Wednesday, 9 July 2014

D.I.Y My Vintage French Themed Mirror ♥


 I posted a few sneak photos this week on instagram of some home D.I.Y that I was planning.
At the weekend I finally found a few spare hours to finally carry out my plans and "up cycle" an old mirror me and my hubby have in our bedroom.

We were given this mirror a few years ago for free when we first moved into our flat by a friend who was getting rid of it, however over the years I have been adding decor to our bedroom to make it more cosy and homely.

 I finally decided enough was enough and I needed to either buy a new mirror or make this one match our bedroom some how, so after some googling and looking on Pinterest for inspiration I decided to to go for it and design my own frame. 


I originally got the idea for this "up cycle" when Leanne from "A Slice Of My Life" wrote a blog post back in October 2013 about a mirror she had up cycled - it looked fab - you can read that here - Link - thanks for the inspo too Leanne.
It cost me under £5 to design this frame myself and I now have a new mirror for a fraction of the price it would of cost me to buy a brand new one with this sort of decor.



I'll take you through a step by step process of how I designed this frame in the easiest way possible so anyone else can give it a go themselves.


The mirror pictured above is how it looked before I transformed it - it was a little bland and it didn't really match our bedroom.


Step 1 - The Main Materials.

For the actual design around the frame  I used some paper napkins - mine were only £2.50 for a pack of 10 with free delivery from eBay - Link - but you can choose any design you want, eBay sell all sorts.

To make the paste that I used to keep the napkins stuck down I used  PVA glue - available at most supermarkets in the kids section, I got mine from Sainsbury's, you can easily buy it for a £1.00 at Poundland too - I mixed 1/3 of PVA glue with 2/3 of cold water in a mug.
Any old mug will do to hold the PVA glue/water paste.

1 x Paint brush - again you can buy these from most places in a set - I used the biggest paint brush in my set to mix the PVA glue with the water.

Lastly you need a pair of sharp scissors - everyone has these lying around the house - and some masking tape - the masking tape will be used to stick around the edges of the frame so you don't get any glue on the mirror itself - its an absolute nightmare to get off if you do.

Step 2 - Preparing The Mirror

Firstly you need to clean the frame, kitchen roll and soapy water will get rid of any dust or residue around the frame that may have built up over the years,
While your waiting for that to dry you can prepare the area where your going to work.
I didn't have any option but the living room because that is where we have the most space.
You can use newspaper but I didn't have any, I don't read the newspaper and neither does anyone in our flat apparently.
I used two large bin liners cut apart - I taped these down using the masking tape so they stayed in place.
I found this option was easier because it meant my work area was also water proof.


After you have prepared the area you are going to work on, place the mirror face up on the floor and using the masking tape, stick down four long pieces on each of the four sides, make sure the tape isn't touching the inside of the frame completely either because you will need to pull this off at the end, you don't want to take any of the finished design with it.


Step 3 - Preparing The Frames Design.

You will need to cut the napkins so they fit the width of the frame, I found it easy cutting one napkin in half and then laying it out on the frame, I did this to judge how much I'd need to cut off, there needs to be enough of the napkin so that it will wrap round the back and the front edges of the frame. 
When you have done this you have an idea how much to cut off the rest of the napkins that you will be using.
I think I used 5 napkins in total.


Step 4 - Now The Fun Begins.

When you have the right amount of napkins ready, place one down one at a time on the frame, use the PVA glue/water paste and the paintbrush to stick down the napkin on the frame going over the whole napkin so its soaked through with the paste, you can use the paintbrush to tuck the edges of the napkin in round the frame on the front, brush a bit of glue on the bottom of the napkin for the back of the frame the back, lift the mirror up slightly and use your fingers to press it down onto the back, it should stick really easily- you can go over this later so don't worry to much about perfecting this.

The napkins do create a crinkled sort of effect but this was the look I was going for - it fits in with the vintage effect and it looks much better when its dry.



You can spread your pattern out how you wish - I tried to follow a straight line with my pattern with the butterflies - they don't all line up perfectly, but that's what makes it your own.

Once you have covered the whole frame doing the above step - you can leave it to dry for about 5 hours, 
I stood the mirror up when the bottom was dry after waiting 5 hours and went over the edges on the back and front of the frame with the PVA glue/water and made sure they were all stuck down completely.
I waited another further 2 hours till it was completely dry - you can leave it overnight if you wish .
Lastly when its completely dry that's when you can peel off all the masking tape off the mirror, just do it carefully

After a bit of polish and some soapy water to clean up any remaining glue or residue off the sticky tape, I hung the the finished mirror up in my room.


It looked like a completely new mirror and it definitely fitted in with my "French Vintage Theme"
I love it and I'll most certainly be "up cycling" more pieces of my furniture in the future,
My next D.I.Y project will be to find an old set of draws and up cycle those.

What do you think of my mirror?
Is up cycling something you would try?



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