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How to alter a mirror

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craft project to alter a mirror


Yeow!!!!! I am back. Yes and a double yes!!! I was moaning and groaning from here to eternity Friday when I couldn’t log in to the internet no matter what I tried. I called in the troups (aka Mr. Songbird) to come rescue me and my blog duties, and he said (and I quote here) “ I will fix it tomorrow when I get around to it” Tomorrow!!! I want it fixed now, as in right this minute!!!
Well My Love just shrugged his shoulders, commented “then you blog tomorrow…”  and left the room, leaving me behind in utter despair. I must say to his defense that it was pretty late in the evening already and he had been working a full day and then studying all evening, but still….


Altered Mirror 2


It took a bit longer than I had hoped, but now everything is back to working order and I am here happily tapping the keys on my laptop to share my latest project with you (Gitter Done! will be rescheduled next Friday, so you all will have a chance to link up your orphan projects then).

I altered a mirror. Yeah you read that right I altered a mirror not a mirror frame.



Altered Mirror 7


The mirror in my bedroom has spots. Vintagy spots.


Altered Mirror1


You may remember I visited NYC last September with my sisters and I was totally mesmerized by a mirror I saw at ABC Home.



It was big, bold, vintagelike and beautiful. but also way too much of a presence and definitely too girly to be copied as is (as I am committed to make my bedroom beautiful for both me and My Love). But it got the wheels spinning and me in search of tutorials on how to alter a mirror.

I did find some tutorials (and then forgot to bookmark them, so sorry), so when I started this project I was going by memory and winging it. But I did know that all of them said to use oven cleaner to get the silver of the back. So that’s what I did:



Nicely spraying a layer of oven cleaner on it. More and densely sprayed in the corners and on the edges and less and more drop like in the middle. I left it for 10  min because I thought I remembered that. And then I started to scrape it off.

But absolutely nothing had happened. Except for the back of my mirror getting really clean.

Hmm, back to the drawing board.

On closer inspection I realized that my mirror’s gray back was actually painted. And I might have to get that off first.

So I went in search of the can with leftover paint remover. And then applied that with a brush in roughly the same spots as I had sprayed the oven cleaner before.



Fiddled with my thumbs for another 10 minutes and then started scraping again. This time it worked the paint came off, leaving the silver backing exposed. I then reapplied the oven cleaner and contemplated life for yet another 10 minutes.

Then I started scraping again. Heck, that stuff still didn’t want to come off. I don’t know if our Euro oven cleaners are less potent (and possibly more eco friendly like a lot of stuff) then the US versions, or that my silver backed mirror was in too good of a condition. But in the end I had to use some serious scrubbing with steel wool, to remove the silver and end up with this:



I tore pages from an old fifties fashion magazine to paste to the backside (using regular ModPodge). I wanted to make it look as if someone had used a newspaper to back the mirror, so I used script pages and advertisements.

This is how the back looked when I was finished:



And this is how it all looks in its place and properly staged.


Altered Mirror 5


I love those quirky old ad texts peeping through.


Altered Mirror 4


This one promises to reveal a women’s secret…..

And this one wants to help me Spring clean my house….


Altered Mirror 3


I love having this mirror in my bedroom. It brings in so much extra natural light into a room that is usually pretty dark. And of course it doesn’t hurt either to have a full length mirror to check my outfit in the morning.


Altered Mirror 6


Oh and by the way taking pictures of mirrors is really difficult. You always get in the frame yourself, and the camera doesn’t see the mirror and focuses on the object in the mirror. So having a piece of paper stuck to the back of your mirror actually helps, now I had something to focus on….


Altered Mirror 8


So what’dye think? Fun project? Would you have use for an altered mirror? Stuck any magazine pages in unexpected pages? Did you miss me? Let’s hear it…..



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  1. Beth Rutter says:

    Really cute!! Love the magazine pages and the pictures.

  2. Hi Marianne! How lovely! What a great idea. Looks really nice in your room.

  3. dutch sisters says:

    What a great idea! Your mirror looks fabulous!

  4. This is way cool, Marianne! You did a great job…a labor of love, too! I love the old ads..they really make it special! You have such a creative mind to do this to an otherwise plain mirror….you really altered it for the better! It turned out fantastic!!!


  5. Beth@The Stories of A to Z says:

    Love how this turned out! Looks fabulous!

  6. The Polka Dot Closet says:

    I totally love it, I cannot think of anything else I would have used, the magazine is great!!


  7. Barbara Jean says:

    love this idea!

    barbara jean

  8. marcia at Child in Harmony says:

    Very COOL! I love old mirrors and mirrors with *character*.

    happy day!

  9. This is so wonderful I would definitely buy it if it were for sale!! So clever and unique. You are WAY talented and creative. Love your blog!

  10. Funky Junk Interiors says:

    LOVE the mirror! I've never seen a tute done on this yet and even though your attempts didn't go as planned, it worked in the end! Very cool! Love the newsprint showing through!

