Mirrors On My Stairs

CIMG5470 mirrors

One of my favorite passtimes is reading other people’s decorating and DIY blogs on Show and Tell Friday or on Feathered Nest Friday  (or Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday etc.) I try to click on every single one of them and as a result I now have many favorite blogs that I visit regularly. I’ve seen so many beautiful homes as well as quite a few fabulous decorating ideas that have really inspired me. One of those ideas was Cindy’s (from MyRomanticHome) mirrored staircase. When I saw it, I  thought it was just the cutest way to brighten up a very difficult to decorate space. Cindy mentioned that she purchased all her mirrors at thrift stores or garage sales and that most of them had cost under five dollars. I  would love to have been that lucky with mine. But unfortunately in my area there are no thrift stores and there is only the occasional garage sale where everything tends to be overpriced. I checked our local Craigslist  for mirrors but nobody was selling any.  My next option was Ebay. There I found dozens of gorgeous mirrors in every shape and size imaginable. However, most of the lightweight plastic/resin framed mirrors I saw were just as expensive as their heavy, carved,  gilt European counterparts! It seems Ebay vendors have wised up and they know that those old Homco and Syrocco mirrors are very sought after today. It was difficult to find anything under 50 dollars. Add the shipping charge to that and it hikes up the cost so much that  it’s simply not worth it. So I began looking for another alternative and I found that there are many (many!) wall plaques and picture frames that can easily be converted into mirrors some for as little as 99 cents plus shipping. Some even offer free shipping. I also love the variety of shapes that plaques and picture frames offer. For example, this nifty little fan shaped mirror began it’s life as a frame with a cardboard picture inside.

Fan mirror

The picture was nice enough and I would have hung it as is, except that I only wanted mirrors for this wall. It cost under 20 dollars including shipping.

Here's how it looked when I bought it

Here’s how it looked when I bought it

I simply unscrewed it from the back and removed the cardboard picture and glass covering. I then made a template by tracing the cardboard picture shape onto newspaper. I took that to a glass and mirror shop and had them cut out a piece of mirror using the newspaper template as a guide.

It's easy to remove the screws and replace the picture with a mirror

It’s easy to remove the screws and replace the picture with a mirror

Another converted mirror were these little diamond shaped wall plaques with an ornate border. The listing was for two plaques and two butterflies.

This gold wall plaque and butterfly set cost $4.50 plus a few dollars for shipping.

This gold wall plaque and butterfly set cost $4.50 plus a few dollars for shipping.

The center parts of the plaques were not removable, so I punched/sawed them out with a sharp knife leaving enough of an edge to later mount the mirror on top of. I then spray painted everything a creamy white and hot glued diamond shaped mirrors (from the glass and mirror store) onto the plaques.  I hadn’t planned on hanging the butterflies, but at the last minute I decided to paint them a similar color as the plaques and hang them on the mirror wall too. They add a bit of non-mirror interest to the wall.

Yeah, I know. I have to paint that ugly screw head white

Yeah, I know. I have to paint that ugly screw head white. I’ve been meaning to do that

Here’s yet another conversion to a mirror. These were two really inexpensive wall plaques/pictures with mirror potentional. I bought them on Ebay for $6.00 dollars for the set plus a reasonable shipping cost.  When I bought them they looked like these.

plaque fronts

It was easy to remove the floral inserts and replace them with mirrors.  I just unscrewed the backs, put in the mirrors and replaced the backing.

After spray painting them a pale creamy yellow, nobody would have ever guessed they were not always mirrors.

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While these looked great as a pair when they were pictures, they look kind of busy hung together as mirrors. So I put one on the mirror wall and I put the other above the landing on the stairs.

stair landing flowers

This little wooden mirror was given to me by my daughter in law. It was originally a plain brown picture frame. I glued on some small resin roses, spray painted everything white and added the mirror insert.

Square mirror

This next one was one of the more expensive mirrors that I purchased. It was $25 dollars including shipping on Ebay. Add customs taxes to that and it’s not at all cheap. The bigger and bulkier an item, the more courier cost and customs taxes I have to pay. But, I loved the shape and the pretty edges, so I just closed my eyes and hit the “Buy it Now” button.

Don't mind me. I hadn't had coffee yet.

Don’t mind me. I hadn’t had coffee yet.

I found these little homco butterfly mirrors on Ebay for about seven dollars plus shipping. I figured since I’d already hung a couple of butterflies between the mirrors, these would fit right in. They were originally a ghastly olive green.

mirror butterflies

I removed the little heart shaped mirrors and spray painted them a light cream color, then re-assembled them again.

The backs were held on with screws. They were easy to remove and then rescrew again.

The backs were held on with screws. They were easy to remove and then rescrew again. No idea why they look yellow in this picture.

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Much better!

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The full length mirror was a purchase I made locally. It belonged to a woman who inherited it from her parents. She told me they'd bought it before she was born. I love things with a history.

The full length mirror was a purchase I made locally. It belonged to a woman who inherited it from her parents and she told me that they’d bought it before she was born. I love things with a history. The round mirror was purchased at the Chinese Store. It used to be a hideous faux bronze color.

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These mirrors are addictive. Even though I certainly don’t need any more of them and I have absolutely no space left to hang them, I still find myself looking for mirror bargains on Ebay or on Craigslist. Thank goodness I haven’t found any lately. Gah.

Joining Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

And also Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

4 thoughts on “Mirrors On My Stairs

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