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. I don’t so much need a challenge to get myself out scouring the scene (hello, if you’re here from Young House Love), and you can be damn sure that I wasn’t about to dare to wave a $20 bill outside of our local VOA when I stopped by–scary neighborhood alert– but what I found inside though, lended perfectly to 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:
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. I found that on this particular trip, a simple cosmetic mirror with a diameter of 7.5″ priced just at $3 (I like to think this is the expensive VOA).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The finished circle was pretty right-on, proving that slow cuts with a fine blade with yield exceptional results.
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.
It was pretty perfect when it was done. And I was pretty happy not to have routed off my hands or face.
The new mirror fit into it perfectly, and nicely flushed too.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
What retail-inspired things have you made from your retail inspiration?