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DIY Hand Painted Framed Full-Length Mirror

Every young lady needs a full length mirror in her room, so I wanted to make something special for my niece’s room. My mom had two of those thick plate glass mirrors that are used in bathrooms and generally unframed, so I decided to turn one of those into a pretty framed full-length mirror.

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The design on the frame was inspired by the floral bone inlay mirrors that I’m sure you’ve seen.

bone-inlay-mirror-from-one-kings-lanevia One Kings Lane

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bone-inlay-mirror-from-anthropologievia Anthropologie

I wasn’t necessarily trying to make the mirror look like a bone inlay mirror. That’s a pretty hard look to replicate, even if you have a stencil. My design was just simply inspired by those mirrors, but I wanted it to look have a hand-painted look to it.

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Here’s how I did it:

Materials & Supplies:

— 4 lengths of 1 x 6 lumber
— large piece of 3/4″ plywood
— wood filler
— wood glue
— 1.25″ wood screws
4″ flat corner braces
4″ mending plates
— 5/8″ wood screws
— primer
— 220-grit sandpaper
— mirror mastic
mirror clips
— green paint (I mixed 3 parts Behr Citrus Peel and 1 part Behr Polar Bear)
— white paint (Behr Polar Bear)
— small craft paint brushes
stencil (optional)
— painters tape
— refillable acrylic paint pen in white
Ook hangman cleat

Tools:

— Miter saw
Kreg Jig
— Drill
— Phillips screwdriver bit
— Jigsaw

The Process:

I started by cutting the 1 x  6 pieces to the desired lengths to fit the mirror I was using (allowing for 1.5″ overlap of the mirror onto the frame on all four sides). I  mitered the corners with the miter saw, and then I attached the four pieces together into a frame using the Kreg Jig, wood glue, and 1.25″ screws. Then I reinforced the corners with two corner flat plates on each corner.

bone-inlay-inspired-hand-painted-mirror-how-to-build-the-frame-1

I cut the decorative curvy top out of 3/4″ plywood by just drawing a very simple freehand design and cutting it out with a jigsaw. Then I attached it to the top of the frame with a Kreg Jig, wood glue, 1.25″ wood screws, and 4″ mending plates.

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After the frame was painted, the mirror was attached to the back of the frame (overlapping each side by 1.5 inches) using mirror mastic and mirror clips.

But before the mirror was attached, and before the frame was painted, I used wood filler on all of the corners as well as the line where the top decorative piece met the frame, and then sanded it as smoothly as possible. Then I primed any areas that were unprimed. Once that was dry, I gave it a quick sanding with 22o-grit sandpaper, and then started on the painting. I painted two coats of the green paint and let it dry completely before starting on the decorative painting.

I found this FolkArt stencil at Michael’s to use for the diamond and dot design around the inside of the frame. And then for the straight lines on either side of the stenciled diamond and dot design, as well as the straight lines around the outside of the frame, I just used painters tape and taped off about 1/4″ lines and painted those.

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For the outline around the curved decorative top, I used a refillable acrylic paint pen that I found at Michael’s, and filled it with the Polar Bear paint that I was using for the design, watered down just a little bit. (Behr paint straight out of the can is too thick to use in a refillable paint pen.) I just drew that line on as best as I could to match the taped off lines around the frame, but you can see it’s not perfect. But that’s okay. The imperfection adds to the charm, right? 😀

bone-inlay-inspired-hand-painted-mirror-5

The rest of the design was just a freehand design. I didn’t have a pattern or stencil for it. I did use a pencil to lightly draw the design on first, and then went back over it with small craft brushes and paint.

TIP: If you draw your design on with a pencil and mess up, don’t use the eraser! Just get a wet paper towel, wipe off the pencil marks, and start again.

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To do the flowers, I first used the acrylic paint pen to draw a big asterisk, trying to get it as uniform in size on all sides as possible. Then I went back over the  lines with paint and a round paint brush.bone-inlay-inspired-hand-painted-mirror-6

For the vines, I started off with a pencil, and once I had the design just like I wanted it, I went over the pencil marks with the acrylic paint pen. I let that dry completely, wiped off the pencil marks with a wet paper towel, and then painted the vines on with a small brush and paint. When those were dry, I went back and added the leaves.

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This was such a fun project — perfect for getting me out of my funk from the last week — and the most important thing is that my niece LOVED it! We still need to hang it on the wall, and I’ll be using an Ook hangman cleat for that. Since we used a very thick, large mirror, it’s very heavy, so I bought an Ook hangman cleat that holds 100 pounds. It definitely doesn’t weigh 100 pounds, but I always go big on those cleats just to be on the safe side.

bone-inlay-inspired-hand-painted-mirror-1

That’s one big project down. I think we have two more big projects, and then just a few finishing touches, and my niece’s room will be done!



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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Barbara H.
    January 5, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Great job! I’m impressed, as always.

  • Reply
    Judy
    January 5, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Oh my goodness! That is the cutest!

  • Reply
    Heather
    January 5, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I’ve been wondering about your niece’s room. Nice to have an update! And, cute mirror 🙂

  • Reply
    Sue
    January 5, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I really like that mirror and your niece will get a lot of use from it.

    I was just thinking about your niece’s room the other day. Glad to hear that it is almost completed. Can’t wait to see the final photos.

