Create a strikingly large, mirrored-wall effect on a Dollar Store budget. Using only a few easy supplies, zero power tools, and an afternoon of work, you can make these mirror panels to enlarge any room in your house. They will increase the light in your room and make the space feel more expansive and elegant!
-Dollar Tree mirrors from www.dollartree.com – I am using the 11×14 framed mirrors, and had great success with them. They come in boxes of 24, so do some wall-measurement calculations and round up to the nearest box of 24.
-Gorilla Tape from your local hardware store. I used this instead of duct tape, because it is not only very strong, but always has a stiff mesh inside of the adhesive that works wonders for holding everything together without stretching. Definitely look for the Gorilla Tape brand.
-Painter’s Tape. We’ll be spray painting the frames with the mirrors still inside, so painter’s tape is great for protecting the glass mirrors from the paint.
-Spray paint. I used a warm brown base coat and an ivory top coat, though you could get away with just one color, if you apply several layers.
Other Things from Around the House:
-Picture hanging nails (heavy-weight ones). Or, my absolute favorite picture hanging hook – Monkey Hooks. They are so easy to use, no hammer required, and will never pop out of your wall. You can find them at any hardware store, or shop online at Amazon.com for Monkey Hooks.
-Toothpaste (for an easy-picture-hanging trick later in the tutorial)
-Thick paper (a few sheets of computer paper, cardstock, something like that)
-Cardboard or plastic to cover your work area.
Lay your frames out with the little metal hooks all facing the same direction. After arranging the frames, I decided that I wanted to do three large panels that consisted of 3 mirrors across x 3 mirrors down (for a total of 9 mirrors in each panel).
Using your Gorilla Tape, cover all of the seams with a strip of it, and press the strips down into place. You want to be careful not to press down too hard, or you can crack the mirror on the other side. I would recommend doing this on a carpeted floor. You can use something stiff (the handles of scissors, a butter knife handle, etc.) to really press the tape in and around the seams where the frames meet.
When you’ve covered all of the seams, do a nice big “X” shape across the back with the tape. That adds a bit of security. If you want, you can also add a few more strips across various areas to hold things in place. I found that covers the seams and doing the bix “X” worked really well to hold everything together. This tape is strong!
Now that you’ve got your mirror panel taped securely together, flip it over gently and put it somewhere where you can spray paint it. Place strips of cardboard or plastic beneath the panel, all around the edges, to protect your workspace. We’ll want to protect the mirrors from the spray paint, so here’s where the painter’s tape comes in. Using a sheet of thick paper (or several sheet of computer paper or cut newspaper, cover the center of each mirror. Now use the blue tape to carefully cover all of the sides of the mirrors. I used a box cutter (razor) to get nice clean cuts in the tape around the edges.
Why not just pop the mirrors out the back of the frames during spray painting, you say? Well, I discovered that they are all glued in, so that option was out!
Time for the spray paint! You’ll want to give you project several coats of paint in nice, even layers. Don’t spray too much, or you’ll get some nasty drip marks. You can see how far the spray traveled over the mirror section, so it’s a good thing we taped it up!
Once you’re done spray painting, and everything is completely dry, the tape and paper will make cleanup fairly easy. Peel all of the protective tape and paper away, and take a look at your edges to see if anything needs to be cleaned up. I had little paint lines here and there around the very edges of the mirrors, so I used Windex, a straight-edge razor, and paper towels to do an easy scrape-and-clean for those spots.
Tips on Hanging Your Panels:
-Two people will make this so much easier than one!
-Purchase some Monkey Hooks, if you can – they are fantastic and so easy to use!
-I like to use toothpaste to help me out with hanging large items. Here’s how: Identify which metal tab-hangers you are going to be hanging your picture from (I just did two for each panel – one on the far left on the top, and one on the far right, on the top – easy!). Once you know which ones you want, squeeze a little dot of toothpaste onto the top-center of each tab. Have one person step back to get perspective on the hanging process and one person hold the frame close to the wall for positioning. When the frame is straight and even, press it against the wall. The toothpaste dots will leave little spots on the wall exactly where the nails should go – easy as that! Stick the nails in, clean off the little bits of toothpaste, and you’re ready to hang the picture.