Recently, I stumbled across some leather switch plates online. I thought they were the perfect solution for our cabin in the woods. They're rustic but still feel a little fancy. The colors are in the palette we've been using. It was one of those synergistic things. What wasn't synergistic? The price. They were listed for $200 a plate, which is way too rich for our blood. So, I decided to make them myself.
I made a trip to our local craft and fabric store and bought a bag of scrap leather for $10. The bag was filled with thick leather in browns and blacks, more than enough for every switch plate in the house. Creating a switch cover was as easy as tracing the existing switch plate, marking the switch opening, and drawing triangles on the top and bottom to create an irregular hexagon. To cut the leather, I used our kitchen shears for the outside and an X-ACTO knife for the inside. For the interior spots, I used a metal ruler and slowly cut on the same line until the leather was cut through.
I found that even though the leather was stiff, when it was screwed onto the switch, it didn't stay flat. I solved the problem by putting the leather over the original switch plate. It actually gives it a bit more depth as well as keeping the leather flat. Maybe the best part -- as we use the switch, the leather will become more and more weathered, looking better and better.
For 10 bucks and some craftiness, I was able to solve an eyesore, create something beautiful, and save hundreds of dollars. How about that for a weekend project?