When homeowners decide to change out their switch plates in their home, they usually think they will have to purchase new ones form the store. Most people put off getting new covers since they do not want to spend the extra money. What they forget is that sometimes things can still be handmade by yourself. This can also be the case with switch plate covers, especially made out of wood. It does not take a huge amount of skill to make your own and it can be a fun little project that can be done over the weekend. You can create wall plates to your liking and feel good about creating your own. Building something from scratch always has a rewarding feeling to it. Following are a few steps to help guide you along if you decide to take on this task:
1. Grab an old wall plate that you can use to get the overall dimensions and hole locations.
2. Create a pattern by laying the plate cover on a piece of cardboard and tracing the outside edges, holes, and the rectangular hole in the center.
3. After you traced the required shape, cut it out with a pair of scissors.
4. Using your newly created pattern, lay and trace it onto a piece of wood. You can use any kind of wood you want. I would recommend it to be at least 1/4 in thick.
5. Using a band saw, cut out the rectangular shape of your wall plate. Try to go slow when cutting to prevent the wood from splitting.
6. Cut out the rectangular hole in the center for the switch to fit through. Make sure you cut out enough for the switch to fit without rubbing.
7. Mark the two mounting holes onto the wood. This is easily done by placing your template on top of the wood and marking the holes with a pencil.
8. Using a drill, drill out the marked holes from step 7. Take a mounting screw and make sure that the hole is big enough to fit it.
9. You might want to give your switch plate a good sanding to remove any splinters and sharp edges. Some medium to fine coarse sandpaper will do the job. If you want, you can round the edges using sandpaper to achieve a different look.
10. You are all done. You may want to stain your wall plate to match your decor. Some people might paint it, but you will loose the wood grain of the wood as it gets covered up with paint.
As you can see, making your own wooden switch plate can be easy and fun. So next time you are sitting at home on a weekend not knowing what to do, grab your tools and make yourself some new switch plates.