This is a guide on how to stencil a decorative wall mirror. Check out these two creative mirror ideas and the lessons learned.
You don’t see mirror stencils very often. I wondered if it could be done. And was there a reason why people aren’t making them?
For this experiment, I stencilled two mirrors.
The first was a £1 simple mirror from a charity shop to test my idea out on. Small mirrors are a great project test for this. There isn’t much time or money lost if it doesn’t work well.
The second full-length mirror was left by the previous owners of my house. So it was even more of a bargain. And it was a good quality large mirror.
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How to DIY decorative mirrors
Coming up with interesting ways to decorate a mirror is easy with a Cricut machine. The only limits for creative mirror ideas are your imagination and time.
Using a stencil for creative mirror ideas
A Cricut is a very easy way to create a stencil.
It’s also possible to make a stencil without a fancy gadget. By using simple supplies and tracing a picture and cutting it with a sharp knife or scissors. That’s an even more inexpensive way to create an original DIY project.
It’s a fun way to get creative.
You can write anything you like. Something inspirational, a cute message, or an image that makes you smile.
You can match mirrors with a friend or have individual designs personal to each room. It’s unique wall decor to suit the room look or as its own art piece.
If you’re a fan of stencil projects, check out my favourites!
The type of mirror you use doesn’t matter. Of course, though, a square stencil design will look different whether it’s on a round mirror or rectangular mirror.
Want to create a design on a large wall mirror? You’ll need to create several panels and join them together.
Ideally, you want to remove the mirror from the frame.
This makes sure that the stencil lies flat on the plain mirror. If it has to fit inside the frame, it might mean trimming close to the edge of the stencil. This is a risk when using spray paint as it’s more likely to spray over the edge of the image.
A frameless mirror avoids this problem as the stencil lies flat.
Supplies to stencil a mirror
Once you have your stencil, the first step is to get some basic supplies: spray adhesive, frosted glass spray and nail polish remover.
And as a perfect example of all the best DIY projects, it doesn’t cost much money.
Spray adhesive. This lets you temporarily secure the stencil to the mirror. Without it, the plastic is likely to move with the force of the glass spray and get underneath the stencil.
Frosted glass spray. This is what creates the stencil. Spray two or three coats and let it dry in between.
The more coats you do, the more opaque the stencil becomes. This could be a great addition to a design by doing different amounts of layers for more variation.
Nail polish remover. This is your eraser. After removing the plastic stencil, you can clean up any overspray with nail polish remover and a cloth.
How to get the best results making a stencilled mirror
The first lesson learned when designing a stencil… Each element of the stencil needs to stay attached to the main piece.
In particular, the counters. Which are the holes on the inside of ‘e’, ‘o’ and ‘g’.
To solve this I created a gap in each letter that had counters. So the stencil stays as one piece.
When you use a ‘stencil’ typeface, that’s how it works to keep the image whole.
In ‘Hey, good looking’, the loop of the ‘g’ was originally connected. If I hadn’t created a gap, the hole in the loop would have separated from the stencil and the ‘g’ wouldn’t have stencilled properly.
A solution would be to glue the hole of the loop in the ‘g’ by itself to the mirror. Which would create the right shape when stencilled.
Have a look at how to create a layered stencil.
Additionally, any font that doesn’t have crisp edges, will just make it look like you’ve done a poor job of stencilling.
As though the lines have bled out of the edges.
Use the frosted glass spray with the mirror upright. If the mirror is on the ground, the spray is likely to drip onto it. And ruin the stencil.
To protect the rest of the mirrored surface from the spray, I covered everything except the image with newspaper. And taped it into place.
If it’s only loosely attached, the force of the spray paint could lift the paper and spray underneath.
Does a mirror stencil last?
So, does a frosted glass spray stencil last? Once dry, you can clean the finished mirror like normal and the stencil will stay in place.
But it can still be scratched off! So you do need to be careful with it.
You can use nail polish remover to get rid of it completely. If you want to start again or change the design.
Speaking of long-lasting, I couldn’t believe what happened to my first ever stencilled project!
Creative mirror ideas
Is it worth it?
So why don’t many people stencil mirrors? Well, you can get a similar look with less effort using a transfer.
You’re also covering some of the mirror. Making it less useful for its actual purpose. Which is probably why you bought it in the first place.
But, if that doesn’t put you off, why not create a positive phrase to look at when you kick-start your day?
The good news is that there are many positives with this method when making a statement mirror.
You can personalise a mirror for yourself or as a gift. It’s a great way to create custom mirrors with a creative look. And the best part, it doesn’t need to be permanent.
If your taste changes? Then it’s a good reason to test out different shapes for a fresh look.
On a tight budget and with a little effort, you have the option of having a creative mirror with some charm, a little quirkiness and endless possibilities.
You could even create a gallery wall or wall of mirrors with a different word or phrase on each mirror. That would add a lot of natural light to a dark room. Or make small spaces feel bigger.
What would you put on a stencil to create your perfect mirror? Leave a comment and let me know.
Want a design for a beautiful mirror frame idea too? Here’s a great one!