Aug 12, 2012

DIY: dress up your switchplates
with washi tape!

<<< you can see a full list of my diy projects here! >>>

time : minutes
difficulty  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆  
hazards : washi tape addiction
would i do it again? : again and again!

this is a fast, fun, and EASY project!

you can see our collection of washi-taped switchplates here.

washi-taped switchplates can add a fun...or whimsical!...or elegant! element to any room. with all the available designs, the possibilities are practically endless. the pattern can be subtle...or a bright splash of color...or anywhere in between.


remove switchplate from wall: 


...and pick your poison!

you can adhere lengthwise or crosswise. 

i like to start by the switch opening
to make it easier to eyeball that i'm applying it straight. 

cut the tape and fold the ends under the plate. 

continue taping on strips, lining up the pattern as you go: 


what happens to the tape over the switch opening?


 cut diagonally to the corners:


 ...then fold all three flaps under the plate!


 this is what it looks like from the back: 


 continue taping... 


 for the corners, i cut a line even with the edge of the plate...

 ...and fold it under the plate. 

then, i cut the remaining flap diagonally so it doesn't bunch up in the corner.



 now, time to screw back on the wall: 


 i just poke the screws right through the tape.


if you use any kind of power screwdriver, it will catch on the tape and twist it --
messing up the perfect pattern you just spent MINUTES on. 


* mari
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  1. cute idea! might do it to all the light switches in the house and see how long it takes the boyf to notice!

  2. thanks! ...and please let me know how yours turn out! :) :)

  3. I just bought a bunch of these tapes when I was in Tokyo. I had no idea what to do with them, but thought they were adorable. Thanks for the idea!

  4. good luck, committedgifts! i've found all SORTS of uses for them around the house -- they're just so pretty and i can't resist! :)

  5. I love this idea! Now I just need to get me some washi tape.. Haha :)

  6. thanks Farhana! i'd be happy to recommend a couple of etsy sellers if you're interested.

  7. if i am renting does the tape come off in case the landlord frown on them?

  8. hi anonymous, these are extremely renter-friendly! they have a similar tackiness to masking tape so they are easy-as-pie to remove. another benefit of the low-tackiness is that it's easy to reposition if you make a mistake. good luck!

  9. Left over wallpaper and wrapping paper are also great to use to cover switchplates.I have some in my kitchen that I have covered w/Christmas wrap. They look so cute and cost next to nothing. A switchplate costs less than a dollar so I just swap them out rather than remove the paper after the holidays.

  10. great idea, anonymous..especially the holiday themed switchplates. there are so many gorgeous and festive wrapping papers to choose from!

  11. so cute! where do you buy your washi tape from?

  12. thank you jenn! i buy most of my washi tape from PrettyTape on etsy - she has a great selection and quick shipping!

  13. When I redecorated my room I liked my new quilt so much that I photocopied it on my printer (in color) and pasted it onto my light switch and outlet covers. It turned out really good.

    1. such a great idea!! i love the creativity!

  14. I love this tutorial! I have tons of washi tape, and this was my first time using them - and I am addicted. Haha. I have done five switch plates this morning :)

    I did notice that after a little while, some of the tape that was rather close to the edge of switchplate is peeling off a little (since the edge of the tape is right where the curve of the plate is). Do you think it would be safe to cover these in some sort of clear sealant - like mod podge?

    1. aaagh, a convert! :) :) i'm so glad you had fun doing them! i have one switchplate in which the side constantly peels off, i know what you're talking about. i think you just have to pay attn to tape placement so that the edge of the strip doesn't fall too close to that curve and you'll be good to go. i think you can mod podge over - the only thing i would worry about is the dye in the washi tape running? definitely try a small test first! and of course, you won't be able to reuse the switchplate, but they're cheap anyway so it doesn't really matter. :) i'd love to know how it goes!

    2. I would prep the plate by wiping down with rubbing alcohol and letting it air dry. Years ago they use to sell clear plate covers, to cover the plates from getting dirty and protect them if they were wallpapered. If they still sell them this would work to protect the tape design.

  15. What a cool idea! I have not tried washi tape yet, in honest I am afraid of the addiction I have witnessed, but this might make me have to buy some! LOL!

  16. Cute! I really liked the washi tape you used here. It's simple, but perked up the wall nicely. From what you've posted before, the washi tapes are easy to remove, right? I'm curious if they leave marks on the surface when they're removed like Scotch tapes do. Thanks for the advice of getting them screwed back by hand! Something like that would've escaped my attention, and I would've messed up my handiwork. Since they're easy to remove, I think I'm going to use Mod Podge, so they won't get messed up after installation.

    Switch Plates

  17. Replies
    1. hi Caroline, rolls of washi tape average about $3-4. I'm not sure how much tape is on each roll. they do seem to last a while though! :)

  18. How cute! Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference. I am off to look at all my switchplate covers! Thanks for the cool idea.

    1. thanks cecelia, i'd love to see pictures!

  19. Looks great! Very creative! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.


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