A Basswood Interpretation

February 01, 2013   //  Posted in: Bathroom, Being Thrifty, Decor, DIY   //  By: Emily   //  32 responses
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I spend a lot of time in salvage shops in town, often donating, often looking for new treasures that would fit well into our blossoming home. Recently, a round mirror I salvaged worked out perfectly for a project I had been hoping to tackle based on this here inspiration that came from Anthropologie. Check out those round mirrors on the wall:

Inspired by Anthropologie, check out the Mango Slice Mirrors!

The Mango Sliced Mirrors are actually pretty affordable by Anthro home decor standards–just $38/each–but I thought I could make my own a little less expensively, so I began to keep an eye out for round mirrors, mirror glass specifically that could be extracted and used in a new, handmade frame, a complement to the West Elm shower curtain that is hung. I found that on this particular trip, a simple cosmetic mirror with a diameter of 7.5″ priced just at $3.

Thinking ahead to execution, I also picked up a dark brown pleather belt for $1, a simple style and length that would nicely imitate the Anthropologie mirror. Leather belts were abundant when I used them for my DIY Expedit drawers, but I really liked how thin this particular belt was and the pleather-ness wasn’t too obvious.

$3 mirror, $1 belt a la Rochester VOA.

I thought a lot about what I would use for my own frame. This step was a little challenging because I don’t have access to many logs that have a diameter wider than the mirror, and even if I did, I don’t own a chainsaw or necessarily have the skillz to slice off a chunk like deli meat. I was perfectly fine to wait for the perfect solution, and it found me on a recent trip to Michael’s, when I discovered that in the woodworking section they sold pre-cut basswood forms for projects, large enough to fit my new mirror, nice grains, lightweight, and with a rough outer edge that I really liked. It was priced at $10 (and you could get it less with a coupon), meaning my entire project would be completed for $14.

A $10 piece of woodworking wood at Michael's.

In planning to make my own “Mango,” I pinpointed the center of the wooden piece, and using both a tape measure and a compass to mark a 6.5″ circle that I would be able to jigsaw along. Note that the diameter of my penciled circle is 1″ less than that of my mirror, because I knew I would want to engage my router and make a simple 1/2″ rabbet cut all the way around the circle for the glass to sit in.

Using a compass to guarantee a round mirror hole.

With that simple measurement, I was ready to begin cutting.

To cut interior lines with a jigsaw, you first have to predrill any point, so that the saw can fit in. I gouged through in a place directly next to my circle.

Predrilling a hole into the wood to accomodate the jigsaw blade.

I have a few fine-tooth blades for the jigsaw and it worked well here too, because I wanted the circular cut to be as fine and smooth as possible. Clamped tightly to the workbench, I was able to cut out the center circle in just a few minutes time.

Using the jigsaw to cut a hole in the center of the wood board.

The finished circle was pretty right-on, proving that slow cuts with a fine blade with yield exceptional results.

Cut a round hole in the wood panel.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the router is an awesome but very scary tool. I set the 1/2″ rabbet to only cut the top 3/16″ of wood, just enough space to create a deep enough inset area for my salvaged mirror, and moved the running tool very carefully in a full circle around the precut hole.

Routing a rabbet into the pre-cut circle, a place for the mirror to sit within.

It was pretty perfect when it was done. And I was pretty happy not to have routed off my hands or face.

Cut and routed hole for the salvage store mirror.

The new mirror fit into it perfectly, and nicely flushed too.

Mirror fit into the routed space.

With the cuts sanded smooth with a fine sandpaper, I installed the belt around the top of the new frame.

First, to transform it from a belt into a basic pleather strap, I trimmed it with scissors in two places to create more uniformly finished ends.

I trimmed the edges of the belt for the new mirror's strap.

I chose even placements on either side of the frame, predrilled holes into the rough edge, and then used two spare screws that were laying around our basement. The screws themselves had a more uncommon head, making them look a little more industrial than my common wood screws, and I like the reclaimed effect it adds.

I predrilled the pleather and wood, and then applied an industrial screw to secure it.

The final step was to secure the mirror in place into the new frame, for which I used a combination of DIY mending strip and wooden mending strip screwed securely into place with wood screws.

Securing the mirror into place in the frame.

I hung the mirror in the bathroom, in a spot where framed artwork was previously hung. I like the effect it adds to the space, simple and rustic and as visually appealing as the Anthropologie version. Plus, when you stand in the perfect place you can see your own sweet face. #rhymetime

Anthropologie-inspired mirror.

I explained more in this post on DIY Network why it appears to be off center on the wall. Short explanation for it’s placement: It’s centered over the toilet.

New DIY Anthropologie-inspired mango slice mirror in our bathroom.

