January 2009: Instant Decorator

January 2009: Instant Decorator

You might touch a light switch several times every day, but how often do you look at it? Spruce up a room by adding some interest to that little rectangle of plastic, and make it personal—no need to pay for a store-bought novelty.

Materials: Book cover or page, glue or tape
Tools: Screwdriver, pencil, razor, ruler, scissors (optional)

1. Find a paperback book cover or page you like at a used bookstore or in the free book trailer at the McIntire Recycling Center. Check out brochures, magazine photos, and postcards, too. We found a page from an old world atlas, showing a map of Long Island.

2. Unscrew the switchplate, saving the screws.

3. Center the switchplate on the paper and mark out a rectangle that’s about 1" larger on each side than the switchplate. For a standard plate, that’ll be about 6 1/2" tall and 4 5/8" wide. Cut out with scissors.

4. Cut the corners off the paper to create four flaps that you can fold around to the back of the switchplate. Secure these flaps to the plate with strong glue or tape.

5. In the center of the hole where the switch goes, using a razor, cut an X in the paper. This will make four tiny flaps; fold these back and secure.

6. Put the switchplate in place and screw right through the paper to attach.

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