Friday, December 21, 2007

Extra Holiday DEMO! Switchplate Covers

Happy Holidays! I got the last of my holiday cards and gifts mailed off to those far away relatives and friends . . . of course, as usually happens, in spite of expedited shipping and the best of plans, many will arrive after Christmas. Still, it feels good to have them out the door, and a late present just means the holiday lasts a little longer! And the Heifer International gift donation cards that I ordered December 2nd finally came in yesterday, so while they went out to their recipients late, they did go out today. And big thanks to Linda Womack for the idea of giving friends and family beehives for Christmas - or at least donating them to needy families in honor of friends and family.

In celebration of holiday tasks well-completed, here's an extra DEMO! for those last minute stocking stuffers - or just to fill that extra time you'll have this holiday weekend (giggle snort).

When I first figured out my own switch plate decoupage technique 4 or 5 years ago, I made them for friends and then I made them with friends . . . and now almost all of my friends have houses or apartments full of ornamental, personalized switch plates. And this is another fun thing that you can do with kids . . . as long as you don't mind the glue getting a little messy and you stay in charge of the Exacto knife!

To start you'll need the mother of all decoupage glues - Mod Podge - along with a blank switch plate cover, a foam brush, a craft knife, scissors, and some lightweight decorative papers. Collage on Alberta in Portland carries all of these items (except blank switch plate covers), or you can find them in almost any craft store. Blank switch plate covers can be found at any hardware store, or you can find used/reclaimed ones at The Rebuilding Center or similar recycled building supply store in your area.

1. To start, cut your paper a little larger than the switch plate. This works best with lighter weight papers - heavier card stock or calendar weight papers are harder to work with and don't wrap easily around the curved edges.

2. Next, coat the switch plate with a thick layer of Mod Podge glue.

3. Position the plate face down on the paper. To position the paper, and make sure that nothing significant is in the outlet holes, hold it up to the light and adjust it before the glue dries. Fill in the edges with more glue.

4. Fold the paper up around the edges.

5. Pinch the corners up. Don't trim the edges yet!

6. With your thumbs, press the paper to the plate, smoothing out any wrinkles and bubbles. Make sure that the paper is pressed firmly to all areas of the plate.

7. There is no need to fold the edges around the back. Just let it dry. Really. Go get coffee. Just let it dry. Don't try to trim it yet. Trust me. It'll take about 15-20 minutes, depending on how much glue you used.

8. Now that it's dry, use an art knife to trim the excess paper off the edges.

9. Use a pair of scissors to clip the paper corners off.

10. Again using an art knife, cut out the outlet holes and screw holes.

Using an art knife makes the edges very clean and pretty!

12. Now it's time to add some more bling. Add extra papers or even lightweight three dimensional objects. To add papers, use Mod Podge. To add 3D elements use Crafter's Pick Ultimate Glue. Make sure that you're not positioning 3D elements in such a way that you won't be able to plug things in or switch the light on easily.

13. Let it dry again, and trim any holes or edges again as needed.

14. Now apply a few protective coats of Mod Podge over the front. Let it dry. You can also spray it with a protective acrylic coating or coat it with Diamond Glaze or resin for a harder more protective finish.

And see how tidy the back is? Lovely!

And here's some sample switch plate covers. The possibilities are endless!

Still stressing over last minute holiday wrapping? Here's a few cool links I found - one for some cool gift tags from Angry Chicken and another for a nifty recycled scrap gift wrap idea from Sister Diane and DIY Alert. Have a happy, crafty holiday!


gl. said...

erm, who's taking the picture in step 6? :)

gl. said...

er, all the pix that have both your hands in them, i mean. :)

claudia said...

Nice! I think that I will try to make some switchplate covers between Christmas and new year eve. Thank you for the tutorial... very clear. Happy holidays to you and your family.

Bridget said...

GL - the secret? A tripod and the timer feature on the camera, which I finally figured out how to access.

Claudia - And a happy holiday to you and yours! I love the little .. . chickadee, I think? . . . that is your icon!

gl. said...

ooo, you're smarter than i am! nicely done!

Cyndi and Andy said...

Hi Bridget-

These are so clever and cool! Thanks for sharing!

Happy Holidays!
Cyndi :)