decoupage light switch plates {tutorial}

When your walls are painted a dark color, what do you do with the white outlet covers that become so obvious?

The walls in our living room are this deep slate gray which makes the random white switch plates dotting each wall really stand out {and not in a good way}.  Someone suggested painting them to match the wall color, but I was a little concerned that the paint would not adhere well to the plastic {has anyone tried this? Does it work?}.

Then yesterday I had a moment of inspiration and decided to decoupage them with a fun scrapbook paper to make them blend, but also add a touch of style.  I know this has been done many times before, but I thought I’d share with you how I created mine anyway. It was a super easy project and you could come up with some great ways to either hide the covers or make them pop, depending on what works for your room.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: switch plate

:: scrapbook paper {or wrapping paper, fabric or book pages}

:: mod podge

:: scissors

:: sponge brush

STEP ONE: cut paper slightly larger than outlet cover

STEP TWO: apply mod podge to back of paper and front of switch cover and press together

STEP THREE: cut out the corners

STEP FOUR: applying more glue, fold in the sides and press to adhere

STEP FIVE: trim top and bottom flaps at an angle then fold down and press to adhere

STEP SIX: cut out center hole as shown

Once you have cut the paper, add glue, fold and press to adhere.

STEP SEVEN: cover front with mod podge to seal

And here it is up on the wall. From up close, you see the pretty pattern of the paper.

And from the couch, you barely notice the switches.

Just what I was hoping for.

59 Responses to decoupage light switch plates {tutorial}

  1. chris c February 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    I’ve been playing with this type of decoration for a week. Some things to think about
    1) apply a “light” coat of Mod to the plate. And fan it a little. If the glue is thick and wet the paper will wrinkle immediately and you won’t get the bubbles out.
    2) be patient. Once you put the paper on tacky surface, flip it over and put a book on top of it so it can dry under pressure and avoid the paper puckering
    3) origami paper works a ton better than scrap book paper because it bends easily around the edges of the plate and smoothes easier.
    4) use white background paper on white plates. the color of the plate WILL effect the end result of the paper once it is wet with Mod.
    5. Clothes pins are an easy way to keep the edges of the paper pressed down against the back and edges of the plate. You’ll want the front to dry for a couple hours BEFORE your try and glue the back of the plate down.
    6. Put more than one coat of final Mod on the front, so that it wears better but realize that when you put the Mod on the front of the paper it will probably pucker a little. There is no avoiding it. So go light and do multiple layers instead of one thick coating.

    You can also glue on little accents from the craft store, things that will lay rather flat and further spice up the paper pattern. I’m messing with polymer clay trying to recreate an effect on a plate I bought. I’ve made some nice plates, but not quite what I was going for so….

  2. Lori November 22, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I could not find any camo scrap booking paper so I went with material. I found out really quickly that I couldn’t put mod podge on both the cover and the material it was very messy I also had trouble cutting around the center holes in my cover, to get around this problem I marked the material and pre-cut the center holes and also cut the corners before I started to put every thing together I then covered only the cover with mod podge, I then put the cover on the back side of the material folded and adhered the edges to the cover then the centers. afterwards I put a layer of mod podge to the entire front and edges of the cover I turned out great. thanks

  3. Dez October 12, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    I’m absolutely in love with this idea!!! I’m going to the store now to get scrap booking paper!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kate May 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to try these for months & just got a chance last night. They look great! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  5. marilyne March 20, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    If you lightly sand, then use a good quality primer before you paint, the paint will adhere fine. I did this with my ceramic tile kitchen backsplash 7 years ago, and they are pristine. No one who’s seen them can tell they’re painted. gloss acrylic paint over primer. Of course, it’s hard to sand ceramic tile-I just cleaned them well with TSP cleaner, then primed and painted.

  6. Julia @ juliecache.com March 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    I am so doing this. all the metal fixtures in our house are mismatched, and the creamy store color of switchplate is ick. covering the switchplate makes so much sense! love it! thank you for sharing.

  7. Jaelynne January 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I purchased several crafted(decoupage I would imagine)switchplates on Etsy from a shop Suite Key Studio. I had purchased others on Ebay and was somewhat disappointed in them. I guess I was expecting them to look factory made but they were hand made and I decided to allow for the imperfections due to that fact. I was tempted to leave neutral feedback but decided it was my fault for thinking hand made should be perfect. I left postive feedback suggesting the seller smooth out edges and sand out rough textures and air bubbles on the finish.
    When I saw several designs from the Etsy shop I was hesitant and simply bookmarked them for later not sure if I wanted to venture into hand made again.
    I tried to make them myself but I will admit mine didn’t even look as good as the ones I was dissappointed in from Ebay. Knowing I coudln’t perfect the one’s I was attempting to make I decided to purchase one from the Etsy shop. I was surprised at the craftsmanship. It was beautifully made I emailed the seller and asked if all were made by the same person and same quality which she replied yes. So I bought the others and was delighted with my purchase. I know it’s not hard to make these but it is hard to perfect the decoupage technique and furn out a product worth selling online. I can honestly say I would never sell the ones I made in fear of neg feedback. Giving up on this I did take up mix media collage art designs on boxes and other flat surfaces which I can say I’m pretty good at and in time hope to open an online shop perhaps on Etsy and sell my one of a kind collages.
    Have you sold any of these online? I was amazed at one shop Uno Alla Volta that charges $24.00 for a single switcplate! You should consider selling yours online.

