I often tagged along with my mom to garage sales when I was younger. I loved getting extra one-on-one time with my mom, going places with my her that none of my other siblings really appreciated. Even at a young age I appreciated the idea of someone else’s “trash” being another’s “treasure”. While garage-saleing isn’t necessarily one of my favorite weekend activities anymore, I love digging around in an antique store or flea market. I still love going to antique stores and shows with my parents, something that I don’t think any of my other siblings could appreciate. I think as we grow older, we cling to the pastimes that bond us to family and our childhood. So though I prefer an antique store over a garage sale today, I’m definitely not above it. So, when our neighborhood held a garage sale a few weekends ago, I took the babes out for a stroll and poked around.
I found this old, pretty hideous (sorry!) mirror at my first stop for $5 and was immediately sold. Sure the current state was less to be desired, but that’s something that I was sure I can change… and for $5, I couldn’t pass it up. So this post is to prove that someone else’s trash (or $5 garage sale item) can be someone else’s treasure!I’ll be a little less specific on the measurements of the length of the wood cuts used to frame in the mirror as they will vary depending on the size of the mirror you are starting with.
- Mirror & original backing from an old mirror
- 4 pieces of untreated Pine Wood 3 1/2″ wide x 3/4″ thick, length to be determined by mirror measurements
- 4 pieces of untreated Pine Wood 1 1/2″ wide 1/4″ thick, length to be determined by mirror measurements
- Wood Stain (Minwax, Dark Walnut used for my mirror)
- Polyurethane Clear Satin Finish
- Wood Glue (Liquid Nails)
- Wood Screws
- Wood Saw
- Sanding Block
- Electric Screwdriver
The investment of my repurpose on top of the $5 spent for the old mirror, was extremely minimal. If you work with wood often, or have before, you likely have most of the supplies on hand including the stain and poly finish so you may only need to purchase the lumber which here, was no more than $8. A can of stain and poly go a long way and can be used for many projects before you need more so if you do need those to repurpose an old mirror, know that the spend will be well spent.
First things first. Get rid of the original frame, reserving the mirror (obviously) as well as the original backing on the mirror. To do this, carefully unscrew the screws holding the backing and frame together. An electric screwdriver can be used to do this or it can easily be done by hand. (Tip, the original screws can also be reserved assuming the mirror isn’t ancient and they don’t break when removing). Recycle (if possible) the original pieces you no longer need.
Measure and cut the 3 1/2″ wood into four pieces based on the size mirror you are reframing: Add 6 1/2″ to the length of the mirror for the longer sections of wood (these will serve as the top & bottom wood pieces if you intend to hang landscape like mine) and subtract 1″ from the width (sides of the mirror, again landscape). This allows for approximately 1/2″ of the perimeter of the mirror to be supported/covered by the “finished” wood frame.
Sand all edges and surfaces of the wood. Stain with two coats of your choice color. Once dry, finish with polyurethene and allow to dry thoroughly.
Once the stain and finish is completely dry, glue the wood together using Liquid Nails.
Most mirrors are approximately 1/4″ thick therefore wood strips that are 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ thick are perfect for creating an inset for your mirror if you don’t have a tool that can do this for you. (By the way – this mirror was framed without any electric tools with the exception of a electric dill – no electric saws required if you have the patience for a hand saw!). Allowing for a 1/2″ perimeter between the edge of your outer frame and the untreated 1 1/2″ wood, measure, cut, and glue the 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ wood strips on the interior of your frame. This creates a bed for your mirror to sit in.
**Your mirror should sit perfectly inside the perimeter of the untreated mirror frame. If easier, place the mirror accordingly, and glue the strips surrounding the mirror.
Secure the untreated wood strips with wood screws.
Once the wood glue is completely dry and the wood frame is secure, set your mirror into the frame. Create a cushion for the mirror with a layer or two of glass/ceramic foam. This can be purchased at most hardware stores in the packing supplies section. This helps to prevent any slipage that may occur and acts as an extra layer of protection for the glass.
Using the reserved mirror backing from your original mirror, screw the backing into both the untreated and stained wood.
Grey loved checking himself out in the finished product…
On the back of the mirror, screw two D-Rings into both layers of wood. (Hub’s hands pictured)
Depending on the weight of the mirror, you will likely want to use dry wall anchors.
See…. Garage sales aren’t so bad 😉