  • Reply
    Theresa P
    January 5, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Very cute, but not in a little girl way, cute in a big girl way! Love it! What was the wall color in there again? My girls would love it. Glad you and your mom are ready to finish this room for her!

  • Reply
    janpartist
    January 5, 2017 at 10:13 am

    That’s really pretty and would be a great project for funk-breaking!

  • Reply
    chiflipper
    January 5, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Great re-purposing of the mirror, I hate to buy what I can get for free. Tip: if you want an inexpensive mirror check out places that sell used “hotel” furniture, they seem to have tons of them from bedroom sets. Ook hangers are the best! I had to hang a HUGE, HEAVY mirror for my Mom and the hardware guy said it would hold it…best of all you cannot screw up, no need for finding a stud. I used two ’cause that sucker had to weigh 150 pounds.

  • Reply
    Krikit
    January 5, 2017 at 10:26 am

    It’s a great, fun and beautifuly charming mirror! Of course, she loves it! ~:0)

  • Reply
    Alta
    January 5, 2017 at 10:38 am

    “It’s close enough to perfect for me…!” As you say, the ‘imperfections’ just add to the charm. I love your interpretation of the bone inlay! What a great work of handcrafted art your niece will have to enjoy for years. Good job, Kristi!

  • Reply
    Sheri Hepworth
    January 5, 2017 at 10:40 am

    It’s not perfect? I will have to disagree with you, then. Looks absolutely perfect to me.

  • Reply
    Peggy
    January 5, 2017 at 11:01 am

    That is so pretty. Perfect for a girl. I have been hoping we would get to see your niece’s room, if it was completed.

  • Reply
    Cee
    January 5, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Love it! What little girl wouldn’t love this too! I am in awe of your talents! Carry on! 😊

  • Reply
    Marianne in Mo.
    January 5, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I try to paint, but fail every time. Just can’t paint a straight line or have an even pressure on the brush. Yet I can use a trim brush along a ceiling and do it perfect! Go figure!
    Love this mirror and the design/color are my favorite. I’m all for recycling, but yeah, that mirror is probably heavy. For me, I would have purchased one of those cheap door mirrors you can find everywhere for less than $20. Lighter weight, and it provides a backer board too. Don’t know how old your niece is, but if she gets to dancing or goofing around (like girls do!) I worry she could shatter that glass. I’m a Mom, and my girls will tell you I’m crazy cautious to the extreme. I drive them nuts!

  • Reply
    Cathy S.
    January 5, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Adorable! Just a thought… After that video of the dresser falling that has gone viral on the internet, I am wondering if it might be smart with something like these to anchor it to the wall. Even if you niece is a teen, she might have little ones visit etc. How would you advise doing this?

    • Reply
      Kristi
      January 5, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I think once I hang the mirror on the wall with the Ook hanger, it’ll be very secure. If you’ve never tried one, I highly recommend them. They’re long French cleats, so once they’re installed and the item is hanging, it doesn’t budge. I use them to hang all large, bulky, heavy items, like mirrors, headboards (even king size headboards) and large artwork. They’re amazing! But if I were using this as a floor mirror to lean against the wall, I’d probably use a small chain (can be purchased at Home Depot in custom lengths) and screw one end to the wall using a wall anchor or into a stud, and screw the other end into the mirror frame towards the top of the mirror. That way, if it gets bumped hard enough to fall, it’ll only fall until the chain catches it, so I’d keep it at about 5 inches or so — just enough room to get your hand behind there to actually attach the chain to the wall and the mirror frame.

      • Reply
        Cathy S.
        January 5, 2017 at 11:17 am

        Thank you Kristi! sounds easy enough and alleviates any worry. Great job!

  • Reply
    Heather Gillett
    January 5, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Awesome project. and thanks to you I have learned about the Ook hangman cleat!

  • Reply
    Ardith
    January 5, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Absolutely beautiful mirror, Kristi. I’ll bet your niece is crazy in love with it.

  • Reply
    Maerta
    January 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Kristi, you made an awesome mirror! I hadn’t heard about refillable paint pens before. Is there a brand name? Do they come on different sized nibs?

  • Reply
    JoanneS
    January 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    This mirror is darling! Love it, what a fun project!

  • Reply
    Beth Ann
    January 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Your touch is beautiful. The mirror is stunning.

  • Reply
    Genelle McDaniel
    January 6, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Such a spoiled little princess! Just kidding. She’ll dream of going to work for you.

  • Reply
    Arli
    January 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    It’s just perfect for the room! Lucky niece….wish my bedroom was that adorable!

  • Reply
    Chris
    January 6, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Love it, very pretty and a great color!

  • Reply
    Ellen W.
    January 8, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    What a pretty, charming mirror! Such a nice start to your new year. 🙂

  • Reply
    designdreamer
    January 17, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    WOW!! beautiful! I’m SO impressed with your ability to just freehand something like this. Love the rest of the room as well.

    I AM somewhat confused as to how you attached the 3/4″ plywood to the 1×6. Aren’t they different thicknesses?

    • Reply
      Kristi
      January 17, 2017 at 11:49 pm

      They’re actually the same thickness. Lumber labeled 1″ is actually 3/4″ thick. Lumber labeled 2″ is actually 1.5″ thick.

  • Reply
    John Donovan
    February 1, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Framing a simple mirror offers an easy way to beautify any space. Mirrors such as these are not only great in bedrooms, but in other places in the home, as well. Even if they aren’t used for beauty and grooming, they can really open up the space.

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