Wednesday, January 4, 2012

diy-- photo canvas alarm panel cover



this cute canvas photo serves two purposes. not only is it super chic artwork of one of my loves, but it doubles as a cover for the unsightly alarm panel.

ta-da! not only does it hide the ugly alarm panel from friends and family, but also from strangers.

simply attach two flat hinges first to the canvas (ordered at canvas on demand with uploaded photo from our collection) and then to the wall. (i just picked the hinges up at home depot for cheep). 

view when canvas is in open position to reveal the alarm panel. 

side view of both canvases on the wall in our entry. you can see the hinges from the side on the one that is hiding the alarm panel, but barely.

what do you think?

update: 7/25/12 we have many comments saying that this will NOT work as a thermostat cover and we agree--this idea is for an ALARM panel. :-)

103 comments:

  1. This is a really clever idea!

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  2. This could work for the thermostat, too!

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    1. Since I work at a heating & air company the thermostat one really bugs me... If you cover it up it will make your power bill go up!! The thermostat has to be able to tell the temp in the house to work properly.. If it is covered it could make the unit run longer before it can tell what the temp is.. Which in turn will cause more energy to be used and a a higher power bill..
      They're not the prettiest thing to have hanging on a wall but a frame around one to pretty it up is a much better option...

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    2. A frame around one is a great idea!

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    3. I second what the first Becky said. Moved into "new" old farmhouse with a brand new heat pump. The manual was stuck at top of thermostat and I left it there, also had a small lamp on the table directly under it. Had problem of heatpump not coming on or off properly. Learned from the service guy that the papers were covering the top temp detector and the light was heating the bottom one. Ignorance is not bliss!

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    4. As it says repeatedly throughout the post...this was an alarm panel...not a thermostat.

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    5. she said it would also work well on a thermostat...

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    6. All one would need to do is adjust the thermostat accordingly. Instead of setting it at 72, set it to 75 or whatever difference is needed to factor in the covered area. You're right, Ignorance is not bliss, nor is being stuck in old thinking patterns.

      GREAT idea, btw.

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    7. Please don't use it for a thermostat.

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  3. Love this idea! Found your post on Pinterest!!

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  4. What a great idea! I made a few (well, maybe 8) canvases recently and displayed 7 of them perfectly in a cluster. Now, I have one left over and no idea where to put it. Now I know! THanks so much! Also, you guys are so entertaining to read ... and I am awarding you the Liebster Blog award. Head over to my post "I am so honored" to check out where I linked up to your site! Happy Blogging!

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    1. thank you so very much....and welcome! we are glad that you found us!!

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  5. "This could work for the thermostat, too!" - I don't recommend that since a thermostat reads the room temperature. A canvas would block the air.

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  6. The thermostat has a gauge in it to detect the air temp in the room, though. Won't this cause the furnace not to kick on since you're covering it?

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    1. i used this for an alarm panel and unfortunately i don't know enough about thermostats to know if it would work for them too or if it would mess with the efficiency. :-( sorry!

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  7. Brilliant! I love decorating that is both beautiful and practical!

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  8. I have an awful red switch in the middle of a living room wall...this is perfect!

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  9. Brilliant....just a brilliant idea!

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  10. Maybe pretty fabric instead of canvas to let the air flow through easily.

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  11. What a fabulous idea! I have been obsessing over how to move our doorbell box and an old, unused thermostat, but this is the perfect solution!! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. thank you so much for ALL of the amazing feedback! we are thrilled that you liked our idea! enjoy! :-)

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  13. Love it... just posted on pinterest

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    1. thanks!


      xoxo-
      chach & nellie
      the third boob

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  14. Why not hinge it from the top? This way your sure no one would see the hinge and you can lift the canvas up instead of like a door? Great Idea tho thanks for sharing it...

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    1. good idea--i thought about doing that, but with a kiddo in one arm i thought it would be hard to open and hold open while turning off the alarm. maybe once the kiddos are older. :-)

      xoxo-
      chach & nellie
      the third boob

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  15. If you were to paint the back edge of the hinge to match the wall it would make the hinge less noticeable.

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    1. oooh--fantastic idea!

      xoxo-
      chach & nellie
      the third boob

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  16. Seems like a clever idea to me but my hubby is an HVAC guy and says this isn't something one should do.

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  17. aha, I just now read it is an alarm panel...I just saw the pic on pinterest and thought it was a thermostat. Silly me!

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    1. :-)

      xoxo-
      chach & nellie
      the third boob

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  18. I'm going to do this to hide my necklaces! Thanks!

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    1. great idea!

      xoxo-
      chach & nellie
      the third boob

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    2. Don't hide valuable behind pictures, that's one of the first place thieves look in a break in. We were robbed when I was young and they had ripped down pictures, gone through dressers and even found my moms money stash in the freezer that was wrapped in tin foil. A thieve will know all the good hiding spaces. come up with your own.

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  19. My husband and I own an A/C company, and although I love the ingenuity behind this idea, Becky is correct. Thermostats measure the tempuratures in close proximity, in order to trigger off and on a/c or heat. If the T-Stat is covered, it can't function correctly and that will be reflected in energy consumtion and your monthly bill.

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    1. hi debbie--

      thanks for taking the time to comment---
      thanks for the heads up on using this idea for a thermostat cover---we used it for an alarm panel cover but know that a lot of people have wanted to use it for a hvac cover. :-)

      xoxo-
      chach & nellie
      the third boob

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    2. Ok if u leave an object in a room at 70 degrees that object will be 70 degrees covering the therm with a pic will not affect opperation its not an air tight seal due to the gap between wall and hinges so the ambient temp will still reach the therm like normal

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  20. Love the idea and like others I'm wishing I could cover my thermostat... seems you have several knowledgeable people onboard, maybe somebody could comment on my idea (started by others I've read) to cover the thermostat with a light fabric, maybe vent the sides of the frame and adjust the temp up or down a couple degrees as needed to compensate...??

