Monday, March 17, 2014

DIY: Window Pane Mirror

Hey everybody, Happy Monday!  Hope you had a good weekend.  I am excited that this week's forecast is starting to look a little bit warmer, though at this rate it feels like it won't be spring until July!  Today I'm going to share with you a project I was working on during our one nice day last week.  By nice, I mean warm enough to put the garage door up and not freeze to death while working.  Warm enough to use spray paint!

On Friday I shared with you my spring mantel, draft one.  The mirror that I used in my mantel is one that I crafted, and I'm going to share with you how easy it is to make!

I decided to build my own mirror for a few reasons.  One, I had pretty specific dimensions that I wanted to satisfy.  In case you don't remember, my mantel is pretty close to the ceiling, leaving me about 24 inches total between the two.  Second, I had already scoured multiple HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's stores with no luck.  Third, I found some pretty great options at Hobby Lobby, but to the tune of $75.  Which was the 50% off price, no thank you.  DIY to the rescue!

I had decided that I for sure wanted a mirror that looked like a paned window.  I discovered I could buy the square mirrors with a beveled edge at Hobby Lobby in either 5'', 8'' or 12''.  I went with the 8'', I knew that once I added my trim it would give me the height that I was looking for.

The mirrors can be found in the candle section of Hobby Lobby.  They were originally $4.99 a piece, but were on sale for 50% off, allowing me to pick up 8 of them for under $20.  The labels came off pretty smoothly, as well at the little foam feet on the bottom, all with the help of a razor blade.

Next came the strategic planning.  I had my 8'' square mirrors, and I planned on using trim that was 3/4'' wide to create a 2 panel high by 4 panel wide mirror.  By doing some simple math that told me the finished dimensions of my project would be 18.25'' by 35.75''.  I picked up a 2' by 4' piece of MDF at Home Depot knowing I could have them cut it to size.  Since you never know how exact it is going to be cut, and to allow for any human error (me and measurements don't always get along)  I had them cut the board to be 18.5'' by 36''. 
While at Home Depot I also picked up all of my 3/4'' trim.  It is pine screen moulding that has a flat back and rounded top edges.  As well as my two adhesives for the wood and mirrors.

You can see I had some good scraps left over from having them cut down the piece of MDF that I can save for a future project.  I also made sure to take home a few extra feet of moulding, just in case.

First I made all the cuts for my moulding with my miter saw, and just dry fitted them all in place.  All I needed was;
2 pieces at 36'' for the top and bottom
2 pieces at 17'' for the two sides
1 piece at 34'' for the middle horizontal slat
6 pieces at 8 1/8'' for the vertical slats

This was the part where I now decided to double check that the mirrors would fit ok.  Turns out 8'' square mirrors can have quite a large variance from one to the other, not that I should be surprised.  This is the part where I almost freaked out, I thought for sure my measurements were all off.  The first mirror I picked up ended up being the smallest one of the bunch.  I thought I was going to have all this extra room in between the mirror and the moulding.  I realized they were all slightly different in size, and forged ahead trusting my initial instincts.

I just used an all purpose adhesive to secure all my pieces of trim to the MDF.  I just started around the outside edge first.  Then I used my tape measure and little pencil marks to make sure everything stayed even and centered.  I made sure to wipe up any excess glue that squished out so I wouldn't be left with any clumps when it dried.

That completed the construction part of the frame.  It didn't take long at all, including my mini freak out that it wasn't going to work at all.

Next I broke out a can of gray spray paint I had on hand to give it one quick coat.  I wanted to try distressing the mirror.  I've always seen it done, but never tried it myself.  I always worry that once I start sanding it down it is going to look horrible and then I'm screwed!  But I thought why not give it a try.

 I didn't care that it wasn't fully covered, I just wanted to make sure a little gray would peak through once I distressed it.

After that dried I used 3 thin coats of a flat white spray paint.  I lie, it was probably 2 thin coats, plus 1 thicker coat because I was getting impatient.

I let everything dry over night.  The next morning I took a sanding block and went over all of the pieces of moulding.  Making sure not to let it look too uniform or even.  I was excited, it was looking good, better that I expected it would!

Then I dry fit all of the mirrors.  It was like a giant puzzle.  All of the mirrors were slightly different, as were the squares on the frame.  I just kept moving them all around till they all sat nice, flat and even.  Next, I just popped them out one at a time with a flat head screwdriver.

Using a good amount of mirror adhesive I made sure to center each tile as I dropped it back in and pressed it firmly in place.  Once they were all glued down I left the mirror flat to dry for the next day.

I cleaned everything up with a little glass cleaner, and voila!  Awesome mirror, done!  I absolutely love how it turned out.  I'm sure it will become a staple on my mantel.

Project breakdown:

Mirrors $19.92
2'x4' MDF $6.67
21' Pine Moulding $8.42
Loctite Power Grab, all purpose adhesive $3.65
Loctite Mirror adhesive $5.22
Spray Paint Free (already had)

Total: $43.94

Almost half the price of the Hobby Lobby mirror I had been eyeing!  It would run you a few more bucks if you didn't have any paint on hand.  Still, it would come in at a great price!  I love my new window pane mirror!

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