I’ve lived in my house for almost two years. I’m still not done “decorating.” Josh and I have a (luckily) similar philosophy: We don’t want to just own stuff for the sake of stuff. So we buy what we want when we find it and not before. But I’m also cheap. That means sometimes I see decor I want, but it’s more than I’m willing to spend.
That’s what happened probably a year a half ago (yes, executing this project took me forever and posting it took me even longer). I received a CB2 catalog in the mail. In it was a great mirror arrangement I fell in love with:
So, for the record, that’s six mirrors that are each a two-foot square. Each mirror is $149. Math’s not my strong subject, but even I know that adds up to $894. If I did four instead, $596. Just… no. I do not need to spend so much on something that will fall off my wall and break when the next earthquake hits.
So, I decided to make a similar mirror by myself. I bought a 4’x2′ pine board at Home Depot. I primed and painted it with leftover supplies from painting the house.
Then, I bought mirror tiles online from Cheap Mirror Tiles. Yep, the name’s cheesy, but it’s accurate. They were by far the cheapest supplier of mirror tiles that I found. I calculated how many/what mirrors to order and then they were on their way to meeeeeee!
(To calculate: Find the square inches of your board. Mine was 1152 sq. inches. I calculated the square inches of the tiled mirror sizes and then fit them all together on a diagram and bought a few extra 1″x1″ and 1″x2″ mirrors to make sure everything would fit up. I used 6″x6″, 2″x6″, 3″x3″, 2″x3″, 1″x6″, 4″x5″, 2″x2″, 1″x2″ and 1″x1″. This will be one of the most frustrating parts of this project. Promise.)
I also bought enough 1/2″x1/2″ tiles to go all around the edge, which was a lot of extra expense and I didn’t end up using them because mirrors and board measurements aren’t exact and they wouldn’t fit like I wanted them to. So don’t make that mistake.
So, once all your tiles come in the mail, it’s time to fasten them to your board. I laid out my mirror tiles on top of my board in the arrangement I wanted. I like puzzles, so I didn’t find this frustrating in the least, but I can see how it could be really frustrating for some.
Here’s my arrangement:
Starting at one side, I took the mirrors off the board and put them face down around the sides. (Do this in whatever way makes it so you can keep track of where they will go on the board.) Now it’s time to glue the mirrors on! I used Liquid Nails Mirror Adhesive (it bonds mirrors to woodwork and other surfaces) for that. I squeezed it onto the board (mostly in zigzags, but sometimes in spots to give the mirrors a bit of “lift” off the board). I lined up the mirrors and then pressed firmly down. I recommend starting at the top right corner and gluing down all the mirrors to the bottom right and working in strips that way all the way across the board.
Josh and I devised a system of three hooks and eyes to hang the mirror on the wall. Make sure you find a stud because mirrors are heavy!
The finished product:
Project cost: $77.33 (including taxes and shipping)
Paint & primer: Free
Mirrors (not including unused ones): About $60
Liquid Nails: $7.63
Hooks & eyes: $4.73
It’s definitely NOT a cheap DIY project, but I would have spent $298 to have two of those CB2 mirrors, so a savings of $220.67 is just fiiiiiiiiiiine with me.
*This also does not count toward my 2012 goals because this was done in 2011, months and months ago and I was just slow about hanging it up and taking a picture.