  8. Dyan September 27, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    I painted the switch plate in my dining room with a flat wall paint (cream colored) and then painted a swirly, victorian pattern with the same color gloss paint. I got the idea from watching wedding cake decorating shows. It looks very elegant aginst the cranberry colored walls.

  9. Lauren GiGI September 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Absolutely the perfect touch. I have been making these lovely little gems for years (and my sister in law–etsy–GiGisTresors and SuiteKeyStudio) Honestly you must see these mounted as in the photo about to appreciate the decorative touch they lend to a room. Small but impressive.

  10. Stacey September 11, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    Brilliant! Yesterday I got a catalog in the mail that had beautiful $45.00 switch plates. Really….who buys those? I can definitely decoupage. Thanks for reminding me.

  11. Jamie B August 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial.. I love how nice the light switch plate turned out.. and it sounds pretty easy to do too. I hope it’s okay, I just finished a craft round-up about using decorative paper for home decor projects and I couldn’t resist featuring your pretty light switch cover. You can see it here:

    Thank you for sharing :)

  12. Jamie July 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Just made one and about to start the second. Soooo easy! Now I want to do every switchplate in my house!

  13. Jodi July 14, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    This was so quick and easy!! Thank you so much! I’m potty training my son and was able to do two of these while he was sitting on the potty!! Only took about ten minutes total!! If only potty training was this easy!!

  14. Kristy June 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I used stone textured spray paint on some inexpensive switch covers. Before I sprayed them, I scuffed them up with sandpaper so the texture would stick better. They came out beautiful! I love this idea of using scrapbook paper and will be trying it out in my daughter’s room.

  15. Amy May 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Did this last night in my girl’s room… the light switch and outlet covers! It brought so much more personality to the room! The girl’s love it!!! Love your website! Thank You :)

  16. Tuddy April 15, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Love the switch plate idea! I’m even more in love with the gray walls!! I must have 15 sample containers in my garage and am still looking for the perfect gray. Would you be willing to tell us the name and brand??? Please????

  17. Kate March 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I love this idea, but (and it’s a big one), I rent. Does anyone know if I can scrub off the switch plates when we move out??

    • Melissa December 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

      Just buy new ones (they’re cheap) and take the decorated ones with you.

  18. Emma February 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Would you mind telling me the paint color and brand on your walls in this post? I have tried and failed with so many different paint swatches to get a slate grey for our bedroom!

  19. cami February 27, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    I love this idea! So fantastic. The painting of the covers does not work. At first it seems like it, but the paint scratches off super easily. I can send pics of mine. They look awful and now I’m going to pull out my modge podge and do what you did! THANKS!!

  20. Claudia February 26, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    How clever! I love the pattern on the paper you chose. It looks great!

  21. {hooked on hickory} February 26, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    this is great. i get kinda frustrated when outlets and switch plates are painted. so this is a great inbetween. looks wonderful, fab idea! ;)

    ashley over @

  22. kristin M February 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I have some dark colored walls as well and did a combination of what you feared and what you ultimately did. i painted some paper using the wall paint and wrapped the paper around the wall plates. perfect match!

  23. WhatMom February 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm #


  24. elizabeth February 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    so cool! You can also get clear covers as well

  25. Tracy February 25, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    May I ask… What is your paint color? Those are the perfect greys I have been looking for!

  26. jody February 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Very pretty. We painted the light switch plates and outlet covers in my husband’s hunting room and have had no problems with them. However, the little hands in our family are not allowed in that room – so I am not sure whether they would hold up to kids or not.

  27. Coastal Design Blog February 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Would you believe we used to make these in the 70’s, then they went so out of style. It’s so funny to see them coming back and being loved as though it’s a new idea. You did a beautiful job and I’ll be pinning it for all those who haven’t seen this idea before… a whole new generation ;)

    Lesli :)

  28. Jenna February 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    How fun! What a great idea! And I love the paper you choose as well.

  29. Becky February 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    What a great idea! The light switch plates look awesome. :)

  30. Leslie February 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    That’s GREAT! Makes me want to paint my walls and deco all the cover outlets.

