Friday, May 15, 2009

A Bright Idea - A Switch Plate

Please note: this is a pre-scheduled post. I will return to the online world in late May. Hope you enjoy this tutorial while I am gone!

By the way, there's a blog candy offer at the end of this tutorial! Spread the word to your friends if you like this tutorial or you love the blog candy!

Ever been in the middle of decorating a room and realize that the one thing that doesn't fit your design ideas are the switch plates? We, as sensational stampers, can fix that easily - make our own!

I used Artistic Outpost's new Cracker Jack plate to create a customized switch plate for a baseball fan's room.

Materials you will need:

wooden switch plate - available at most hardware stores
2 or more acrylic paints in the same color family - I used Lumiere
stamp set with coordinating images
Staz-On solvent ink in a contrasting color
1 foam craft paint brush

Here's how to do it:

I started out by gathering my paints together. I knew I wanted a layered look so I chose three green (thinking baseball field here) paints - Emerald Green, Olive Green and Citrine.

To make life easier on myself and make clean up a breeze, I usually use a plastic or paper plate for a palette. For this particular project, I used a foam brush, available at most craft stores. I like the even look they give, love the fact I don't have to worry about brushmarks and love the affordability.

I decided to use my paint with the darkest tone but brightest value for the base coat. I think emerald is an amazing color but it is too strong a color for a vintage scene so, while I will use it for this first coat, I will tone it down with the olive and citrine.

Paint the switch plate with a consistent coat of paint and let dry. Handy dandy tip: cover your plate and your brush with tin foil between coats. No need to clean the brush between layers either for this project.

Next, using your next color (I chose the next darkest - Olive) use a dry brush technique to add a thin layer of uneven color on the switch plate.

To dry brush, pick up some paint on the brush and then dab most of it off on a scrap piece of paper. You are trying to get as little paint on the brush as possible. This will keep the second layer of paint nice and "rustic" looking.

Let dry. As you can see below, the second color does not consistently cover the switch plate.

Apply your final coat of paint, if desired, using the same dry brush technique as the second coat. My final color was the yellowish-green Citrine.

Try and make your lines even more erratic and thin. Your goal is to add just a hint of color to the switch plate. Let it dry completely. Yes, I's hard to wait. You have all your stuff out, why don't you make a piece of coordinating wall art while this is drying?

When you are satisfied that the paint is dry, get out your StazOn and your stamp set. In this case, I chose to use Timber Brown ink with my new Cracker Jack plate from Artistic Outpost.

There is no special trick to stamping StazOn onto a painted surface. Just ensure that you get good ink coverage on the image, maintain even pressure and don't rock the stamp - the same as you would do with any stamping project.

I added a couple of images, careful to make sure my words stayed completely contained on the switch plate while my images seemed to float off the edge.

Finish with further images as desired. Here I used another sentiment and the baseball card image from the set, placed at an angle.

Okay, that's what I did! Now, show me what you can do!

Blog Candy Info:
Post your customized switch plate to your blog or online gallery mentioning Ill Tempered Ink and add a comment to this post linking to your creation.

If you don't feel up to making the switch plate, you can also enter by visiting Gingersnap Creations and making any creation using stamps from one of the Manufacturer's Spotlights OR a creation using one of the tutorials or techniques that has been featured OR using one of the products that have been reviewed. You can even enter by trying one of our current or past challenges. If you enter this way, post your creation to your blog or online gallery, mention this post AND the post on Gingersnaps that inspired you and add a comment to this post linking back to your creation!

What Do You Get and When Do You Get It?
On June 8th, I will select a random qualifying comment (see above), feature the winner's creation in a blog post and send the winner this awesome set of Spellbinder unmounted stamps, these three sheets of coordinating designer paper and these great stickers from Kelly Panacci!

Can't wait to see what everyone creates when I get back to cyberville!


  1. Shar this is a wonderful tutorial. I love what you did with this plate. TFS

  2. How kewl is that! What lucky little guy is getting that for his room? He'll luv it!

  3. Now this is VERY cool!! Thanks for the how to's!! I have some of this stuff and will need to try one out for my craft room!! :)

  4. This is a fabulous project and thanks so much for the tutorial.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it!

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