For my birthday last March my aunt J sent me a small antique Limoges mirror that had belonged to my Great Aunt Margaret. I really liked it, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what to do with it – I’m not the type of girl who carries a mirror in her purse, and it was too pretty to be just tossed into my purse where it would disappear to the bottom and probably get damaged. That said – I also didn’t want to store it away somewhere where nobody could admire it.
My birthday present
It took me a while to figure out to do with the mirror, and once that was figured out, it took even longer to find a key component for my idea to work. The plan was to frame the mirror in a shadow-box type frame. Unfortunately I couldn’t find exactly the type of frame I was looking for – I was looking for one where the glass was spaced about 1/2″ away from the back of the frame – all the frames I found had no space, or they were true shadow boxes for mementos and the glass was a couple of inches from the back of the frame.
After some fruitless searching at all the big box stores (and some little box ones as well), I finally found what I was looking for in a thrift store. My new frame cost $6 which, let’s be honest is a little steep for a thrift store, but it was just what I was looking for.
Thrift store frame
I decided that I was going to hang my mirror in the bathroom, so one of the first steps after completely dismantling the frame, cleaning, and then re-assembling it was to spray paint it silver to match the chrome accents in my bathroom. This was my first experience with spray paint, and quite a bit easier than I had thought.
Getting ready to paint
I taped off the glass on the front a back, and set the frame on some ‘Painter’s pyramids’ I had bought for another project but not used. I set the entire thing in a big cardboard box to spray as I was doing it inside (I don’t have a garage or outside space that’s solely mine).
Operation spray paint was a success
I decided that I would back the mirror with black velvet, but I needed to figure out a way to mount the mirror on the velvet. Two sided tape was out as it could potentially damage the mirror, but luckily the mirror was framed with a rope pattern that was constructed in such a way to leave tiny holes around the mirror. Using a beading needle and some clear thread I sewed the mirror onto the velvet using the tiny holes in the rope pattern to secure the mirror to the fabric.
I sewed the mirror in place (my stitching talent is a little lacking)
I then mounted the velvet on some thin cardboard (from a frozen pizza) using spray adhesive and placed it in the frame. I then added a piece of thicker cardboard to ensure the mirror was positioned securely in the frame and anchored it all in place using the original nails. Using spray adhesive I glued a piece of brown paper to the back of the frame to neaten up the back, and also to help keep out any dust. My last step was to add a small label identifying the mirror.
Dedication Label (last names removed for obvious reasons)
Here’s the finished product:
Margaret’s Mirror (sorry the picture isn’t better – the glass was rather reflective and hard to photograph)
Here is the cost breakdown of the project:
- Thrift store frame: $6
- Velvet fabric: $6 – King Textiles – $14.00/yd. and it was 20% off
- Needles and thread: $2.01 – Fabricland – the location was closing so it was 50% off
- Spray paint: $7.19
- Painter’s pyramids: $6.80
For a total cost of about $30 (tax. included) I think I got a pretty good result.