Vernichel // created by v.
Vernichel // created by v.
  • Hometalker
  • Virginia Beach, VA

DIY Decorative Switch Plates & Outlet Covers


I recently painted the walls in my little girl’s room a beautiful gray — Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams. I was then faced with a glaring conundrum… what to do with the mismatch off-white light switch and outlet covers?

Should I paint them? I tried scuffing up a plate with sandpaper to help the latex paint adhere, but it still scrapes off when I plug things into the outlet and didn’t go on smoothly with a roller or brush. You don’t notice these details from a distance so it kinda works, but I don't love it for highly-visible locations.

Should I buy new ones? There are a dizzying array of wall plates available for sale online and at home stores. We found simple gray covers and outlets, but they were darker than Repose Gray and clashed even more than the standard switch plates.

So what’s a girl to do other than DIY some covers to suit her own decorative style?!
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

• switch plate / outlet cover
• scrapbook paper / origami paper / wrapping paper
• mod podge
• scissors / X-acto knife
• paint brush / sponge brush
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

{STEP 1} Cut paper slightly larger than switch plate. My paper measured about 4×6″. If you have a patterned paper, take note to cut so the design aligns with the screw holes (unlike mine that is a little off-center).
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

{STEP 2} Paint a light coat of mod podge onto the front of the switch plate and adhere paper. Smooth out air bubbles.
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

{STEP 3} Cut out small squares from the corners to remove some of the bulk when you fold the paper around the plate. Take care to leave enough paper to cover the corners — do not cut all the way into the corners.
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

{STEP 4} Apply mod podge on sides and fold in. Press along contours to adhere.
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

{STEP 5} Trim corners off top and bottom flaps to lessen bulk; apply mod podge, fold in and press to adhere.
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

{STEP 6} Cut an X into the center hole. Apply more glue to the center, fold in and press to adhere.
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

Cut a small opening in the screw holes as an added measure to avoid tearing the paper when you put the screws in place. No need for glue; just make sure the paper gets tucked inside the hole. The screw heads will keep the paper from puckering.

{STEP 7} Paint a light coat of mod podge over the front to seal.
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

{STEP 8} After it's dry, attach switch plate and enjoy!
diy decorative switch plates outlet covers, crafts, decoupage

After the success of this one, I was ready to do the whole house! It's such a simple touch that really makes a nice impact.

These plates pop and add some personality to my little girl's room. You can certainly choose a more subtle paper that will make your plates blend in with the wall color. And if you make a mistake or simply don't like the outcome, it washes right off with soap and water. {Perfect for renters!}

To see more updates in our home and for more DIY tutorials, I invite you to visit the blog and join the newsletter so you’’ll never miss a post.

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Vernichel // created by v.

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

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Bre7940809
    on Sep 25, 2016

    Can you use fabric?

    • Rebecca
      on Aug 11, 2018

      Great idea but would it be easy to scratch off the paper by plugging in and out the cords over a period of time?

Join the conversation

2 of 146 comments
  • Theresa Appleby-Kraus
    on Aug 1, 2018

    I've been doing this since back in the 1980. Even you wallpaper a room, just take extra paper to cover outlets & switch plates. Other options is in kids room paint the light switch with glow in dark paint or wven nail polish.

  • Sjkfluff
    on Apr 28, 2019

    You did a great job showing how to do this

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