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    1. i wish that i knew enough to comment. i think it seems like it would work, but i don't know for certain. it would be nice to figure out something for an unsightly thermostat! :-)

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    2. I used a vintage frame with some really light gauzy fabric, kinda looks like a window with curtains and our service guy said it should be okay!

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  21. Love this idea . I am going to make some to cover where we hang our keys , much nicer to look at then a rack of key chains. limitless uses. thanks for sharing

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    1. ooh, i hadn't thought of that one. LOVE it! thanks for sharing with us. :-)

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  22. What about doing this to cover up the electrical panel? We rarely need to access it & it's so unsightly.

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    1. that is a fantastic idea!

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    2. Sarah from the TV show "Sarah's House" used a picture frame with hinges on it to cover the electrical panel in her laundry room.
      Both of these ideas are seriously genius! Thanks for sharing with us Chach!

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  23. Just finished hanging a large canvas over our thermostat. I did leave a small gap.....1/8 in......on the edge closest to the thermistat. I also used a small square of Velcro in one corner to keep it from accidentally opening. Turned out beautifully! Thanks for the brilliant idea.

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  24. That's a really cool idea! I never would've thought of that. I could that with my thermostat, too.

    Lesley
    byporchlight.blogspot.com

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  25. I love this!! Great idea!

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  26. Awesome! Just saw on Pinterest!

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  27. Funny...
    I did this about 6 years ago for the same reason!
    I've received dozens of "Wow!' comments over the years.
    Cheers!
    ~ Jen
    @CarseatDancers
    www.DancingInCarseats.wordpress.com

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  28. Fantastic idea. It would work great to hide my circuit breaker box that is highly visable.

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  29. It seems you've had to tell a lot of people that you did this with an ALARM and not a THERMOSTAT (even though you stated that in your post that it was an alarm). I'm glad some people have pointed out that it probably wouldn't be a good idea for a thermostat though. Maybe you should put an update in your post itself?

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  30. Saw this on Pinterest. I rarely go to the source for pins, but this was too good to not give props. Seriously genius! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. thanks! so glad that you found us!

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  31. Love this idea! When my husband had surround sound installed in our family room, one of the front speaker panels is right smack in the middle of a space I would love to decorate. I am totally doing this!

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  32. Great idea. I think plan on doing this. I am going to recess the hind into frame and see if this method will eliminate seeing the hinge from a side view. Will let you know if it works.

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    1. oooh! love that idea! please let us know how it turns out!! :)

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  33. This is NOT simple but a simple idea made complicated. Y not hang the frame on a single nail over the panel!

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    1. Because then you would have to take the picture down every you set the alarm and then put it back up. This way is simple.

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    2. yes. i tried it with a nail first but it was was too much work to come in being trailed by a 2 and 4 year old AND having arms full of grocery bags and then trying to take a canvas off a nail. no fun! (i can't even begin to tell you how many times it was dropped on the ground). it may take a few extra minutes to attach the hinges, but it is WELL worth it in my opinion. :-)

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  34. Great solution for covering the alarm. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Just tried this on my thermostat, I left a small gap and it doesn't seem to be affecting it. Loved the idea!

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  36. I'm curious about whether it lays flat on the side without the hinge? I was thinking that it might make sense to add a small magnet on the other side, to keep the frame shut? I've had stretched canvas frames warping ever so slightly at my beach house with high humidity. Any thoughts?

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    1. a magnet sounds like a great idea. we haven't had any problems with warping but if you do, i'd definitely try something to secure it!

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  37. We did this in our finished basement with the electrical box!

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  38. Just did this on a side of a kitchen cabinet. It now hides all of our keys. I used the 3m removable hooks for hanging the keys. Love it!

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  39. I am totally doing this with my electrical panel in my basement! I have been looking for ways to cover it! Great idea!

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  40. I think the whole idea is dumb.

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  41. Bat-man bat cave ingenious.

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  42. I actually just did this with a piano hinge over a 50" flat screen in my bedroom.

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  43. Put the hinges on the side opposite the people enter.

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  44. Genius idea! How thick of a canvas did you get? Would 1.5 inches be thick enough for a standard alarm? I guess it depends on the size of your individual alarm but curious how big yours are...

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  45. This is clever! Filing away for possible later use...

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  46. Do you think this would work to cover a doorbell box?

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  47. I see it's been almost a year since you posted. I'm curious to know how it's held up over time. Still working well? I thought about this, but the screws are so tiny, there was no way they'd go through the drywall to hit a stud. Just wondering if you have drywall and it it all stayed in place? Thanks!

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    1. everything still works perfectly. screws are holding tight and everything still looks great! we have it in drywall without any problems.

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  48. Getting ready to move to Cali and I can't wait tiu try this in the new house!

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  49. This idea is so brilliant! I just have one question, my alarm is pretty big. It probably sticks out about 2 inches or so. I've never ordered a canvas, so I'm not sure on their size. Will it really cover it? A frame wont, which is why I'm unsure. Don't want to invest in one if it wont work!

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    1. you'll want to measure your alarm and then check with the canvas printing company to see the depths of their canvases. let us know if it works!

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  50. I want to do something like this to cover the fuse box.

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    1. let us know how it turns out!

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  51. I have a small frame over mine and i didn't have to hinge it...it just fits and i can lift it on or off..

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  52. I'm going to use this to cover an unsightly electrical panel box in my hall!

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  53. What a fantastic project! I'll be linking to it on our Living Rooms pinboard. Check it out at pinterest.com/homedepot next week!

    - Chante

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