My wife and I like to have cool switch plates in our house. And usually we buy them from stores, or ebay. Recently we saw one that we really liked for our hallway project, but it cost $34.99!!! At that point I figured I was going to take matters in my own hands and make my own. Since then, I have made several of these for our own home and for gifts. What I have done is essentially backward engineer how to decorate these plates; they are very nice but perhaps not as polished as the truly professional ones. But this is an easy project that you can complete in just 3 or 4 hours, must of which is time waiting for the glue to dry.
Things you need to make this instructable:
1) An image, you can use an existing image on paper or you can print it yourself
2) A switch plate, new or used, metal or plastic, doesn't matter
3) A pair of scissors to cut the paper
4) A bottle of Mod-Podge, $7 at any craft store or ebay, you will need less than an ounce
5) A brush, sponge-type or regular bristle
6) Utility knife
Step 1: Step1
Obtain a piece of suitable artwork that you might like. If you find it online, tweak it in an imaging program like Photoshop, or MS Paint until you get a size that works with your plate.
Plain copy paper works great for this project, but thin glossy paper is fine too. Thicker paper may work but you may need to soak it in water until it relaxes. If you print your image, a LASER printer is ideal, an inkjet printer will work, but the quality may be inferior (especially when it comes to the long term). I will show you examples of plates done with both. I would let images that you print yourself at least a few hours to dry before you proceed with the project.
Step 2: Step 2
Step 3: Step3
Also brush on a coat of Mod Podge on the back of the artwork and then apply the image onto the plate. Use an overhead light again to see the alignment of the holes. Once youre happy with the placement, fold the image around the plate. Dont worry too much at this point to check for bubbles under the paper.
Step 4: Step 4
Step 5: Step 5
Step 6: Step 6
Step 7: Step 7
Step 8: Step 8
Step 9: Step 9
Step 10: Step 10
I include a picture of the plate from the instructable (laser-printed), another plate done with an inkjet printed image, and another one from a calendar of vintage Spanish posters.
I've also experimented with using postal stamps! Which is pretty cool, no need to print anything.