Light Switch Extension Tutorial

This tutorial is for you mommies out there with a super-independent little one on your hands.  A little one that insists on doing everything by him- or herself, but just doesn’t realize the limitations that their age and size might bring.  Limitations such as not being able to reach the bathroom light switch during their mad dash to the potty while they’re saying to you, “No, Mommy!  I don’t need help!  I can do it all myself!”

Because Elliott is the epitome of Little Miss Independence, I had to come up with a way for her to reach the switch without moving her stool across the room in back in those 2.5 seconds she allows herself to make it to the bathroom.

Now, there are mass-produced versions of these light switch extensions available.  They work, but they are just not cute.  We just can’t have that, can we??

I decided to attempt making one from scratch.  I didn’t want to use wood because I’m a worrywart and I’d lose sleep at night thinking it was going to catch on fire.  Metal would be scary, too.  So…I bought a sheet of thin, flexible Plexiglas at Hobby Lobby.  I’ve never worked with the stuff before, so I’m sure there are better ways of dealing with it than what I did.  However, I got the end result I wanted and Elliott is very pleased with it…so no worries. (If you want to share helpful Plexiglas hints with your fellow readers and me, please leave a comment!  I would love to learn more about working with it.)

So…let’s get started.

You’ll need:

  • A sheet of Plexiglas ($1.99 at Hobby Lobby)
  • Mean scissors
  • Craft knife/blade
  • Sandpaper
  • Marker
  • Paintbrush
  • Mod Podge or similar glue
  • Pretty paper or fabric
  • Embellishments

First, print out this template.

Then, place the template on a flat surface and lay your Plexiglass on top of it.  When you bring it home from the store, it will have a protective film on it. Leave it in place for now.

With a marker, trace the template onto your Plexi.

Carefully cut out your design.  (This is where I could use tips on using Plexiglass.  The stuff was cracking all around the edges.  Any suggestions on how to cut it and end up with nice clean edges?)  To cut out the inner circle, I used a craft knife to cut a slit through the center.  I had to cut from the top, then flip the Plexi over and go over it again.  Once it was sliced all the way through, I poked my scissors through and finished cutting out the circle.  Please, please use caution not to cut yourself.

Now remove the protective film.

Use sandpaper to smooth your edges and help round out the circles.  They don’t have to be perfect because they will be covered, but take the sharpest edges off.

Now, tear or cut strips of pretty paper or fabric.

Paint Mod Podge onto your Plexi a bit at a time and apply the paper/fabric until the entire thing is covered.

Wrapping the paper around makes for safe, smooth edges.

Apply stickers or any other embellishments, then give the entire surface a nice, full coat of Mod Podge.

Here is Elliott’s new freedom…er….extension.

She absolutely loves it!

Please be very careful in making and using this light switch extension.  It is not a toy and children should be supervised when they are using their light switch extension.  In case of breakage or damage that exposes bare Plexiglas, please dispose of the extension immediately to avoid injury.  Okay, thank you and goodbye.

Little decoupaged chests

A few weeks back, I bought 3 of these lovely little unfinished wood chests at Hobby Lobby.

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They came with knobs on the drawers but I forgot to take pictures of them before I popped the knobs off with a little screwdriver.

They stand about 7″ high and I thought they’d be great for the kids to have in their rooms.  Alex is the king of tiny treasures and Elliott has way too many hair clips and girly goodies that need homes.

With some paint, scrapbook paper and Mod Podge, I set to work.  I painted the first one a lovely shade of olive green for Mr. Alex. I wanted his to be a bit ‘worn’ looking so I let the wood show through the paint a bit.

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I chose this lovely set of papers and I want to wallpaper my bedroom in them.  I’m in love!

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I carefully measured each flat surface and cut the paper to fit.

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Then, I painted a thin coat of Mod Podge onto the painted surface and carefully laid the paper on top.  I used my fingers to smooth out air bubbles and then poked the stubborn ones with a straight pin.  Then it was time to paint a thicker layer of the Mod Podge over the surface of the paper.

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I did this on the top and sides of the chest and the front panels of the little drawers.

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Meanwhile, I was keeping Elliott busy with some watercolors.  Please pardon her crazy just-woke-up hair.  Oh, those curls are lovely when they’re fixed and just chaos when they’re not!

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After the whole thing was dry, I put the drawers back and their slots and smiled proudly……but only until I realized that something pretty crucial was missing.

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Knobs!  It needs its knobs back!

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Ah yes.  Much better.

Love it.  Mucho.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have this…

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and this….

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to tend to.  Have a lovely day!

Ballerina Hair Clip Holder

For Elliott’s birthday I made her a hair clip holder.  Her room is done in a shabby chic-ballerina combo, so I picked out scrapbook paper and embellishments to fit the theme.  I found the cute little unfinished wood piece at Hobby Lobby and used Mod Podge to apply the paper and ballerina stickers.  It still needed a little something, so I added roses.  That’s the part that sold her on it.  She loves flowers.

ballerina-hair-clip-holder

Bow holder

I’m going to a baby shower today and decided that the new baby would need hair clips. Gotta spread the hair clip love. But this new baby would need a place to keep her clips, wouldn’t she??? So….I decided she needed a bow holder to hang in her pretty new room and I set to work. This is what I came up with….you like?

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