DIY project: Fancy full-length mirror

Andrea Ford (interior designer and former Home editor of Chatelaine) and I spent an afternoon decorating a basic full-length mirror and voila! Here are the easy step-by-step instructions to transform a boring basic mirror into a unique decor piece. PLUS comment on this article to WIN this one-of-a-kind mirror!


Glass rocks (shells, beads, gum balls, small beach rocks, broken ceramic tiles, pom poms) – John Bead Outlet (pictured left)
Basic framed mirror (Canadian Tire)
Glue gun & glue sticks
Goo gone adhesive remover – Canadian Tire
Paint (optional)
Plastic drop cloth

This easy décor update is a perfect for the hot glue gunner. Within a few hours you can take the simplest of framed mirrors and transform it into a scene-stealing custom art piece that rivals trendy Venetian plaster looks. Look for an appliqué material that is lightweight  – we chose small glass rocks about the size of the beach combing sort – so the mirror doesn’t become too heavy and break under its own weight.

Step by step
1. Sort glass rocks (or any of the other appliqué materials) into 3 categories – large and flat, small round, large pieces

Step 2

2. Glue the large flat pieces along the top surface of the frame to cover the most surface

Step 3

3. Fill the inside edge of the frame mirror, trying not to get glue on the mirror surface

4. Work your way around the frame in one layer

Step 5

5. Go back to cover any of the frame showing through, building the layers one by one along the whole frame

Step 6

6. Try to move along the entire frame as you build each layer of material. This will help keep the treatment even and make you feel like you’re making progress. When you’re done your appliqué material you should not be able to see the frame.

7. In the event that you make a few slips and get glue on the mirror, dampen the corner of a cloth or cotton swab with Goo Gone and soak the glue residue until it dissolves and you can scrape it off.

Your new frame can also be painted to match your décor. One caution: if you opt for glass pieces, you’ll loose most of the transparency with paint so look for a coloured version that works with your style. Once you have finished applying the new texture to your frame, tape a plastic drop cloth (garbage bag, grocery bags) over the mirror making sure to hide the entire mirrored surface. Spray the rocks (paint made for plastic covers most materials) with 3 coats of paint – rotating the mirror each time to make sure you get into all of the crevices. When the surface is dry, remove the tape gently.

Ta da!

Click here for more home and decorating tips AND tell me what decor advice you need in the comments section below.

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  • May 12, 2010 | Permalink |

    I love DIY projects!

    The Turquoise looks great against the white wall & accessories!

  • Sabrina-Kate Eryou
    May 13, 2010 | Permalink |

    Even with those great instructions, I doubt I’d be able to pull something like this off! Kudos!

  • May 14, 2010 | Permalink |

    Can you do the same with a mirror that’s fixed to a wall?
    I’m a bit tired of waking up and seeing the same boring mirror
    (as if seeing the same face is not horrible enough)

  • Danielle
    June 2, 2010 | Permalink |

    What a pretty lamp! I just found this site and love it already, I just might have to become a Facebook fan <3

  • Danielle
    June 2, 2010 | Permalink |

    Haha, I just read my comment and wondered why it sounded so strange… Only to realize I typed out “lamp” instead of mirror. Oops!

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