Designer DIY: Using Fabrics to Dress Up Knobs and Light Switches

Designer DIY: Using Fabrics to Dress Up Knobs and Light Switches

Theresa Gonzalez
Mar 12, 2013

Bay Area-based hotel designer Natalia Severdia shared this easy DIY with us. Using wool, which is naturally fire retardant, and leather, which stretches easily over curves, she turns ordinary knobs and switch plates into something just a little bit fancy. I love this idea because it doesn't take a lot of time or money but makes something functional look more like a high-end design feature. Take a look and maybe try it at home.

What You Need:

  • Switch cover plate (ideally metal as the edges are sharper and it's easier to fold fabric over - also it comes w/ stainless screws, which look better than white).
  • Wool fabric square (about 4x4 inches), like this Holland & Sherry, Wilde Ember DE12922
  • Decorative hardware, like this one from Amerock - Knob (14403SCH). Look for a design that has some type of border to conceal the edge of the leather.
  • Leather square, like this one from Moore and Giles
  • Crazy Glue
  • Scissors with pointed ends
  • Pen
  • Stitch remover tool or something with a strong, thin metal edge like a fork


1. Trace the cover plate shape (including the openings) on the fabric's back.

2. Cut the center opening according the lines indicated. Cut the corners to allow clean corner fold. Cut the little holes for screws.

3. Glue the fabric around the center opening.

4. Fold and glue the perimeter fabric.

5. Push the screws through and mount on the wall.

Decorative Knob Instructions:

1. Trace the head of the knob on the back side of the fabric.

2. Cut out the shape and glue down.
Start by just a drop of the glue at the perimeter and press the leather against it. Use the stitch remover tool to press the very edge down to allow glue to saturate the fabric. Press until the glue is dried. Continue this way around the entire perimeter. Make sure you pull the leather evenly to get a nice tailored look.

(Images: Natalia Severdia)

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