Cover Electrical Wall Plates With Wallpaper

You can dress up those plastic wall plates.

Finding light switch covers that match your walls can be a real trick if they’re papered, especially if the pattern is intricate and the colors unusual. One solution is to paper the electric plate covers themselves. It just takes a few minutes and a little artistic ability. Then those plastic plates will not distract from the charm of the wallpaper. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Hold a piece of wallpaper over the light switch. Adjust the position of the paper until the pattern on it matches the pattern on the surrounding wall. Using your pencil, mark the paper just outside each corner of the switch plate, which you should be able to see or feel behind the paper. Make the marks deep enough that they will be visible from the other side of the wallpaper.

2. Turn off the power to the switch at the fuse box. Unscrew the switch plate. Make sure to remember where you put the screws.

3. Lay your marked piece of wallpaper on thick cardboard, face side down. Lay the switch plate on top of the paper, face side down, positioned with corner marks you made. With your pencil and straight-edge, draw a roughly half-inch border around the outer edge of the switch plate. Then trace the inside of the square switch hole, making your lines just a little smaller than the hole. Draw circles where the screw holes are.

4. Remove the switch plate and use your razor knife to cut out the border you’ve drawn and the hole for the switch plate. For each circle where the screw holes go, carve a very small X (no wider than the width of the hole).

5. Brush wallpaper adhesive around the front and thin side edges of the socket plate. With the wallpaper piece lying face-down, lay the plate face-down on it, aligning the switch holes and the X’s at the screw holes. Press to adhere the glue. Turn the plate over and smooth the paper around the edges and inside the switch hole. Turn it back over and use small pieces of masking tape to hold the wallpaper flaps to the back of the plate.

6. Replace the plate on the switch. Push the screws through the X’s you made over the screw holes. Turn the power back on.