Awe Inspiring Mirrors Made from Antique Gesso Picture Frames

in Budget Decorating,DIY Projects,Walls & Windows

There is nothing more satisfying that infusing your home with unique décor and one of a kind accessories; the kind that you could never find at your local department store or home decorating shop. It is even that much more satisfying when you can create that look with items that are already in your attic or found for a few dollars at a local flea market.


Every house needs mirrors, for checking hair and makeup and to reflect light back into a room. However, have you ever noticed that it is very difficult to find a unique mirror that truly adds something to the room in terms of aesthetic value? Mirrors seem to come in garden variety styles with plain frames in simple shapes.

Gesso MirrorIf you are looking for the perfect mirror for your home, make your own! It can be done in an hour or two and will cost you as little as your time and as much as $50.

You may not have heard the word ‘gesso’ but chances are you own a gesso picture frame that belonged to your grandmother or can spot one at a flea market for just a few dollars. Popular in the Victorian era, gesso picture frames are quite ornate and large and can often be found in irregular shapes such as oval and hexagon. If you get really lucky you might find one with an intricate floral pattern, cherubs or ribbon swags around the frame. If you are antique market hunting, the best deals can often be obtained on empty frames that have no picture or glass, which is perfect because this is all you need to make an exceptional mirror for your home.

You can paint your gesso frame any color that matches your home décor (they look particularly beautiful in creamy white) or you can leave it in its original state for a more antique and authentic look.

It is usually a good idea to source out the gesso frame before the mirror, simply because you never know what frame shape you are going to fall in love with and drag home. Plain mirror is much easier to come across and can be cut to fit your newly acquired frame. If you don’t have a spare mirror in your house, and have had no luck finding one at a yard sale, you can pick up a large, plain mirror at a department store for under $20.

Glass cutters are really simple to use; just be certain to wear protective glasses and work gloves to protect your eyes and hands. Measure the back of the frame to determine how large the mirror needs to be cut. Be sure not to measure too close to the inside edge of the frame and allow at least one inch on all sides for adhering the mirror to the frame.

The easiest method of attaching the mirror to the frame is to use polyurethane glue. You can use contact cement if the mirror and frame together total no more than five pounds. If the weight exceeds five pounds, polyurethane glue is a better solution for safety and a long lasting bond. Always wait at least 24 hours before hanging your mirror to allow the glue time to cure fully.

A picture hanging kit from Wal-Mart costs about $3 and can be attached to the back of your gesso mirror in 10 minutes or less. Choose the perfect wall to display your newly created masterpiece, where you can admire it (and yourself) for years to come.

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