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.
- A sheet of Plexiglas ($1.99 at Hobby Lobby)
- Mean scissors
- Craft knife/blade
- Mod Podge or similar glue
- Pretty paper or fabric
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.