Transforming A Mirror into a Vintage Inspired Gift

Have you ever wanted to try a project where you give a basic item a new look? There are so many easy ways to complete DIY projects, but the hardest part is starting. What should you start with? How should you start? What do you need to start the project? It’s easy to overthink, but sometimes you just have to jump into it. 

In March, I acquired a broken mirror, practically for free. I saw this full body mirror in the damaged items cart at a store and with two different discounts and a store credit, I didn’t have to pay out of pocket for something that was going to be thrown away. I saw this as an opportunity to try my hand at a project. Not only was I going to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, but I thought that this project would be the perfect gift for my sister’s birthday. My sister wanted a full body mirror for a while, and this project came along at the right time. At the time, I only had a week to complete this project, so I had to move fast. 

The Broken Mirror 

The mirror involved in my little project was a beautiful Grace Beveled Wall Mirror. It was painted gold, made from faux wood, and stood at 24” x 58”. Unfortunately, the damages were hard for others to look past, but it worked in my favor. The original condition of the mirror made for a great home decor piece; however, I had to work through chipped edges, glass that had popped out of the frame, scratched paint, and a dirty surface. This sounds like a lot for someone who doesn’t have experience restoring items, and I can tell you that it definitely felt like a lot of work. I had no idea where to start, but I knew that I needed to assess and make a plan. I thought about everything I needed and wanted to do to fix the mirror, and then research the supplies I would need to do so. 


  • Wood Filler 
  • Silicone Glue 
  • Paint 
  • Mod Podge 
  • Decorative Craft Paper 
  • Spray Paint 
  • Misc painting tools 

Fixing the Damage 

The first things I needed to tackle were the damages to the mirror. I tried to work on the chipped corner first, and I thought wood filler was the answer. I chose a natural color wood filler to fill in the chipped corner. I had no clue if it would work, but I needed to try something that didn’t require professional skill or power tools. A little filler, a little spackling, and voila! Okay, not really. I had to apply the wood filler a few times, but once it fully dried it began to crumble. It worked out enough that there wasn’t a large chip in the edge anymore, but it wasn’t the best. Once it dried, I sanded what I could without letting it all crumble away. However, I knew I was going to cover the edge, so I didn’t mind. I moved on. 

Next, I needed to set the glass back into the frame. There were three spots where the glass had popped out of the frame, and it was noticeable in addition to being unsafe. I performed a Google search to determine how to fix that problem, and it made the most sense for me to use a silicone glue to adhere the glass to the frame. Again, I didn’t want to try something that required a lot of professional skill, and I didn’t want to risk more damage to the mirror. I laid the mirror on the ground and squeezed the glue under the glass. Then I laid silicone mats on top of the mirror and “clamped” the glass in place by placing books on top of the mats. I left the mirror to settle for a few hours. It definitely worked out! 

Vintage Inspiration 

After I fixed the chipped edges and reframed the glass, I needed to work on the scratched paint. I thought this was the perfect time to change up the front edges of the mirror by decorating it. I already had some sheets of vintage craft paper and mod podge, so I thought I’d try a transfer. I needed to do the transfer process as well as repaint the frame, but I felt like I was running out of time. I knew that the transfer process would take at least 24 hours, and then painting the edges would take at least half a day. Not only would I need to move slowly and work carefully, but I had to allot for drying time with each change I had planned to make. 

First, I cut the vintage craft paper into strips to wrap around the outer frame of the mirror. I had three different patterns to work with. I used one pattern to line the top and bottom edges of the mirror. Then I used the other two patterns to line the sides of the mirror, with one pattern lining the top half and the other pattern lining the bottom half. To transfer the craft paper onto the mirror, I had to use mod podge. I spreaded the mod podge onto the front of the craft paper and laid it down with the right side facing the frame. I left it to dry for 24 hours. 

After 24 hours, it was time to remove the craft paper and to check if the transfer worked. To remove the craft paper, I used warm water and a sponge. I had to work slowly to let the warm water soak into the paper, and then I gently scrubbed the paper off. The transfer was really nice, but there were some parts that I scrubbed off a little too much. Instead of panicking, I went in with more craft paper, but I pasted it onto the mirror right side up. I thought this would give the vintage patterns a nice “pop”. I really like how it turned out. When I was finished giving this mirror a vintage edge, which took many hours to reveal, I added a layer of mod podge to seal all the edges. All of that really helped to hide the scratched off paint on the front edges of the frame. 

Finishing Touches

Finally, I needed to cover the scratched off paint on the rest of the outer frame. I decided to paint it, but I didn’t want to use gold. I thought that painting the frame gold would clash too much with the inner frame, and it would be too gaudy. I used acrylic paint and a dabbing sponge to paint the outer edge of the frame black. Black is a simple classic color, and  it blended well with the vintage paper. I left the first layer dry for 24 hours, mostly because I had to go to work, but then I added two more layers of black paint. I put the finishing touches on the mirror by spray painting the frame with a clear topcoat and then cleaning the surface off with windex. 

This project was an interesting first for me. I am used to making small crafts, so it was nice to try my hand at a slightly larger project. I had no idea what I was doing, but I think it turned out well. My sister was so happy to have a “new” mirror, and I was happy to complete this project. Overall, it turned out great, and I am excited to try something else. This is just the start! 

I hope you’ve liked this post. If you have some project ideas don’t hesitate to share them. Thanks for reading!


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