  31. Torie February 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Ingenious! I LOVE this idea! Especially for kids rooms when you want something cute but cutesy. I’m definitely borrowing this idea!

  32. sara @ it's good to be queen February 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    we’ve painted switch plates with no trouble. we have a house built in 1980 with a ton of lovely off white/dingy plates. when we redid the nursery, we painted the plates gray along with the walls and they totally disappeared. :)

  33. Nan February 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    When I paint my rooms, I always paint my switch plates. I have never had any problems with it. If I change the color, I just get a new switch plate – they cost about a buck. Then I paint the new plate. In my rooms with wallpaper, I always cover the plates with paper that is left over. I even go to the trouble of matching the patterns. I love your idea, too. I like the idea of using scrapbook paper. I’m looking a double switch plate in my kitchen right now, that would love to have itself covered. Thanks for the idea!

  34. Meg February 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    reason #3038903 i need to buy mod podge

  35. BarbaraLW February 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    I completely adore this idea. I was about to spend a lot of money on replacing plastic switchplate covers – but this would give such a nice touch that I would like to try this out instead!

    You have such great style and I love your blog!

  36. Jaime February 24, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I have to admit I have seen this posted on Pinterest and rolled my eyes when I saw friends attempt this project. The switches looked completely out of place. However, THIS LOOKS GORGEOUS! It is so subtle against your wall. Great job!

  37. Kristel February 24, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    So beautiful. Very smart of you to have thought of this, I think I will be trying this out! They now sell paintable light switches covers, that have a slight texrure to them, making them easier to paint. I am now looking at my light switch covers and giving them the evil eye.

  38. Seriously Sassy Mama February 24, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    I love the pattern on the paper. Mode podge is awesome!

  39. Kellie February 24, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Great idea and looks simple enough. Thanks for sharing :)

  40. justjayma February 24, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    We painted the actual outlet as well–our dining room had 8 outlets, and their stark white marred the beautiful grey we painted our walls–so we painted the outlet covers, and the outlet itself, and it works wonderfully. AND it comes off easily with the right product, so it’s a simple fix if you ever change your mind.

    I used decoupaged fabric on my son’s light switch covers for his theme room, and it was awesome!

  41. Arleen Reed February 24, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Is it just me or does the light switch look like an owl? I love it! Very smart!

  42. Melissa February 24, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    That turned out really neat. What a great idea! I have painted all of mine but in a way it looks tacky – your idea is much better.

  43. The Thrifty Life for Me February 24, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I’ve totally already done this in my bedroom, our classroom, and my brothers bedroom. :) So fun!

    I had simply seen the idea and figured it out as I went along, but this is a great tutorial!

  44. Kristin Smith February 24, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Cute cute cute!

    We painted the outlets (the actual parts where you put in the plug) at our studio – our walls are bright white and the outlets were those horrible dingy yellowish beige. It went on just fine and looks great – so I think you could paint your outlets the wall color.

  45. Beth February 24, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    What a great idea !! I love it !

  46. Jamie February 24, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Love this! Where did you get the scrapbook paper? That pattern would match my daughters nursery perfectly!

    • emily February 24, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      It is a paper I have had for a long time … and I don’t see a name on it anywhere. So sorry!

  47. Kathleen Leonard February 24, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Perfectly does the trick of hiding the switch plates. Love it!

  48. Maria February 24, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    love it! You know I had to pin it!

  49. Sarah B Design February 24, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    What a cute idea!! The switched look great and they blend in so well now!

  50. jenn February 24, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    I’ve used this DIY too! It’s so easy and quick and adds a unique touch to the room.

  51. sheri February 24, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    Wow. I love this. I’m going to try it this weekend. Thanks for sharing another great idea. You rock!

  52. sarah February 24, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    When we moved into our house the previous owners had painted over everything including the actual switches! {not cool} but so I know that the paint will adhere. I like you’re solution much better- well done!

  53. Elizabeth Horn February 24, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Yes, painting light switch/outlet covers works really well. It does seem like the paint wouldn’t stick, but it does!

  54. Jen @ a place 2 call home February 24, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    It blends in much better, I like it. And I really like the paper you chose. I suppose someone could just paint the switches the same as the wall color too, it would certainly be better than leaving them white. And replacing them costs so little if someone wanted to repaint the room in the future a different color. thanks for sharing. Ps I love the color of that room!

  55. Amanda February 24, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    This is genius! We have awful bisque colored light plate switches, so this would make a huge difference for us to get them covered before we can replace them with white!

  56. maja trumpfheller February 24, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    nicely done!

  57. Tina Little February 24, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    VERY COOL!!!!! love this one!

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