    And yes. I missed you. :)


  11. beyond gorgeous!

  12. Lieve Marianne

    Wat een super, super gaaf idee!
    De foto´s zijn prachtig op je blog.
    Leuk dat je langs kwam op mijn blog en een linkje naar deze geweldige post achter liet.
    Dank jewel ook voor de link op jou blog.

    Groetjes Miriam

  13. Pink Princess says:

    TTTTSSSSSSSSSSSSSS wat een idee zeg…….vind um leuk geworden!!!! Geinig met die ouwe advertenties erachter….HEE doet me denken aan een dik ingebonden boek met oude margrieten ofzo die ik nog ergens op zolder heb liggen (lamplight in mn hersenen ging ff aan hihi) MOET ik opzoeken, kan ik genoeg leuks mee doen…thanx dus voor de trigger ♥

    Liefs van Marian

  14. Pink Princess says:

    PS JA heb je gemist, zo goed dat je puter het weer doet (waar zouden we zijn zonder die puter…toch??)

  15. linnea-maria says:

    What a cool mirror you have done!! I know I once had a american owen cleaner and on the safety instructions it said, use good ventilation, safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask :S. /Therese

  16. Miss Marple says:

    Waar jij allemaal niet op komt. Ovenreiniger op je spiegel ;-) Maar het effekt is prachtig!!!

  17. Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says:

    Absolutely brilliant!! As always! :)

  18. WOWZA! I am in love with this…thank you so much for sharing on A2Z, I'm going to add this to my ever growing list of things to try this summer.

    -Aaron {the girl with the boy's name}


  19. Angie @ Thrifty Like Me says:

    This is so cool! I can't wait to try it.. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Love this idea, I've seen it before but never knew how to do it so I'm definitly going to try! I also love your suitcase sidetable but can I use a trunk for that idea? It's not very big but would it be a "sin" to paint it, its kinda old and I think hubs would think I've gone over the edge…

  21. Carla @ Hammers and High Heels says:

    I love it! I think that is sooo neat! The vintage paper looks so fun on the mirror! I found you through Layla's linky party, I too love ABC Home, just did a post about it a couple days ago! Your blog is fab, I am your newest follower!

  22. What a great idea! I absolutely love this! it turned out beautifully!

  23. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal says:

    This is a very cool project. I guess you could use sheet music too. I love the old ads though.

  24. WindandHoney says:

    How absolutely cool! I love it!

  25. Vintage Barn 27 says:

    Love it!

  26. Hi, I'm Suz!! says:

    Marianne – I found you through Donna (FJI). I love your mirror!! The old magazine pages are perfect!! I'll bet I could come up with something like this using my new favorite find: Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like paint. That stuff is awesome!! HHmmmmm Thanks for the inspiration!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz


  27. I love it!! It looks absolutely fabulous. Your blog is beautiful!!


  28. Thanks for the Inspiration!

    LG Brooke

  29. Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made says:

    OH MY GOSH . . . this is SO perfect!! Back to the thrift stores to look at those old mirrors I turned my nose up at!

  30. I Love the Mirror I have never seen this done. What a wonderful idea. I am so happy to have found your Blog. Thank you for sharing.

  31. WOW!! this is just amazing and it looks fabulous i love this idea thanks Marianne you are such a talented lady beautiful work as always Hugs
    Sarah x

  32. Sharon @ Decorating is Bliss says:

    As I get older, I am getting vintage-y spots too! Unfortunately, they don't looks as nice on me as they do on your mirror.

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

  33. The Old Block House says:

    I love this. There are some nature prints I'd love to use for this.

    Please drop by our blog to enter a giveaway for six antique blue mason jars at http://www.theoldblockhouse.blogspot.com

  34. Very cool! I followed your blog! You have a wonderful idea here. I think it pretty much rocks my world! Thanks for putting in the hard work it takes to blog. Come by my blog when you get a moment, it's brand-new, and it is something I LOVE.
    Thanks again

  35. I found your blog with this link party and have to say I have fallen in love with it! I have a mirror left in our house by the previous owners and it was just sitting there waiting to be hauled off to garbage.. but now I know what to do with it! YAY. I also immediately went and made a wreath similar to the one in the mirror picture. Thanks for having such a beautiful blog.. and for all the blogging tips and tutorials you give. I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time here:-). Thanks!

  36. Weerspiegeling says:

    hai Marianne,
    afgelopen zaterdag heb ik op een rommelmarkt een spiegel gekocht; hij was goud (jak!) en nog errug nieuw (jak jak!); inmiddels heb ik 'm wit geverfd en met dit blogbericht van jou in m'n achterhoofd heb ik vanmiddag de spiegel onder handen genomen. Bedankt voor de tips en de inspiratie. Ik zal het resultaat binnenkort op m'n blog laten zien.
    Groetjes en een fijn wit feestje verder :-)

  37. Karen @ THEBUSYBUG says:

    Looks amazing…thanks for sharing. Can I ask you a question….what font did you use for you signature on each of your pictures?

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