RTW: Distressed Mirrors TUTORIAL

Reader’s Tutorial Week is a week where i spotlight my Reader’s fabulous tutorials and introduce you to fellow Craftaholics. it’s tons of fun!!

Hey Ya’ll!  

I’m Sarah from A Little of This, A Little of That.  
I love to decorate, craft, and sew! 
Today I want to share a DIY mirror tutorial!

I love stuff that is worn and weathered. I think antique mirrors are so fun. They can be hard to find, and pricey.  I loooove these from Anthropologie:
So neat, right?  They are only $695.00.  Yes, you read that right!
I was inspired by these in Ballard Designs:
I love the jute around the edges, and the leather strap.  Would look great in my house.
Well, today I would loooove to show you how to make the Ballard Designs mirrors, with an antique twist. 
Supplies Needed:
Mirror{s} (my mirrors are 18″)
Jute or Twine
Paint Stripper
Muriatic Acid
Vinyl tubing
Gorrilla Tape (or duck tape)
Black Paint (brush on or spray paint)
Neoprene Gloves
Face Mask
Glue Gun
Disc Hangers
WHERE to find your supplies:
  • Mirror{S}-most craft stores only sell mirrors up to 10″.  I ordered mine online, and found a large selection for a low price.  (18″ for $6.99 each)

  • Jute or Twine-can be found at any craft store
  • Paint Stripper-head to your local home improvement store
  • Muriatic Acid-this is actually a pool cleaning chemical, and can be found at any home improvement store in the pool section ($6 for a gallon).  Or if you know anyone with a pool or access to a high school chem lab, it could be free!
  • Vinyl Tubing-can be bought by the foot at your home improvement store.  It is in the plumbing section ($1.20 per foot)
  • Gloves/Face Mask-you WILL need these! ($4 for both @ Lowe’s)
  • Glue Gun-you should already have one of these :)

 A precaution: Muriatic Acid is the same thing as hydrochloric acid.  It is perfectly safe to use if YOU are careful.  Never ever use this around children or pets.  Wear gloves, a mask, goggles, and shoes!  This stuff can dissolve rocks.  It is dangerous if not used properly!  BE CAUTIOUS!

FYI: A little about the anatomoy of a mirror.  It is glass (or plastic) with a reflective film, and then paint on top of that film to protect it from scratching.
Steps to an AWESOME antiqued mirror

    1.  Liberally apply paint stripper to the back of the mirror, and let it sit for 
         10 mins.  
    2.  Wipe off the paint stripper, and most of the paint should come off; rub
         or scrape hard if needed!

   3.  Wipe off mirror with a dry towel.
   4.  Fill a spray bottle with Muriatic acid, and lightly spray where you want the
        acid to EAT THROUGH the reflective coating.

    5.  Watch your mirror; the acid works fast.  Wipe off any excess acid as 
        soon as you get the results you want. (the blue arrows show the dark 
        spots where the acid ate through the reflective coating)

    6.  Scratch up your mirror some with something sharp.  I found that scratch 
         marks added a nice touch to the “acid burns”

    7.  Wipe the mirror down thoroughly with a wet towel.  This will prevent the
         acid from continuing to eat the reflective coating.

    8.  Allow the mirror to air dry for 10 mins or so. 

    9.  Spray paint or brush paint the back of your mirror black.

  10.  After the paint dries, enjoy your Antiqued Mirror!

Steps to a Ballard Designs {knock off} Frame!
    Measure vinyl tubing to fit around mirror (this will be your “frame”)
    Tape ends together securely using Gorilla Tape
    Watch your munchkin run away with your project……..
    Being wrapping “frame” with jute or twine.
    Hot glue jute/twine every so often for stability.
    Glue your “frame” on top of your antiqued mirror (I used Gorilla Glue)

    I cut up one of my husband’s old belts to use for the strap (looooovin the look of this leather!)

    Add a leather strap to hang (to really “knock off” BD!)

    I found that the leather strap didn’t quite hold the weight.

    That’s where Disc Hangers come in!

    I peeled off the paper backing and put the adhesive side on my mirror.

    I used the disc hanger to actually hang the mirror.  The leather strap is more for looks than function.  Call me crazy :D

    Hang up and ENJOY!

    Ballard Designs Mirror: $139.00
    Anthropologie Antiqued Mirrors: $695.00
    My {antiqued and awesome} Mirror: $15.50

    Thanks for reading my tutorial!

    Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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    1. 1
      Pati @ A Crafty Escape


    2. 2

      That is great!!!

    3. 3
      Aleisha Z. Coleman

      those are just plain fabulous!

    4. 4

      I have been wondering if you could do this. This helped me get up the courage to try it! Thanks so much!

    5. 5

      Wow! They look amazing! Thanks so much for sharing the how-to, I'd love to link to this if you didn't mind.