Friday, February 10, 2012

A 'shimmy' Mirror

I've been working on this mirror for months.  Literally, once a month for the last 5 months, I've been trying to get this project done.  I enlisted the help of my expert-woodworking father and utilized some of the Tuesday morning time I get free of Griffin thanks to my dad's lovely wife Signe:).  I saw this done on Bower Power as a part of the Pinterest Challenge and she gives great instructions and here is a much more in-depth tutorial from Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating.
I'm still getting the hang of writing/picturing through a project and therefore forgot to get any before pics.  But here are some of the materials I started with:
-scrap plywood
-cedar shims
-wood stain (Jacobean)
-string and pencil (for tracing circles to cut)
-wood glue
-wood glue brush
-tacky glue
-picture hanging kit
-various saws from my dad's woodworking garage stall

First we (my dad and I) started by cutting all of the cedar shims into 2 1/2 inch strips, that way when you arrange them in the basket-weave pattern, the width of two shims is the same as the length of a shim.  Then I just started gluing them down.  This part took about 2 hour-long installments. 

 Once I had a square piece of plywood, covered in basket-weave shims (chose this pattern over the parkay, but the possibilities are endless!), I used a pencil and string to trace a circle in the middle for the mirror and around the edge.  My dad was in charge of the saw and cut out the holes for me.
Then I set it up for some staining.  I gave it a good, dark stain (Jacobean).  One caution is to be careful not to get any wood glue where you are going to stain, because the stain won't stick to the glue.  Using a dark color was a good idea, since it is tough to get the stain into the small cracks and even harder to wipe off the excess.  If you used a lighter stain, it might look darker between the shims.
 Once dry, I flipped it over and positioned the mirror.  This was a re-purposed mirror from one of the closets in our house.  It had what I'm sure was once a very stylish floral design on the front, however not really my style so it got re-purposed.
 Just a little tacky glue around the edge of the mirror, right onto the back of the wood and give it some time to dry.
 And...voila!   A re-purposed mirror!  I love how it turned out, though it is much bigger than I thought it was.  We did all of the cutting at my dad's and when I got it home it was too big for above the basement fireplace, which is where I had thought it would go.  Give me a day or two to figure it out and I'll let you know where it ends up....maybe the dining room.

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