It’s taken a year, but the striped shower curtain is growing on me. I like it even more when reflected in this little round mirror.

New DIY Anthropologie-inspired mango slice mirror in our bathroom.

What retail-inspired things have you made from your retail inspiration?

Comments
  • Michael Coline
    2 years ago - Reply

    This project looks really simple to do and really great for decoration. The thing now is where I can find such a beautiful piece of wood. And just a suggestion… I think that is you polish the wood it will look more beautiful.

  • Heather @ Like A Cup of Tea
    2 years ago - Reply

    Just came over from YHL. I wanted to say I *love* this mirror! I might have to take some inspiration from this for a project in our house down the line!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Glad you like it, Heather! Thanks for stopping in!

  • Katja @ Shift Ctrl ART
    2 years ago - Reply

    That is really cool! What a great mirror. Loved your tutorial!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks, Katja!

  • Kit @ DIYdiva
    2 years ago - Reply

    Emily, this looks fantastic! I absolutely love it, and I’ve also absolutely in the past shared your fear that I might zip a finger off with the router… on my full-sized Bosch version I can’t keep both hands on the handles and turn it on or off at the same time. Not fun. Lots of sweating and praying involved when I used it. Then I bought a palm router with is about the size of a RotoZip or similar tool and it is SO much easier to use for projects like this. I keep the “big router” in the router table, where I’m 98% less likely to route my face off with it.

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      I saw your cute little palm router, and yes, cute and little are exactly the verbs I thought of when I saw you post about it, it looks so comfortable to use. We’ve been looking for a compatible table/live-in facility for my big router (Porter-Cable’s on-off switch is also just a tad out of my thumb’s reach just like you mention), and I think a palmie like yours needs to be added to my wish list. Most routing projects start with me warning Pete that I’ll be routing and if I scream, it’s probably eating me. “HOLD ON TIGHT, EMILY, HOLD ON TIGHT AND FOCUS, EFF, HOLD ON TIGHTER…”

      (Manufacturers, I hope you’re hearing us!)

  • Gabriella @ Our Life In Action
    2 years ago - Reply

    Coming over from YHL. That is so cute!! Great project!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks Gabriella! Glad you liked.

  • ThriftDee
    2 years ago - Reply

    You are a mirror McGyver!! I love it!!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Haha! Thank you!

  • Lisa R @ Rompin Around
    2 years ago - Reply

    Popped over from YHL and just wanted to say that mirror is fabulous! Gotta love a girl who isn’t afraid to use those power tools. Such a unique piece!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Glad you liked it, Lisa! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Jeanna
    2 years ago - Reply

    Hi, stopped over from YHL, and just wanted to say how much I love the mirror :) I took a peek at your blog, and really love what you have done with your house! You’ve got a new fan :)

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Hi Jeanna! Welcome and thank you so much!

  • Heather P.
    2 years ago - Reply

    Cool project! Even if the Anthro version isn’t that expensive, it’s cool that not only is this version cheaper, but you made it yourself…which is more fun anyway, right? :-)

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Glad you like it, Heather! I thought the same thing as you; it would be great if executed even to a bigger scale from a tree trunk and larger mirror. I can imagine one being sized to be something that could hang over the mantle.

  • Tamsyn
    2 years ago - Reply

    I love this project so much!!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      So nice of you, thank you Tamsyn!

  • Shannon
    2 years ago - Reply

    This turned out so cute! Good job! I’m visiting from YHL :) Have a great weekend.

    Shannon @ Sewing Barefoot
    http://Www.sewingbarefoot.blogspot.com

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks Shannon! Glad you liked it, and I’ll check out your site!

  • Greta
    2 years ago - Reply

    Great mirror! Thanks for sharing.

    ~fellow YHL challenge go-er

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks Greta! Glad you liked it, will be sure to check out your post too!

  • Liz G.
    2 years ago - Reply

    Awesome job! I love your version tons more than Anthropologie’s!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Makin’ my day, thanks for the love Liz!

  • Julie M.
    2 years ago - Reply

    Coming over from YHL, too. I love this. You need to make more and sell them. I would buy one (or many)!!

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks for stopping by, Julie! Glad you enjoyed the project!

  • Breeanna
    2 years ago - Reply

    What a cute idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks Breeanna!

  • Spec
    2 years ago - Reply

    This is amazing. How creative! Love the simple look of it.

    http://specslife.blogspot.com/

  • Lucy
    2 years ago - Reply

    This is great! You should link up this project to the “Creating with the Stars Round 2 Link Party” which is all about “knockoffs”. Here is the link http://www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com/2013/03/creating-with-stars-round-2-link-party.html

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks for the tip, Lucy!!

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