DIY decorative light switch and outlet covers

Feb 28, 2012 at 1:20 p.m. ET

Interested in brightening up a room? Don't reach for the light switch -- unless it's to take off the switch cover. This DIY project to make your own decorative light switch and outlet covers is so easy you'll want to brighten up every room in the house!

Decorative switchplate
Photo courtesy of Life {Sweet} Life.

Tired of the boring beige or woeful white light switch and outlet covers around your home? Interested in an inexpensive and easy way to add beautiful focal points to a plain room? This simple DIY project might flip your creative switch.

Use decorative paper (we like to use scrapbook paper for all the colorful design options) to customize your light switch and outlet covers. Whether you like polka dots, plaid or vibrant colors, you'll be able to take your rooms from drab to fab in a few easy steps!


  • Decorative paper (like scrapbook paper)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or pen
  • Small utility knife (an X-Acto knife works well because of its pen-like size and small, sharp blade)
  • Small paintbrush
  • Decoupage glue like Mod Podge (this product has been around a while and it's an all-inclusive glue, sealer and finisher)
  • Small pin or tip of a dull pencil
  • Old newspaper or cardboard to cover your work surface


  1. Lay down material to cover your work surface. Once you've picked your decorative paper, trace the switch covers on the back of the paper with your pen or pencil.
  2. Use the scissors to cut out the outline, but cut it about a quarter-inch wider than the outline.
  3. Use the paintbrush and Mod Podge to glue the paper to the top of the cover (over the holes for the switch, or outlet openings and screw holes), then smooth the paper with your fingers to help ensure there are no bubbles or wrinkles in the paper.
  4. When dry, use a pen or pencil to trace the outline of the switch hole (or outlet opening) and mark the spot where the screws are, too.
  5. Fold down the extra outer edges of the paper to the backside and secure with the glue.
  6. Use the X-Acto knife to cut out an X for the switch hole; from the front, push back the flaps and glue them down.
  7. From the front, poke out the screw holes with the pin or dull pencil and trim it if you need to. If you have tiny imperfections, the screws should cover them when you're finished.
  8. When the glue has dried on the cover, apply two to three coats of the Mod Podge, allowing it to dry between applications.
  9. When dried, mount the cover.

Quick Tip

If you'd like, consider painting the small screws with a color that coordinates with your decorative paper. Check your local hobby store for the best paint to use on the screws.

Just like that, you can flip the switch from boring to brilliant in any room!

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