Sunday, November 21, 2010

Handmade Tiled Mirror

Last year, while on their honeymoon, Jacob and Cameron bought a beautiful piece of pottery in Mexico.  Unfortunately, the piece shattered at some point during their numerous moves from place to place. 

While helping them pack a few months ago for their move to Raleigh, I came across the shattered pieces of the plate.  I secretly took it from the trash pile it had been designated to, knowing I wanted to use it to create a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift for them.

So, last weekend, while I still had a small amount of free time before Christmas parties and holiday shopping take over, I decided to tackle a mirror using the pieces of the plate.  I hope they like it! 

(I don't normally give early Christmas gifts, but I don't know when we will see them next, so we have decided to go ahead and give them their gift when they stay with us this weekend).

 The DIY Show Off

My DIY instructions are below:.

  • 6 extra 4 x 4 tiles (blue, white and sea glass)
  • tile adhesive
  • 12 x 12 mirrored plate
  • plywood
  • premixed grout
  • decorative molding

To add extra personalization, I used my Cricut machine to create a stencil of their last name.  I didn't end up using the fleur-de-lis shapes because I thought it might be too busy with the already beautiful designs in the plate.

I generously applied glass etching cream over the stencil and waited ten minutes:

While the etching cream worked it's magic, I put the intact tiles and some of the larger pieces remaining from the plate into a plastic bag to break them up into usable sizes.

Next, I separated my tiles into larger pieces and smaller pieces.  My plan was to apply all larger pieces around the frame and then add in smaller pieces where space allowed.

Next, I called in my handy hubby to assist with cutting the frame.  He cut a 20 x 20 frame out of plywood.  This allowed for four inches of tiled area around the mirror.  (Please don't judge us by our garage - we have a few too many projects going on right now!)

Once the 20 x 20 frame was cut, I applied the tile adhesive and firmly pressed down the tile pieces.  This was the fun part!


I slid the mirrored piece in and let everything sit for 24 hours to allow time for the tile to adhere to the plywood backing.

The next step was grouting.  I taped off the mirror using painter's tape and was ready to grout.

Instead of buying dry, unmixed grout, I bought premixed grout that contained an adhesive.  The extra hold will hopefully prevent the tiles from slipping.

Piece by piece I worked my way around the mirror.  Because the pieces don't lay flat, the traditional way of grouting using a trowel and float didn't work very well.  It took a lot of patience (and sliced fingers) to apply grout between all the pieces.

Finally, my handy hubby cut 45 degree cuts into decorative molding and attach the molding to the plywood to frame the project.  Once I used a little wood filler for the cracks, I primed it, gave it a coat of white paint and ta da!

I'm so pleased with the final result.  I hope they like it as much as I do!



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