hoping it will last for years to come, but that’s going to depend on how much abuse it gets being in a kid’s room.
What ideas do you have for your custom switch covers?
Thanks for reading and please check out the other diy posts below!
Check Out This Other Less Is More Project Idea!
Windmill & Protea: Textured Paint On Ceramic