Sunday, 2 October 2016

Comfy Make: Decoupaged Mirror

Here's the first of what I'm calling 'Comfy Makes'.  The majority of these makes will be little items of gloriousness and fun that you can make for your home, your kids or your friends.  They'll be mega-easy to make and won't cost the earth, using items you can either buy very cheaply or you'll already have around the home.  There will be some makes that are a little more complicated and / or using crafting techniques that you might not be familiar with or proficient in; I hope those posts might inspire you to take up a new craft... or you can just enjoy looking at them!

I decided to go with this as my first Comfy Make because it's probably the item in our home that gets the most 'oohs' and 'ahs' and 'how did you do thats'.  It's really simple to make and costs literally pennies, but looks fantastic.

It's a mirror that I decoupaged with images from what is probably our kids' all-time favourite book series, Charlie & Lola.  The girl still loves Charlie & Lola (although I don't think she'd admit it in public).  The boy loves Charlie & Lola.  And I absolutely adore them.

I love the drawings and page settings, I love the stories, I love the speech patterns.  Lauren Child can do little wrong in this household.  We have a good number of Charlie & Lola books and, although we read many other things, we always come back to them.  There's a great spooky one for Halloween, too!

We love our Charlie & Lola!

I made the mirror a couple of years ago and it still looks great, apart from where the boy had a go at picking at some of the decoupaging along the bottom when he was much younger (I tell myself you can hardly see it, and to be honest none of our visitors have noticed it).  It cost just £3.50 to make.  Yes, really.  How, you say?

Well, I am (and I say this without an ounce of shame) a great lover of charity shops.  We are blessed with a good selection in the towns close to where we live, and I've had some amazing purchases from these cracking little shops.  They're also brilliant for items that you can upcycle or recycle for your home - and this Comfy Make is no exception.

I bought the mirror in one of our local charity shops for £3.  It has a wooden frame and was in a good condition.  You can use an old mirror or even a photo frame - pretty much anything along these lines can be decoupaged.  You need pictures - I got mine from a Charlie & Lola annual which cost 50p, also from a charity shop.  The only other items you'll need are:
  • Some PVA craft glue (you don't need specialist decoupage glue, PVA works great);
  • A pot for your glue (yogurt pots are ideal);
  • A small-ish paintbrush (i.e. a craft or child-sized one, not a decorating one!);
  • Some scissors or a craft knife

To start with, go through the annual and tear out the pictures you want to use.  Keep them small.  Don't cut them with scissors, tear them - a sharp edge (for my money anyway) doesn't look as good and the pictures don't 'flow' into one another.  We're looking for random here - we're not telling a story with the pictures, we're just going to be layering them up over each other.  If there's any pictures you want to be particularly prominent, save them until the end so that they're sat on top, as it were.  Also, look for patterns and colours as well as actual images - Charlie & Lola is particularly great for amazing patterns.  And consider including text or individual words; Charlie & Lola come out with some cracking quotes!

Once you're happy with your selection, pop some of your PVA craft glue into your pot.  Decide where on your frame you'd like to start, and brush some glue onto the frame itself, just where you're going to put your first picture and enough to ensure that all the frame under your picture has glue on it.  DON'T cover the whole frame with glue, just do one picture at a time.  Place your picture onto the frame and go over the picture with more glue to seal it in place.  Not too much glue to avoid big gloops (technical term) on top of your picture.  First one done!  Continue covering your frame with your pictures, first covering the frame with glue, then placing the picture on top of the glue, then covering the picture itself with more glue.

Don't worry if the pictures overlap, this is good - make them random.  You don't want any of the frame showing at the end of the process.  Remember that the edges of the frame will also be seen, so wrap the pictures around the sides of the frame.  Also, don't be tempted to try and re-site any of your pictures - you'll only end up ripping the picture.  Embrace the randomness! (Or, if you really don't like it, decoupage another picture on top of it…).

When you're working close to the mirror glass, use scissors or a craft knife to cut your picture before you stick it on, so that it lies straight with the edge of the frame for a neat finish.

Keep layering your pictures up - it's looking good!

Can you see how I've layered up the different pictures, and that the photos around the edge of the mirror glass are all straight?

Keep going until you're happy with the look of the frame, then leave to dry (it really shouldn't take that long).  Once dry, apply another couple of coats of the glue.  This will seal the frame and give a nice sheen.

Your decoupaged mirror is complete, and here's how my Comfy Make looks in really life: ta-dah!

The finished article - what do you think?
The boy LOVES it.

(It's a rectangular frame, honest - it's just that it’s very difficult to take photos of mirrors without getting yourself in the picture!)  I love the mirror, and love it even more because I made it for my son, and because it cost me no more than £3.50.  Thrifty and fun - that's what this blog is all about.  And only a slither of the colour orange in it…!

I hope you have fun decoupaging your own frame.  Let me know how you get on.

Just before I go, I thought you might like to see something that the boy made a year or two ago at nursery.  They bring home so much stuff and, to be honest, a good amount sadly has to be filed away or, worse, binned, but I just love this one and it's still proudly on display in his room.  It's a model of another of our favourite book characters; can you guess which one it is?

Clever boy, no?

It's Elmer the Elephant!  Isn't it fantastic?!  So simple but so effective, and it makes me smile every single time I look at it.  It's a milk container, handle cut at the bottom, and covered in tissue paper.  Genius.

Thanks for visiting.  Bye for now! xx
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


  1. That mirror looks fantastic! Such a great idea. I cut up our 'used' magazines for 'sticking' (also know as mess making!!). I'm sure my youngest (and my biggest come to that) would love a peppa/ben&holly/paw patrol frame!

    1. Thank you! I'm sure they would - if you decide to give it a go send me a photo, would love to see it. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment xx