DIY light switch installation craft project

Express Your Creativity with DIY Light Switch Covers

In most homes, light switch covers are plain and boring. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can quickly turn these ho-hum objects into creative decorating statements. Think of light switch plates as a few inches of “canvas” with unlimited possibilities.

Covering a switch plate is a simple DIY project. But for the best results, it’s essential to pay attention to several small but critical details: 

1. Select sharp cutting tools. You want to create straight, even edges no matter what material you’re using. Quality scissors and razor-edge cutting knives typically produce the best results.

2. Spray, don’t brush. If you plan to use paint and want a smooth application, rely on spray paint instead of bristle brushes, which leave small but noticeable brush marks. A small foam roller will also work well.

3. If you’re gluing objects to the surface, make sure the items aren’t so thick that they’ll interfere with your ability to operate the switch. Typically, thinner and flatter objects work best. Hot glue guns are handy for this type of project. 

4. Protect the final surface. Light switches are used daily! Make sure your decorated switch plates can stand up to the dirty fingers that may be touching them. Two or more coats of Mod Podge often work best on paper-like surfaces.

Find Your Inspiration

Fabric and Ribbons 

Do you want your light switches to match or coordinate with other textures in your room? Select fabrics that will blend or accent your current decor. 

Consider adding trims or layering your fabrics. For example, you could use lace over a solid material—or solid painted background. 

When applying fabrics, be sure to cut the material larger than the switch plate dimensions so you can wrap the fabric around the edges and secure the fabric with glue to the back. 

Miter the corners to help eliminate lumps and add extra glue to the fabric edges, including the holes for mounting screws so that the fabric doesn’t fray.


Decorative papers are another excellent material for covering switch plates, and there are countless sources for them. 

Start by exploring wallpaper options and scrapbooking papers. Wrapping papers is another possibility, especially if you create multiple switches to coordinate with various holidays, birthdays, or other celebrations. 

You can also make your own patterned paper! Select, download, and print hundreds of designs at sites like Creative Fabrica and DesignBundles.

Or, draw freehand designs or use stamps and stencils to apply painted patterns. Doodling is another option. For hundreds of ideas, search for “doodle art patterns.”

Explore vintage and novelty papers too like old maps or a collection of postage stamps arranged into an attractive collage and protected with decoupage. 

Colorful Tapes 

Long gone are the days when tape was purely functional. Now, you can find duct tape and washi tape in a wide range of prints and colors. There are even glitter varieties! 

Unlike fabric and paper, decorating your switch plates with tape means you can skip messy glues, and your edges won’t fray. Be sure to press the strips firmly to the plate and smooth out any bubbles under the surface.

More ideas:

Chalkboard paint - Applied to a smooth switch plate, chalkboard paint creates an opportunity to jot down a reminder or leave messages for other household members.

Fall foliage - Collect leaves in various shapes and colors. Arrange them into a collage, glue them in place, and add at least two protective clear coats to the surface.

Copper - Both soft and durable, copper sheets can easily be embossed into interesting dimensional patterns for your switch plates. 

Old records - A 45rpm record might make a fun statement in an audiophile’s bedroom, family room, or movie room. Carefully drill holes for the mounting screws.

Wood frames - If you want to make a more significant statement, consider outlining your switch with an “empty” picture frame, painting the frame to coordinate with your designer plate.