The Cheapest Mirror of Them All

Before I dive into the details of this mirror on the wall, Deme is featuring the girls’ nursery today over at her blog, Fresh Coat of Paint!  There’s some never-before-seen shots of their room and a few updates that we spent last weekend completing!  You should go check it out…but make sure you’ve got some time on your hands when you do because you’ll get sucked in to the all of the beautiful details of her home and all the diy that goes on over there just like I do!  My favorites are the curtains she made from a duvet cover, her stenciled and painted interior door, and her polka dot closet.  Needless to say, she’s making me seriously consider switching out our plain curtains for some bold black and white’s, every door in our house is yearning for some tape and paint, and you might venture over to see the girl’s closet dotted with gold one of these days.  :)

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Remember the $8 mirror I found at a thrift store while on an excursion to visit my sisBeller Girls2

Well, it lost the dull and took up the glam in a whirlwind diy project that took me much, much longer than I anticipated…or that I wanted.
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Big change, huh?  The hours of naptimes and bedtimes spent working on this thing paid off!

To get it to where it is now, I first had to rip off all the tape holding it together and rip out the staples that someone thought would maybe hold the back on…they obviously didn’t hence all that tape.  mirror 001

Then I gave the frame a good scrub down and the two of us took it outside where it got a coat of primer (Rustoleum)…mirror 002

…followed by a few thin coats of white spray paint (Valspar   cZ VJ UMMMMMMMMMMMMM—>thank you Seraphia—in a satin finish).
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Then I got my inner King Midas on and gave the recessed area of the frame a few coats of gold.mirror 004

All thanks goes to Deme, who introduced me to this maaahvalous paint from Home Depot:mirror 014

(Speaking of gold, Anthony once told me, during a conversation about investing in a house, that “You can build a house out of solid gold but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get every penny you put into it back out when you sell.  It all depends on the neighborhood.”  Well, we’ll see about that mister.  You might come home to a gold house courtesy of Martha Stewart and her metallic paint one of these days.)

Anyway, there’s more gold in the imminent future so keep reading. 

Next up was hatching a skewer-to-mirror plan.  I wanted to do something unique to the recessed area, something on top of just painting it gold so, I went to the local grocery aisle #8 and picked up some 12 inch skewers.  Of course I couldn’t do anything with a whole twelve inches of bamboo so I cut them into four inch pieces.  Using one, cut skewer as a guide, I laid out a bunch of full-sized ones in a row with the rounded ends against a picture frame, laid a ruler over the top of them, and penciled a line along them.  It went a little somethin’ like this:   cuttingskewers 

Then I painstakingly cut along the penciled mark on each skewer (and cursed myself for having and executing this idea in the first place) until I had over 300 four inch pieces of round bamboo.  mirror 012
(Side note:  Take a hint from this smarty pants here and, if you ever decide to use short pieces of wood to adorn anything, go buy yourself some toothpicks on Amazon…they come in lots of sizes!  Until you do, I’ll be shaking my head at my impatient and desire to do it the hard way.)

After I had all of my skewers cut (and a case of pre-arthritis setting in), I did a dry fit onto my mirror frame to make sure my idea would actually work and look decent (translation:  Anthony was skeptical and made me question myself).  For a little flare, I laid each skewer at an angle so that each end was touching the edge of both sides of the recess, like so:mirror 005

So, hour 53094 into this crazy project and here I was, needing to paint the skewer pieces.  Are you surprised?  You didn’t think I was going to leave them did you?  I debated staining them a deep, dark brown but, oh no, I love that gold paint to no end.  However, it’s the littlest bit opaque when it goes on and so, to save me the insanity that would’ve been brushing 3+ coats of it onto hundreds of small bamboo rounds, I first coated them with a layer of gold spray paint followed by Martha’s tub ‘o goodness.  Tony the Tiger helped with this step.  I used his box to tape three strips of masking tape upside-down to which I stuck the skewer pieces to hold them in place while painting.  It worked GREEEEAAATTT!!  (Cheesy?  Yes, that’s me.) mirror 013 

Last and late last Friday night, I used regular old Elmer and his glue to attach my gold sticks to the mirror frame.  I made sure to only place the glue close to the inner edge of the recess, where the sticks were closer together, lest it be seen through the spaces towards the outer edge.mirror 015
My initial thought on using Elmer’s glue was that it’s washable so, in case the desire strikes to ditch the skewer pieces someday and go with something else, I can simply pluck them off and wash off the dried glue residue.  However, after seeing the finished product, I don’t think those skewers will ever be coming off.  :)

So, after attaching every last stick and letting the glue dry overnight, Anthony attached the mirror to the frame with some caulk (we would’ve used glue but the mirror is relatively light and I like the idea of having it semi-removable in case I have the urge to re-paint the frame someday…) and then attached the frame backing with three screws drilled into the back of the frame.  We hung it centered over the girls’ cribs, where there wasn’t a stud (grrr…) so we made sure to use a heavy duty drywall anchor.  Luckily, the entire frame + mirror weighs around 15 lbs. so the super-anchor is a little overkill but it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re dealing with cute, little chicklets?  Am I right or am I right?

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What do you think?  The pictures don’t do the glorious shine of the gold any justice but I absolutely love it!  I swore to myself over and over and over that I’d never do something like this ever again in-process but after seeing the show-stopping result, I’ve changed my mind and just might be crazy enough to take another stab at it someday.

And, as the title alludes to, here’s the jar-full of change it put us back:
Mirror:  $8
Skewers:  $4 (two packs and we still have half a pack left for summer shish kabobs…yum)
Gold Paint:  $6 (not even sure this counts since I used like 1/20th of the jar)
Spray Primer:  free (already had)
Spray Paint:  $4.50 (still have over half the can)
Grand Total:  $22.50 (or $14 if you subtract my actual usage of material)

I think “The Cheapest Mirror of Them All” about covers it, huh?nursery32013 009


Anyone else tackled a mirror revamp lately?  How about using skewers as decor?  Fallen in love with gold metallic paint?  Crazy mom of two or more hopelessly addicted to decorating and doing?  Anyone…?  Anyone………….?

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P.S.  It’s party time!!  I’m pulling this one out of the archives and linking up with East Coast Creative’s Upcycle link-up


  1. Love this!
    I don't know how you manage to get all of these projects accomplished! I have a list a mile long, but it seems to take me FOREVER to get anything to completion :)

  2. Sheena, I am uber impressed! The project is enough in itself, but your ability to accomplish this with two little chicklets makes it more amazing.

  3. SO beautiful! And the photos of the finished project are beautiful too! So excited to now click over and read about your nursery!

  4. This was so worth all the effort!! Definitely one of my favorite nursery projects!

  5. Hi Sheena! Visiting from Deme's blog. I absolutely love your nursery! The color combination is beautiful and I really love this mirror. It must have taken a lot of patience to make and it's beautiful. The love you poured into the room is so evident. Great job!

    Sharon @ Desert Willow Lane

  6. Holy cow !! Amazing transformation! It turned out so cute! You are so talented!

  7. What a gorgeous mirror! Nice work!