Wednesday, October 10, 2012


   This was found at www.mitziscollectibles.typepad.com .   Let's get ready for HALLOWEEN!

Ghostly Mirror Tutorial and Instant Relatives

About one year ago, I created a post about "wallpaper mirrors"  decorative mirrors similar to examples I've seen before in Anthropologie stores (other bloggers have posted their nicely done interpretations too).  The project basically involved disassembling a mirror, removing the silvering in selected spots, and either decoupaging patterned paper directly on the glass or, for a less permanent maneuver, affixing the paper to the cardboard backing that protects the glass, then reassembling the mirror.
Here are four of my finished mirrors, with vintage wallpaper peeking through the carefully removed silver:

Here's a close-up of one example:


Recently I decided to resurrect this fun project in time for Halloween, this time with a macabre twist:  A ghostly mirror with a face looking back at you through the silver:


The mirror I selected already had some silver missing, making it somewhat undesireable and hard to sell.  Might as well try to "upcycle" it into something a little different, right?
To make an altered mirror, flip it over and remove the backing, which is usually affixed with little nails.


After pulling out the little nails that hold the cardboard backing, gather your supplies which include oven cleaner and a glove. 


Next spray the oven cleaner onto the center area of the mirror back where you wanted the face to show through. I waited about five minutes then put on my yellow glove and grabbed some wet paper towels to remove the oven cleaner:


Mirrors basically have two layers, one that is a matte pigment and the other a silvering that provides the reflective surface.  On my example, the brown layer came off quite easily, right along with the foamy oven cleaner.  The silvering on this mirror needed a little more persuasion.  I've used various methods to get the silver off.  A razor blade might work, or another coat of oven cleaner, or rubbing with something gritty, like Comet. 


Make sure you remove all traces of the oven cleaner.
Now you can take your image and cut it to fit behind your mirror:


Next you slap the picture behind the glass, back it up with the cardboard, and secure with those pesky little nails that you pulled out or use a "brad nailer", which is one of my favorite gadgets of all time.  It shoots the little brads into the mirror frame just like a staple gun.

My mirror may not be frightful enough because my "ghost" has such a serene expression, but since I didn't permanently affix the portrait to the glass, I can switch it out with something else, like a skull.  Sorry about this awful picture, but I took it at night with a flash.


It would have been cool to take this vintage Ouija board (what family didn't have one of these stashed somewhere?) color copy parts of the board or even the spooky cover art, and put this behind the mirror. 


If you're thinking "Hey, you ruined a perfectly good mirror for some crazy craft project!", I have something you might like a little better.  It's so easy to make, it's like falling off a log.  Just find a good old mirror, like my example below.  This mirror is a real treasure.  Notice the old wavy glass:


Next, add snapshots of your kin folk or some "instant relatives" from a thrift store photo album around the edges.  I just secured mine with a bit of tape:


That's it.  That's the project.  No harm done to the mirror, and it can be changed at any time.  I think I saw a mirror like this in a magazine or in a Pottery Barn catalog.  The addition of the snapshots just adds a fun twist, don't you think?


I think these look good because the mirror frame is painted white, and I chose only black and white photos.  Sort of a monochromatic look.


Have a creative week,

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