As an apartment dweller, you might have to deal with things like dirty or cracked light switch plates in particularly dated shades of beige. The switch plates might also have random paint on them from one or two lazy paint jobs by someone who didn’t think to remove (or tape over) said plates. If you’re looking for a solution to an ugly light plate problem, or just want to tie your rooms together with drapes and light plate covers in the same fabric, this easy project is for you.
light plate & outlet covers
water soluble pen
Matte Mod Podge
Use rubbing alcohol to clean your light plate or outlet covers. Trace your cover(s) onto the wrong side of your fabric. Cut out each tracing with an additional half inch of space between the outer edge of the tracing and the edge of your fabric piece. Cut out tiny holes for the screws, switches and electrical outlets too.
Rinse off the pen lines with water and pat your fabric to dry, don’t wring it. The fabric should be as smooth and wrinkle free as you can get/keep it. Since Mod Podge is water-based, your fabric can be damp (not soaking, though) as you work on this project.
Paint a layer of Mod Podge directly on your plate covers. Line up your cut out fabric, wrong side down, on your Mod Podged light plate covers. Be careful to align the screw holes just right.
Flip your lined up fabric and covers over and add some Mod Podge along the edges of the back of each cover. My fabric was fairly thick – upholstery grade. The fabric didn’t really want to stay in place on the back of the plates. What worked for me was to fold over two edges (see step 2 below) and let it sit for a half hour. That let the Mod Podge harden enough for the edges to stay put.
While the edges dried, I applied a generous layer of Mod Podge on the outside of the front of the plate cover. You should saturate the fabric for this project to work.
To get the fabric on the shorter ends of my plate covers to stay, I used clothespins (step 3) to hold the fabric in place until it dried enough to stay on its own. Don’t let the Mod Podge dry completely with the clothespins on because they’ll be stuck to the plates, ruining your project.
Tip: If you get bubbles between your fabric and plates, a brayer will help iron them out.
Eventually all of the fabric will stay where you want it to and you can let your plates dry completely, lying face up on waxed paper. Just check them once or twice while they dry to keep them from sticking to the waxed paper.
Here’s what the back of the covers look like when they’re done:
Of course, the last step is screwing the plates in place. Super cute, right?
I originally posted a version of this tutorial at Mod Podge Rocks, an awesome craft blog you should follow.