Light Me Up


This was a really quick DIY that I threw together in less than an hour and for less than a dollar! You may notice a pattern with these posts: I have a lot of craft supplies on hand.



You recognize this? It’s something that happens when you move into a new place and your landlord cares a lot less than you do about the details. He left us a light plate cover on the window sill, but the bottom hole where the screw goes was broken AND there was no screw. We lived with it like that for over a month and then one day I got shocked! My whole arm buzzed for half an hour. It was time to take matters into my own, electrified hands. I went to pick up a cover at Lowe’s and spent a whole 34 cents on it! I figured that since I was spending my own thirty four cents I was allowed to do whatever I wanted with it. First I thought I would paint it orange. Eh, I could do better. A fun chevron with really thin lines in lots of colors? Sounds almost as exhausting as painting a repeating pattern on the back of three bookcases. How about covering it with scrapbooking paper? Ding ding ding – we have a winner!



Step 1: Gather your supplies.


It took me a few tries to figure out the best paper to use. Out of my top choices, I went with the one that wasn’t a striped pattern (or any that were perfectly geometrical) – I was trying to avoid feeling the pressure of needing to line up the pattern perfectly. This one was is pretty whimsical and wouldn’t lose the effect if it was just slightly tilted.


Step 2: Flip it over and cut around it.

I made it bigger than the cover so that I could wrap around it around fully. And, my favorite thing with a DIY project: it doesn’t have to be perfect because the edges will be hidden. Woohoo!




Step 3: Cut out the hole where the switch will be.


Okay, so I did this the wrong way. I should have had it flipped and left extra space in there too, to wrap it inside. It came out a little wonky:



I followed that up by free-hand straightening out the lines and I don’t think anyone would be able to tell on the final project. I was mad at myself for a minute or two, though.


Step 4: Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the light switch and lay your paper on top of it.


Then I flipped it over and pushed it all down.


Step 5: I put Mod Podge on the edge of my brush, rubbed it along each edge, then rolled the paper around it and pressed it down. You can kind of see in this photo? Repeat on all four sides and fold the corners in, as well.


Then it looks like this!


And, perhaps more importantly, like this from the front side. The inside cut looks a lot worse than it does it real life.


Okay, so then if you read the instructions properly you would wait 12 hours until doing anything else. I, on the other hand, read the part where it said to wait 15-20 minutes to dry between layers of sealing, but not the part where it said to wait 12 hours after first attaching. Oops.

Step 6: Ignore everything and add a thin layer of Mod Podge as a sealing top coat. Wait 20 minutes and do it again! It bubbled up a little bit, but you can’t even hardly tell!


Step 7: Wait another 20 minutes and screw it into the wall! I just pushed the screws through the paper, where they go. They tore the paper a bit near the edge, but I don’t think it’s noticeable.







Cost: 34 cents!
You thought I was kidding when I said we were ballin’ on a budget.

You live/You learn:

  • Cut the hole out for the switch smaller than it needs to be, then perforate the diagonals and fold them to the inside, so you avoid seeing any white edges.
  • Read the instructions for the Mod Podge -in full- and then read them again to make sure you understand.

And that, my friends, is how you light it up.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Get Outta Here! « broader borders

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