Elle Czech January 2012 Cover - Denisa Dvorakova
A unique work of art can spice up any room in your home--especially when it's functional in addition to being beautiful. So instead of adding another painting, photograph, or sculpture, opt for a new piece of artwork--a decorative wall mirror. Mirrors add light, give the illusion of more space, and can be interesting conversational pieces--especially when they're one-of-a-kind, handmade creations. If you're looking for a fun DIY project that will add some flair to your home, try making your own decorative wall mirror inspired by one of the following suggestions.
Embellished Wall Mirror
You can be as creative as you want to be when making an embellished wall mirror because you can use any number of different embellishments to decorate the frame. You can start out with a new frame that you plan to build upon, or use an old one that you want to reinvent. Begin by sanding the frame to remove any paint or shine from it, and then repaint it using quality acrylic paints found at your local craft supplier. You can paint it one solid color, paint a pattern on it, or give it a vintage or antique look using a variety of special painting techniques. Once you've painted the frame to your liking, use a hot glue gun to affix embellishments to it. Beads, buttons, sequins, seashells, silk flowers, old game pieces, or small metal trinkets are just some of the things you can use to make your decorative wall mirror really stand out. After you've embellished your mirror, allow it to dry and then use your hot glue gun to attach a mirror to the back of the frame. Once the glue has set, hang your new mirror and enjoy!
Mosaic Wall Mirror
Mosaic tiles can really turn a wall mirror into a magnificent work of art--and the project itself isn't as difficult as you might think. The frame that you will be tiling should be flat and smooth so that the glass tiles lay flat when you begin to attach them, so be sure you have one that will work before you start your project. If necessary, remove any paint or stain from the frame, and then place painter's tape around the edges so that you don't accidentally get grout anywhere but on the area you plan to tile. You can purchase tiles for a mosaic project at a craft supply store already broken into pieces or in sheets that you will need to break on your own. If you end up using sheets that you need to break or you want to use recycled ceramic, carefully wrap the ceramic in a towel and break it on a hard service using a mallet or hammer. Once the tiles are broken, you can start placing them on the frame. Spread an even layer of grout onto one area of the frame at a time, smoothing it with a palate knife as needed. Lay the tiles as desired, making sure to leave approximately two millimeters of space in-between them. After you've placed your design, use a tiny spatula to fill in the cracks between the tiles with grout. If you get grout on the surface of the ceramic tiles, you can easily wipe it away with a damp cloth when you're all finished. Allow your tiled frame to dry, and then use a hot glue gun to attach the mirror to it just as you would do with an embellished decorative wall mirror project.
Etched Wall Mirror
If you'd like to decorate the mirror itself and not just the frame, try etching it. An etched border, corner designs, or even an etching as a focal point are all lovely ways to accent a wall mirror, giving it new life for all to admire. To etch a mirror, wipe the mirror clean using glass cleaner, making sure to remove all fingerprints and surface dirt or markings. When the mirror is completely dry, place an adhesive stencil of the design you've chosen to etch face-down, paper side up on the surface. Use a squeegee, credit card, or driver's license to burnish the stencil to the mirror, utilizing the hard edge to make sure the stencil is smoothly applied. Slowly peel the paper away from the stencil and place masking or painter's tape on the exposed parts of the mirror that you won't be etching to prevent any unwanted markings. Also, because the etching cream you will be using to etch your mirror is highly caustic, wear vinyl gloves to protect your hands and safety goggles to protect your eyes. Working in a ventilated area, gloves and goggles in place, use a paint brush to spread a thick layer of etching cream to the stencil-covered area of your mirror. Take care around the edges of your stencil to make the entire design is filled-in. Allow the cream to sit for fifteen to twenty minutes, or according to the directions found on the etching cream label. Replace your vinyl gloves and use paper toweling to remove the cream, and then use warm water to wash away and excess cream still left on the mirror. Gently remove the stencil and wash your newly etched mirror with glass cleaner before handling or hanging it.
There are many different ways to make your own decorative wall mirror, and the project ideas featured here are just a sampling. Don't be afraid to mix and match projects when making your own wall mirror. The end result will be a stunning work of art unlike any other--one that you'll be proud to hang on your wall.
Guest post from Jean Clark. Jean writes for BackgroundCheck.org.
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