Monday, June 25, 2012

Make Your Own Wall Mirrors

It all started when I wanted a mirror by the baby's changing table to give him something to look at during diaper changes. As I shopped around, I couldn't find anything quite like what I wanted:  small, circular, with some sort of frame (preferably orange).  So I decided to make my own mirrors--using plates as the frame!

I picked up three salad plates at Target for a couple bucks a piece (I have since seen similar ones at the Dollar Store--what was I thinking?!?)

I bought my paint at Michaels--Martha Stewart because it said it would paint on ceramics (and fabric, and wood, and metal, and just about everything else--wahoo!).  I ended up getting the closest orange they had, and then getting a white to mix with it to tone it down a bit.  While I was there, I picked up 3 mirrors (measure the flat part of your plates to make sure you get the right size) and 3 plate hangers.

Plate #1

 I designed the pattern for this plate in Illustrator with the intention of cutting out vinyl with my Silouette to use as a stencil.  Sadly, it was too hard to pull the regular vinyl off without ruining the paint.  I had to take it all off and use rubbing alcohol to clean the paint off--yay for a grace period when painting on ceramics!

So I was stuck--no template vinyl and no stores open to buy from (it was late at night, naturally)...and NO PATIENCE to wait until the next day!  What's a girl to do?  

Improvise of course!

I printed the pattern on regular printer paper, cut it out (leaving a border for taping), and started scribbling all over the back with a #2 pencil.  Fill in the ENTIRE space.  Then I taped the design pencil-side down to my plate. I made small cuts in the border in order to make folding it over the edges and taping it easier.  Then I traced the design, pushing VERY HARD so the graphite on the back of my paper transfered to the the plate.  There is transfer paper you can buy and put it between your design and the plate--but again, I was too impatient to wait.  Besides, a pencil was waaaaay cheaper!

Then all I had to do was paint inside the small feat!  It definitely isn't perfect, but I tell myself it's part of the charm ;).  I also painted the inside circle.

After letting the paint dry, I used some hot-glue to attach the mirror on the inside, and put the plate hanger on the back.

*If you would like to try this out using the transfer method, you can download the pattern here.
*If you have a Silhouette and would like to simply cut out a stencil using template vinyl, you may download the pattern here.

Plate #2  
(click to see larger)

 I wouldn't recommend trying the transfer method on this plate.  I cut my design out of white vinyl using my Silhouette. Then I applied it to my (pre-painted) plate.  It makes it easier to apply if you cut the design into four pieces before using your transfer paper and applying the vinyl to the plate.  Be careful to line them up well though (and don't look at mine too closely ;)

*You can download the silhouette file for this plate here.  Please notice that I turned the right side over and put it next to the left side in order to save vinyl!

*If you don't have a silhouette and REALLY want to make this plate, send me an e-mail.  I may be able to cut some vinyl and mail it to you (depending on the crazyness of my life at the moment I get your e-mail). 

 Plate #3
I actually used my transfer method to do the stripes on this plate, and I have been kicking myself ever since--if I had used masking tape, it would have been easier, faster, and prettier.

I ended up moving these away from the changing table because the baby loved them too much!  Naturally, he kept batting at them and scaring himself with the resulting loud noise as the plate banged against the wall.  I was worried he'd knock them off and kill himself.  Yeah I know--I shoulda known better--he's my third after all...

What do you think? Send me a picture if you try these out--I'd love to see!

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