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Turned on by cats?  Here is a switchplate craft that will brighten any room.


Switch plate craft completedThis decoupage project has two variations. The first covers the entire switchplate with a vintage image and requires some skill on the edges and corners. The easier variation is a flat decoupage with a classy gold trim (shown on the far right).

Materials

  • Plastic switchplate
  • Vintage image, printed on lightweight matte photo paper (see Tips)
  • Decoupage medium (like Mod Podge - Matte )
  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Fine sand paper
  • Brayer
  • Wax paper
  • (Variation) Gold leaf wax (like Rub-N-Buff)
  • Polyurethane (optional)

Instructions

  1. Switchplate craft step 1Lightly sand the entire switchplate, to help the paper adhere.
  2. Trim the image to cover the plate, with 1/4" excess to fold around the back.
  3. Apply decoupage medium to the face of the plate and position it on the back of the image.  Turn it face up and use a brayer to press the image firmly and eliminate bubbles.  Don't decoupage the edges until it dries for 30 minutes.
  4. Pull the paper to the back at the four corners, and cut them off diagonally to miter the corners.
  5. Apply decoupage medium to the paper edges and the inside edge of the back of the plate.  Pull each side of the paper to the back of the plate and apply more decoupage medium.  Press firmly until it is adhered, but avoid overhandling the image.  Lightly press the corners to smooth out bulges.
  6. From the back, cut an X in the switch opening, using the craft knife. Fold each flap inside carefully, and apply decoupage medium. Let everything dry for an hour.
  7. Switchplate craft step 2Lay the plate face up on a piece of wax paper.  Apply two coats of decoupage medium to seal and protect it.

Variation with Gold Edges

  1. Lightly sand the entire plate, to help the decoupage adhere.
  2. Trim the image to fit flat on the face of the plate, leaving the curved edges bare.
  3. Apply decoupage medium to the face of the plate and position the image on it.  Use a brayer to press out any bubbles.  Let it dry for an hour.
  4. Switchplate variationFrom the back, cut an X in the switch opening, using the craft knife. Fold each flap inside carefully, and apply decoupage medium.  Let everything dry for an hour.
  5. Sand the edges of the plate, including the outside edge of the image.  You will be sanding off any decoupage medium and smoothing the edges of the image.
  6. Apply gold leaf wax with your finger on the bare plate edges, and slightly onto the image.  Let it dry for a minute and rub it with a soft cloth (as per the product instructions).
  7. Apply two coats of decoupage medium to seal and protect it

Tips

  1. To position the image on the plate, hold the plate on the back of the image and hold it up to the light.  When you can see the switch opening and screw holes are in the best places, lay it down carefully and mark the switch opening on the back of the image with a pencil. Keep those lined up when you decoupage it.
  2. Decoupaging inkjet-printed images can be tricky, because the ink sometimes rubs off when wet with decoupage medium, especially when printed on glossy paper.  That is why we recommend 30 minutes of drying time after you affix the image to the face of the plate.  That keeps it from sliding around while you decoupage the edges.  You can avoid damaging the image by handling it lightly in a piece of waxed paper.
  3. When you install it on your light switch, just punch through the screw holes.  When it is screwed in, touch up the screw heads with a little craft paint, to blend in with the image.
  4. If your switchplate is going to get a lot of use, apply two coats of polyurethane.

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