Until recently, I didn't realize how drawn I am to X style furnishings - we have barstools with the X pattern on the back, two shelves, an old glass console table with a cross bar below, and several accessories with X patterns in them. I also like circle patterns and have a lot of that around here too. I guess I'm an XOXO kind of gal. ) These shapes are common in the Hollywood regency style that I'm digging so that could be why I'm so attracted to them.
Here's my very technical drawing on the back of an envelope that I drew as we started this project so I could explain it better to my husband. He couldn't see my vision with my verbal explanation of, "you know, with X's and silver and a built out frame with plywood! It'll look great!":
My original plan was to silver leaf these mirror frames. I love that look! Let me just say that I've never used silver leaf before. I must have been insane thinking I could just stroll on in and silver leaf two huge pieces without any experience with it! The moment I started working with it, I knew instantly that I would not be able to finish one mirror let alone two without pulling my hair out. It flaked all over and kept crumbling apart, it stuck to my fingers, it didn't take well to all the corners and curves on the moldings, and I quickly realized I would need a lot more silver leaf (and patience) to finish this than I had on hand. Then I remembered I had silver metallic spray paint in my craft cabinet. It was a lot cheaper and easier than silver leafing, but I worried that I wouldn't like the finish as much. I loved it! I ended up sanding off the section of silver leaf that I had put on and spray painting it silver instead. So much easier! I think this mirror would look amazing with a gold or brass finish too. Black or dark espresso brown would be fantastic too, giving these mirrors a tropical vibe. If you wanted to tone down and "age" the silver a bit, you could always use a dark glaze or something like a dark colored Rub n Buff on it too. So many options if I ever get tired of the silver!
If you're a silver leaf wizard, I say go for it. I'm also a little jealous of your skillz.
COST: The total cost of this mirror for me was about $45 per mirror to make. $45! That's less than a hundred bucks for
two huge mirrors! I can barely find one decent large mirror for a hundred bucks let alone two! If you don't have the mirror or some of the other DIY materials we always have on hand like wood filler, caulk, nails, sandpaper painter's tape, etc, then it will cost you more, maybe around $65 I'm guessing. That's still a great bargain for a huge mirror that's chic and unique. The cost breakdown of what we bought for this project is in the tutorial below.
TIME: I honestly can't tell you how long this project took us to do from start to finish because we did a couple steps at a time, then went and did something else, then came back to it the next day, messed up on something, started over, got it right, messed up again, backtracked, and finally finished. All in all, we probably worked on this for a week and a half doing all that. Hopefully it really only takes a few days (that's mostly because of the dry time) if you learn from my mistakes. We made two mirrors and the second mirror went much quicker than the first. I'm not going to say this is an easy project, but if you tackle it step by step, it is quite doable and so worth it!
TUTORIAL: There's a detailed tutorial at the end of this post. It's super long. It's really not as complicated as it might look - you're basically adding a cheap door mirror to a larger MDF base, adding molding around it, then adding some decorative molding to the mirror and gluing on a few jewels. I might have gone a little crazy with the tutorial pics and instructions below but hopefully after reading it you'll feel like you can make one of these mirrors too. Or maybe you'll run screaming from it wondering what the heck I was thinking.
So what's next for the master bedroom makeover ? This week I'll be working on adding trim to the existing white curtains (update: done! Here's the link ). I'm also painting one of the walls an accent color. I won't tell you what color I'm painting it or exactly what wall I'm painting, but if you visit my Bedroom board on Pinterest. you'll probably get an idea based on a couple of my pins (follow me on Pinterest while you're there, I'd love that! ).
I'm so happy with how these mirrors turned out. I can't wait to hang them above our nightstands as part of Operation Sultrify the Master Bedroom. Stay tuned next week for the next Operation Sultrify update. )