It took forever for me to come up with an idea for my bathroom mirror. I considered just purchasing a frame (or using one I already had) to frame the mirror, but that seemed a bit boring to me.
Then I looked through my “inspiration” photos that I’ve saved on my computer (all 2,000+ of them) to see if they would spark any creative ideas, but all of my ideas were too textured and/or layered, which would be very impractical for cleaning in a bathroom.
I knew that I wanted the mirror to include several different shades of yellow, with one of those shades being the exact color that I used on the vanity, and I wanted it to be smooth for easy cleaning.
The obvious choice? A mosaic tile framed mirror. The problem? There aren’t any mosaic tiles available that include the exact yellow of my vanity.
So I decided to make my own.
Obviously, I needed to make lots of “tiles”, but because of the quantity that I needed, the material needed to be very inexpensive. I chose wood yardsticks. Twenty of them.
At 68 cents each, this was definitely the cheapest material available. The lattice at Home Depot that was comparable in width and thickness was about three times the price. And even with the added cost of the sanding discs that I had to use, the yardsticks were still way cheaper.
I used 80-grit sandpaper to remove all of the markings on one side of each of the yardsticks, and then followed up with 150-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.
I learned from my custom vent cover project that you have to sand really well, or the markings will still show through after it’s painted. It takes more than just getting the color off. If you can still see any hint of the markings, they’ll show through. See how you can still see the “33″ and the markings to the right of the 33? Those would show through.
After all of the yardsticks were sanded, I used my miter saw to cut them into “tiles” that were just under one inch wide.
Then I moved on to preparing the actual frame. Since I don’t have access to actual frame moulding that has the rabbet on the back where the mirror would be inserted, and I don’t own a router that I can use to make a rabbet, I had to get a little creative.
To create the rabbet, I used a thick piece of lattice and glued it to what will be the outside edge of the back of the frame. Once the frame pieces are cut and pieced together as a large rectangle, the mirror will be placed into the inset area.
Then on the front of the 1″ x 4″, I marked where my mitered cut lines will eventually be. I did this so that I would know where to attach the “tiles”, and so I wouldn’t waste any tiles on areas that would be scrap.
After the glued lattice was completely dry, I removed the clamps and started attaching my tiles, beginning with the edge.
…and then continuing to the front.
Here’s what the one section looked like when it was completely covered with tiles on the edge and the front.
And yes, I was using an extra dog food bowl to separate out the sanded tile pieces from the non-sanded tile pieces. When it comes to my projects, anything is fair game…which is why we always seem to run short on eating utensils.
Now if you’re wondering why I’m attaching the tiles before cutting the lumber for the frame, it’s because this way, I don’t have to cut and piece together tiny little pieces of tile for the corners. This way, everything will be cut as one, which not only makes it easier, but hopefully will also give me more accurate miters.
After I finish gluing on the rest of the tiles, I’ll cut the four sides of the frame, put the frame together, use a spray primer on the whole thing, paint the tiles various shades of yellow, clear coat the tiles, and then grout.
I’d love to say I’ll have it finished by tomorrow, but after listing everything that still needs to be done, I’d say that’s not likely. We’ll see!