Tutorial: Harry Potter Light Switch Cover

It's pretty well known to everyone in my family and circle of friends that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I've read the books, watched the movies, and sometimes I geek out playing Pottermore or admiring HP fan art and collectibles online. Sometimes I wish that Hogwarts was real but, since it isn't, I've come up with this nifty decor idea that will help transform any muggle room or house into a place that's a wee bit more magical.

  • newspaper (one or two sheets)
  • light switch cover 
  • paper graphics
    • I used an image of a page from 'Advanced Potion Making' (seen in HP & The Half Blood Prince), which you can find a photo of online. The lumos/nox images I made on my computer. How? Find a suitable image of antique paper (Google) and resize in Paint, Photoshop or similar. The font, "Lumos", is available on the MuggleNet website for free. Add the text to your antique paper image and print!
    • If you don't want a Harry Potter cover, you can use anything else you may have on hand: tissue paper, newspaper, a printed image from the web or your computer, magazines, etc.
  • mod podge or tacky glue
  • 1" foam brush
  • x-acto knife or scissors
  • pencil 

Remove the light switch cover from whatever room you want to adorn (or purchase a new cover from your local hardware store) and put the two screws aside in a safe place.

Print out the potions book page (or other Hogwarts-ish image) and cut out. Make sure it's bigger than the light switch cover! If not, enlarge on the computer and re-print. Then cut out your lumos/nox pieces and put aside. Lay out the newspaper on your work surface to protect it from glue gone astray.

Next, lay the potions page image face down and lay the switch cover on top, also face down. Use your pencil to trace the shape of the hole where the actual switch goes, then with knife or scissors cut just inside the traced line. Keep that centre piece after it's cut out.

Now comes the fun part! Brush the front of the switch cover with glue. With the potions page image still face down, carefully line up the switch cover over it and press into place. Turn the switch cover over and smooth out any ripples or bubbles. Don't worry about covering the screw holes, you'll poke through them later.

Once most of the image is set in place, go around the edges with glue and make sure all the edges are adhered, and tuck the overhanging paper to the back of the switch cover. If desired, cut slits or notches in the inner and outer corners of the paper to make it easier to fold/tuck (see above).

Now you're ready to add the lumos and nox pieces. Mine came out a little bigger than I wanted, but they still look neat! Figure out how you want to arrange them, then glue in place. If desired, you can then cover the whole thing with more mod podge to seal it, but I chose not to. If you do, be sure to poke through the paper into the screw holes first. I did this with a small knitting needle, from front to back.

Allow the switch place to sit and dry for a while.... enjoy a cup of tea (or pumpkin juice) while you wait. Give it at least 15-20 minutes. When ready, take your magical new switch cover and put it back on over the light switch.
You know that cut out piece you put aside from the centre of the switch cover? Well, if you have one of those wide switches like mine, you can (carefully) glue it onto the switch itself. Just keep in mind that the switch itself is not easy to change like the cover. If you live at home with parents, be sure to ask them first!

If you're anything like me, you may be irritated by the way the screws seem to mess up your awesome Hogwart-y decorating. That's where the wonder of acrylic craft paint comes in; grab a fine brush, mix up some "parchment" colour and help those little eyesores to blend in. I didn't have my paints handy when I snapped this photo but will definitely be adding that final touch.

Happy crafting! ♥

P.S. I'd love to see your finished project -- email me a photo!