On the wall between my two smaller living room windows, I had originally planned on using the painting that I showed you yesterday. But as many of you pointed out, anything square or rectangular on that wall would just add another box to the room. I already have so many boxy items (windows, chairs, ottoman, end tables) that I needed to add something that wasn’t square to that wall to soften all of the angles.
So I made a 40-inch lotus flower mirror.
I was inspired by this lotus flower mirror from Layla Grayce. There are many things that I like so much better about that mirror, but I didn’t happen to have $1,525.00 lying around to purchase a mirror for my living room. And I’m pretty pleased with my $60 version.
Here’s how I made it. (Warning: awful pictures ahead. I made this on my front porch well after dark, working by the light of one light bulb.)
I used 1/2-inch MDF, and since I knew I wanted the mirror to be 40 inches wide, I started by cutting a 40-inch square.
Then I found the center, measured out 12 inches, and drew a square. Why 12 inches? I have no idea. 🙂 It just seemed like a good number to me.
Next I taped four sheets of paper together and cut them to the size that would fit perfectly between the edge of the middle square and the edge of the MDF.
Then I folded the paper in half and drew and cut a perfectly symmetrical flower petal.
I used the template to trace four flower petals on the 40-inch square of MDF, lining the straight edge of the pattern up with the lines of the inside square that I drew.
With all of them traced, it looked like this. And I kept the back petals all connected to the center square to serve as a solid base for the entire mirror.
Then I refolded my pattern, measured 1.5 inches from the edge, and trimmed the pattern. This would be the second row of petals, so I traced four of these onto MDF. I repeated that three more times — measure 1.5 inches, trim, trace four petals, repeat. I ended up with five sizes of petals, including the main base petals.
Then I used my jigsaw to cut out all of the petals. (This would have been SOOOO much easier had I been working during the day in actual sunlight!!)
After all the petals were cut and the edges were sanded, I decided for some reason that I needed a dark base. Since I didn’t have any dark paint on hand, I used stain on all of the petals. This ended up being a huge waste of time, a waste of stain, and completely unnecessary. It would have been better had I just painted directly onto the plain MDF.
So in the following pictures, you’ll see that the petals are all dark. Just ignore that. 🙂
I used five different metallic craft paints — bright gold, soft gold, champagne, sterling, and white pearl. (Various brands, all from Michael’s.)
And using a craft brush, I brushed on the various metallic paints in a random manner. At first, I tried to be very careful and blend the colors to make the variations subtle. After doing several petals like that, I realized that I actually preferred this messy, streaky look, so I went back and started piling on the paint onto each petal to achieve this look.
When the front was dry, I went back and painted the edge of each petal using Rich Espresso metallic paint (DecoArt), and I also used a sea sponge to dab the color onto the very edge of the front of each petal just to give them some definition.
When everything was dry, it was time to assemble. The center lines that I drew on the base, along with a tape measure, really came in handy in getting all of the petals lined up. I assembled everything using wood glue. So I got the second row all lined up and glued on…
Then the third row…
The fourth row..
The fifth and final row..
And topped it off with a mirror…
The mirror was one of a set that I bought from Home Depot. The set came with five round mirrors for $15. I used one of the round mirrors on this sunburst mirror that I used at the condo, and this is the second one I’ve used. I still have three left that I can use on future projects. I don’t think you can beat that price for five round mirrors!!
And I also wanted to show you the huge difference that the Rich Espresso metallic paint made on the front edges of the petals. Here’s how the finished product looked with those edges defined.
But earlier in the day before I painted those edges, I was piecing the mirror together just to get an idea of what it would look like finished, and you can see how washed out the petals look. There’s no definition at all between the petals, and they look kind of blah.
So that’s a very subtle detail that makes a huge difference.
Here’s a look at my mirror along with the inspiration mirror.
EDIT: I should have known that the most common questions would be, “How did you hang it?” and, “Is it heavy?” 😉
Yes, it’s a heavy mirror, as you could imagine, since it’s made of layers of MDF. If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s somewhere in the 15 to 20 pound range. So really, it’s no heavier than a large framed mirror.
But any time I want to hang something heavy on the wall, whether it’s a king-sized upholstered headboard, a lotus flower mirror made of heavy MDF, or anything in between, I always use an Ook Hangman metal French cleat. You can find them at Lowe’s and Home Depot with the picture hanging hardware. They are the easiest things in the world to use (and even come with their own level!), and I swear by them. Seriously.
They come in different sizes, and the one that I used on this mirror is five inches long and will hold up to 60 pounds. The big ones, which I think are 12 inches long, will hold up to 200 pounds. They are the best things ever! (And they’re not even paying me to say that. 🙂 )
And as requested, here is the mirror hanging on my wall. I still have quite a lot of projects in this room (window treatments, accessories for the credenza, plus a thousand other things), so it’s looking a bit sparse, but at least you can see the scale of the mirror on the wall.