Glass bead mirror

Oval mirror

I removed this old, scratched, chipped mirror from an ugly plastic frame (which I turned into a bulletin board). Even though the mirror had seen better days, I couldn’t just throw it out. Despite it’s flaws, I loved the shape and thickness of the mirror.

I wanted to glue on some sort of frame and either hang it or use it as a vanity tray. The leftover glass gems from my studded tile mirror were the perfect solution. And they cover up most of the mirror’s flaws. But all the glass gems had popped off of my studded mirror, one-by-one, so I hunted for a better glue. After trying three other glues, I found it. For the tiered jewelry tray tutorial, click here.

Tutorial and photos after the jump.

How to make a beaded-edge mirror

Supplies

Tools

mirror, marker & vinyl

1. Choose what you want to use for the backing. (I used a piece of vinyl that was left over from my slippers project, so these instructions are for vinyl.) Place the mirror on top of the back side of the vinyl. Trace around the outside edge of the mirror with a marker.

Cut vinyl & scissors

2. Cut along the inside of the line you made with the marker.

Tip: Skip step #3 through 6 if you intend to use your mirror as a vanity tray.

Vinyl scrap & glue gun

3. To make a hanging tab, cut a piece of vinyl from your scraps that is about 2- by 5-inches. Fold the top over about 1½ inches.

Sew method: Sew the folded piece back-to-back. Sew in a complete rectangle shape around the inside edge of the folded piece.

Glue method: Hot glue the folded piece back-to-back.

Front of hanging tab, awl

4. Split the anchor of the D-ring picture hanger apart slightly so you can slide it over the vinyl like a paperclip. Use an awl to punch holes in the vinyl to match the holes in the D-ring.

Back of hanging tab

5. Insert one brad into each hole, then spread each brad apart at the back.

Hanging tab on back of mirror

6. Attach the hanging tab to the vinyl. Place it in the center of the vinyl, near the top.

Sew method: Sew the bottom half of the tab to the vinyl backing. Sew a complete rectangle shape around the inside edge of the bottom half of the tab.

Glue method: (Skip to step #7, then come back to this step.) Super glue won’t stick to the back of vinyl, and hot glue won’t stick to the front of vinyl. But super glue will stick to hot glue. So here’s what I did: Apply hot glue to the bottom half of the tab in thin lines close together. Stick it on the vinyl backing. Let cool, then peel off. You’ll have a smooth layer of hot glue on the tab. Next, apply super glue on top of the hot glue, then press it down onto the vinyl backing.

Alternate glue method (recommended): In step #3, cut your tab a couple inches longer. Fold over the top and bottom. Hot glue the top and bottom pieces down. Continue to step #4, 5, and 7. Then super glue the tab to the back of the mirror.

Vinyl & mirror adhesive

7. Use a caulk gun (not shown) to apply lines of mirror adhesive to the back of the mirror. Then use your finger to spread the lines into a smooth, thin layer of adhesive that covers the entire back of the mirror. Press the piece of vinyl right side up onto the glue. Smooth out the bubbles and wipe away any excess glue.

Mirror & glass mini-gems

5. Flip the mirror over. Apply a small dab of Loctite Super Glue at the edge of the mirror. Press a glass gem into the glue so that the gem overlaps the edge of the mirror slightly. Apply another dab of glue beside that gem and repeat all the way around the mirror. The gems are thankfully irregular sizes, so as you near the end, choose smaller or larger gems so that you end up right next to the first gem you glued to create a seamless glass-bead frame.

Beaded glass mirror

6. Let the mirror adhesive dry overnight, then hang the mirror on the wall with a picture hook or simple nail. You’re done!