The finished look.
My bathroom has a large, plain mirror. No frame. No interest. No style. The large, boring mirror does, however, visually expand my small bathroom so I decided to keep it instead of replacing it with something more stylish and, of course, more costly.
My bathroom mirror is large and so very, very plain.
The rest of my home's decor leans towards Cottage Style and Shabby Chic, with a wee bit of "Paris Apartment". However, my bathroom, while having the necessities was, well, blah.
The main and only features to love are a deep Jacuzzi soaking tub with an octagon window above. The bathroom is very small and narrow but that doesn't mean it can't have some style.
Sooo...what to do?
I needed to make a frame of some type for the mirror to obscure the raw, unfinished (and chipped) edges, but what?
Perhaps some thick rope?
Miter-cut some wooden moldings and then attach them somehow?
Being into Elective Frugality I wanted to use things I already had with perhaps only a minimal investment, if needed.
After cogitating for awhile I hit upon the idea of gluing seashells around the mirror's edges to add style, dimension, and interest.
I researched on the Internet for a "how to", but all the shell-mirror projects were for small, framed mirrors that could be taken off the wall and laid horizontally for working on. The glue would then eventually dry and the mirror could be re-hung on the wall.
My problem was that my large wall mirror was firmly cemented to the bathroom wall and couldn't be removed. I had to be able to work vertically which meant I needed a glue that would adhere firmly and immediately.
More Internet research into various types of glue led to more confusion (and toxic, smelly chemicals) and didn't solve the problem I was facing.
I decided, finally, to use hot glue. It adheres firmly and immediately and is easy to work with...and odorless.
So, off to the craft store for a small glue gun, glue sticks, and a couple bags of seashells. As luck would have it Michael's, a large crafts store chain, had basic glue guns on sale for $6.99.
Using seashells, and a crocheted curtain panel from my fabric stash, an idea began to coalesce.
I began by screwing a cup hook into the wall above each upper corner of the mirror. Then, using ties fabricated from the side hem of an old black and linen checked curtain in my fabric stash, I attached the crocheted curtain panel across the top of the mirror draping, twisting, and tying into place.
I secured the panel by tying it to the cup hooks at each corner, then to the metal curlicues at the bases of every other lamp in the over-the-mirror, five-lamp fixture, letting the bottom half hang down the right side of the mirror. Below the center lamp I hung a metal cameo as an accent.
This metal cameo, removed from a shadow box in my sitting room, became an accent in the center of the panel forming the top border. It measures 2-3/4 inches high by 2-inches wide.
I liked the look, so far. However, the crocheted curtain panel was only long enough to go across the top and down the right side of the mirror.
To solve this problem I sacrificed a full-sized bed skirt that had five-inch crocheted borders on three sides. I cut away one long side from the bed skirt being careful not to snip into the crocheted part of the border so as to prevent fraying and unraveling.
The crocheted border was a close match to the panel in both color and stitch, but much narrower. Fortunately, the border was long enough that I could fold it at the upper corner of the mirror, allowing both halves to hang side-by-side down the left edge of the mirror. Problem solved!
A bed skirt border, folded and wrapped around the panel, then fashioned into a rosette!
At the upper left hand corner I wrapped and twisted both border and panel together forming a rosette...next trip to the store I'll get some round bulbs for the light fixture's lamps to create a more fashionable and vintage look! Those spiral bulbs aren't enhancing my style-efforts!
The shells, I decided, would be hot glued to the lower sides and across the bottom of the mirror where the crocheted panel and border end.
An old cookie sheet organizes one bag of shells, the hot glue gun, and glue sticks. I needed two bags of shells to complete my project. I also covered the counter with a large, old towel retired to my "rag" cupboard. I'm ready to start...
My idea was to make the shell application wider in the corners, filling them in, then tapering to a thinner application along the lower sides and bottom edge of the mirror.
My design uses a wider application of shells in the corners with fewer on the sides and bottom of the mirror.
I like how the right side and bottom edge of the mirror, with shells, meets the tasseled bottom of the crocheted curtain softening and adding style to the formerly stark mirror.
The bottom of the mirror needed a little something extra, so I created that "something extra" centered over the faucet.
A closer look!
I wanted to do something slightly different for the left corner of the mirror to vary things a bit. So I used thicker, chunkier shells than I'd used in the lower right corner.
And for just a touch of whimsy...
...I glued a single pearl bead in one of the shells at the lower left corner of the mirror.
Materials used for this project...
Side hem from a black and linen checked curtain panel cut to make ties.
Two cup hooks from my tool chest.
One tassel-bottomed crocheted curtain panel, 84-inches long.
A length of crocheted edging cut from one side of an old bed skirt.
The only items I had to buy were a glue gun, glue sticks, and seashells. That part of the project cost $22.24.
For this minimal cost, and a couple hours of work arranging the curtain and panel and gluing on the shells, I achieved a stylish, one-of-a-kind look that was fun to create, as well as unique.
My bathroom is now a pleasing spot to have a relaxing, candlelit soak while listening to soothing tunes on my cellphone's Amazon Music app. I'm pleased with the results and actually enjoy being in my wee bathroom!
The next post will show the rest of my small-bathroom re-dux.
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NOTE: Using hot glue results in thin, spidery strands that sometimes form between your project and the glue gun. I simply wound these up and discarded them into the waste basket.
I approximated where to position each shell before applying the hot glue to it. The occasional mistake was easily remedied by pulling away the shell during the few seconds before the glue set and peeling the still malleable glue from the mirror.
I only needed to hold each shell in place for a few seconds before moving on to the next application.
This project was NOT a messy one. Only minimal clean up was needed afterward.
The only caution is to try to keep your fingers away from the very hot tip of the glue gun, as well as the freshly expressed glue which remains hot - think volcanic lava-hot(!) - but only for a few seconds.