Want to Bling up Your Wall a Bit? How 'bout Switch Plate Covers?


I realize this isn't up everyone's alley. It's just a fun DIY project that you can even get the kids to take part in. Have spare glass tiles or bits of broken mirror or even costume jewelry lying about? This is simple and quick.
these plastic switches come in wht,blk n' gry
First, get one of those wood switch plate covers at HD or Lowes. Just plain wood. make sure it matches your style because they come in all different sizes and for a toggle or bar switch. Give it a quick seal with some spray shellac and let it dry. (or you can paint it with primer. You just want to seal the wood so it doesn't soak up the water from the grout).
This pic below is of another switch that requires a toggle bar cover, the one above is the rocker bar.
plain wood,toggle type plate. spray shellac
Tools of the trade for mosaics. Either of these glues will work. Those tile nippers can be found online and run between 19-25 dollars. They are the best ones if u are serious about doing mosaics. I'm sure there are cheaper ones at your local big box or hobby stores.
Use the nippers to cut the tiles and position them on the plate. Be careful with sharp edges as you don't want to run your fingers across it while turning on the light! If you do have sharp edges, you can smooth them down with a piece of sand paper. Try to position the finished edges to the outside and line them up w/the edge of the plate. This plate took about 5 to8 one inch tiles and a few of those small square glitter tiles. I also had some scrap broken mirror and a few 'pearls'. You can find those where they carry beading supplies.
Sorry, I forgot to get photos of the first few steps. I painted this one with black paint. Use a small brush. Use any paint you want. This is a satin black from Valspar. Use some glue (I used Wellbond for mosaic glass) anything should be fine as long as it's ok for glass. If you have tile nippers, use them to cut your pieces to fit. Try to get them close. Be mindful of the holes for your screws!
Once set, tape off all the parts your painted (it will wash up, this just makes it cleaner) and stick a rolled up piece in the screw hole so grout doesn't fill it. I used a non sanded charcoal color grout. I mixed a couple of tablespoons in a disposable cup and applied with a very small rubber spatula-thing. Push in the grout carefully between all of the tile. let it sit until it firms up and then carefully use a damp cloth to wipe away the excess. If you wipe out too much, just apply some more. This is probably the hardest part. Just use your fingers and the cloth to evenly wipe away and smooth out the lines. If it's too wet, wait a bit. If its getting too dry, wet your cloth with more water. It will harden overnight so don't wait too long to wipe it clean. I gave it a quick once over again with the black paint. Sometimes the grouting can take off some of the paint. I also used MM metallic gold as an accent on the inner portion.
See how using the tape gives the grout a clean edge along the outside? You don't want your grout to come down along the painted edging.
I used gold screws to hang it up. This is inside my new closet. Matches the bling-y hardware I got too!
This is an earlier one I did for another spot. Notice the right side??? I keep forgetting to get a black rocker switch to replace that toggle that is there!! I guess we only had one extra black one lying around! These come in a few colors. I didn't want the white to contrast w/the black plate.

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Beth H.    Makemeprettyagain.blogspot

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Giselle
    on May 4, 2016

    I love bling too! Love it! Where did you get the hardware for your drawers?

  • Liz Wilcher
    on May 5, 2016

    I really love the bling. Is grout hard to work with? I've never done so, but I would love to try this. My local Salvation Army has bits and pieces a building supplies. I could pick some tile up there cheap. And maybe even some grout.

    • Tiff, using that type of grout on these tiny mosaics aren't necessary and would actually add more work. That fusion grout tends to leave a haze if not cleaned properly. A lot of people doing this wouldn't have the knowledge of dealing with that grout. It's easier, and cheaper, just to use regular unsanded grout. It's not like these switch plates are going to get stained, which is what the Pro Fusion (urethane based grouts) grout is known for preventing.

  • Sharon McHarge
    on Feb 4, 2019

    Thanks Beth for posting your DIY I look forward to going and purchasing wood switch covers and giving these a try. Especially over the kitchen counters where there is 5 outlets in my apartment. Thanks Again

Join the conversation

3 of 24 comments
  • Toni Johnson
    on Nov 15, 2016

    Neat, these are beautiful! I'm working on one right now for my nautical themed bathroom. I used sand and shells, but not done with it yet. Hadn't thought about grout, but I did buy colored glass thinking I might incorporate some of those, but couldn't make it look right. I love what you did with yours, they are stunning, thanks for sharing

  • Kay p.
    on Jun 9, 2017

    Wish you had done a close up of the blue one. So pretty.
    • Jan
      on Sep 22, 2019

      Click on the picture and paste it into a program you have (I use Word Pro) . Enlarge the photo and there you have it.

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