How-to for decorative switch plates?

AdnamaJune 11, 2005

I have seen more and more decoupaged lightswitch plates that I LOVE and want to copy. Has anyone here ever done this? Are there safety concerns, with the electricity issue? I've actually never decoupaged and I've read many very very different versions on how to do it. How about decoupaging onto plastic--any tips I need to know?

I plan to use old seed packages and images from art magazines, Mexican tarot cards and glitter and sequins.--Not all on the same switchplates. The tarot cards and glitter are for me, the seed packages are to be stocking stuffers for family members.

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Shouldn't be any problem at all. You can decoupage on nearly any surface as long as it's smooth. Just glue it on and give it a few topcoats of poly or such.

It's a tad easier to do it on the wood ones, but plastic is fine. The seed packets sound neat for a kitchen.

Show us pics if you do it!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 10:25AM
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Adnama! What a WONDERFUL idea... using tarot cards as decoupage, some are SO Gorgeous... The ONLY think I can think of, is you may want to get a color copy made of what you will be using, the thinner the paper, the easier it goes down...

May I steal your tarot card idea? preeeeeeety plllllease?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 7:40AM
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I have decoupaged on plastic swithcover plates. It is easy! If you are using thick paper like a card, you need to peel off the top couple of layers to make it thinner. When we decoupaged the trash can for DS's bedroom, we used baseball cards that weren't valuable and separated the fronts from the backs so they weren't too thick.

For the swithplate covers, I cut out pretty designs from a calendar and decoupaged them onto the cover following the directions on the ModgePodge jar. I did put 2-3 coats on to make it waterproof so that I could wipe it down as necessary. Also, when you are all done, take some very find steel wool (0000) and very lightly sand it to get the ridges off that are left from your brush.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 10:32AM
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Mr. Stan, the tarot card thing isn't my idea in the first place. Stuff w/ Mexican tarot cards glued on (including switch plates) are in a bazillion shops I like and in several books as well. Take the idea; it's public domain!

Loretta, the baseball card idea is great! One of my friends has done her baby's room in a baseball theme; I'm thinking gift!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 4:46PM
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Also, my sister used Dr. Suess pages from a badly damaged book she got at a garage sale. Color copies would have been better; I'm pretty sure you go to hell for hurting a Dr. Suess book. Anyway, I didn't get tips from her 'cause I don't think her finished product worked really well...

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 4:48PM
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Not decoupage, but I have used wallpaper borders or the decorated Contact paper before.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:29PM
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I never saw ANYTHING decoupaged with Tarot cards... so... consider it taken! thanks....

When you do this, I would love to see examples of yours...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 8:35AM
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My friend painted them with regular acrylic paints and coated them with EnviroTex. They look awesome.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 8:58PM
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My friend painted his to match his green marble counter and back splash and sealed with poly. Fantastic.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 11:14PM
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I've painted some and I've used the decoupage on some. I used wall border paper with the decoupage and it worked just fine. If the tarot cards are not heavy cardboard they probably won't need to be separated.

Remember to make sure the glue, paper and paints stay on the outside of the cover. No fire hazard then/

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 11:14AM
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Adnama said: ... I'm pretty sure you go to hell for hurting a Dr. Suess book ...

Haha -- Good one Adnama!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 5:36PM
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hi, it,s been awhile, good ideas , can,t believe I did not use the seed packet one duh . I have a back porch that is garden on top of garden ideas , except the plate .
the tarot one is cool , my very religous soon to be x w.
would reallt throw a fit if I put a few of those around the house.
I may have said this on here once , but if decopaging
and using white glue I found out the white flooring glue
does not yellow and a big bottle is cheap , it is starting to show up in discount because the flooring it was made for is now the snap together kind.
d.d. and I glued a bunch of marbles all over a plate and it looked cool but you could not turn the light on , real funny , it looks good in the window.

the best thing I have ever covered a plate with was
some of that metallic hammered finish paint
was big lots stuff I just did them because it was blue for the kitchen but this stuff is tough and is one of the few items in 4, 5 yrs that looks the same , very nice , also the pearl finish paint in the bath looks new for 5 yrs.
anyone ever decopage with tissue paper ??

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 1:35PM
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Rick, big thanks for the tip on the glue! And your comments re: tarot cards and x--funny, funny! (I've noticed that people's attitudes about tarot, etc. don't line up with religion as much as you'd expect---but I don't want to go OT.)

Just had a garage sale this weekend. Last day at old job tomorrow and first day at new job day after tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get to those switchplates sometime this summer.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 4:38AM
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i love this idea...never thought of to find tissue paper,pix or what have you to cover all my switches...need,fruit/veggie for kitchen,floral for br and lr and will do a baseball one for grandson,jack, due in the trash can idea too! his room is all red,white,blue with walls blue bottom,white top and red stenciled " take me out to the ball game' whole song fit just right! also all shelving is red and they have a baseball hat collection for him already...too cute...will have to do teddy bears for the twins,eksnsleigh and gracie,planes for for blaze and ladybugs for elli...the grands keep nanna happy and busy! thanks again for the ideas...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 4:22PM
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Clutterbugs, I'm so happy to have given you ideas. Don't forget, either, that there are tons of baseball and teddy bear stickers out there--sometimes paint and stickers and then a heavy-duty varnishing works well, too. And glitter! My DS (sister) had every switch plate in her first apartment covered in children's book art or Mexican tarot cards with glitter. She had a "One fish, two fish" switch, a "Where the Wild Things Are" switch and a sandinista in addition to "La Mano" and "El Corazon."

I will say--don't look to magazine clippings for this particular project. Tends to look kinda crappy on the wall.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 1:46AM
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Should the plastic covers be primed first? I once painted on with some silver metallic paint and it rubbed off almost right away.

I've decopaged using tissue paper...nice and easy but it gets really wrinkled if you're not careful.

I can't find a switchplate I want for my kitchen and would LOVE to make one out of copper, but I worry about the safety in that. So I can paint one with copper paint, but don't want it to wear off. Suggestions?

Oh, and where do you get Mexican Tarot cards? Would they sell them at tienda's do you think? We've got a lot of stores that cater to the Hispanic community, so maybe I could check there. But there is the language to say Tarot Cards in Spanish??

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 3:29PM
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I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but I've used the spanish "Loteria" game cards. Kind of like a bingo game with great pictures. Also, i found a great calendar called "Hecho en Mexico" with a bunch of great pictures (Madonnas, old movie posters, bullfighting posters, etc...) that i color copied and did all sorts of decoupage stuff with. I also did my bathroom in pages from my college textbooks (lit anthologies, art history, french) and have a really cool bathroom. the switchplate is hard to see as it is a black and white sketch of an old frenchman smoking. the switch comes out from where the cig would be so it kind of fades into the wall.
Oh, also the joss paper you can get at asian stores is fun to use. Fake money (from the universal bank of hell, no less) as well as lots of pretty colors and a variety of motifs. copies of photos, greeting cards, train and plane tickets, cartoons, drawings from kids (or in my case students), all sorts of stuff can be used. mod podge is a good medium, matte or gloss depending on your preference.
have fun!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 8:28PM
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