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Upcycled Picture Frame into Mirror Art

There are a few things you can find aplenty in the thrift store: glass, clothes, pillows, and frames. Oodles of frames just waiting for a new lease on life. This antique beauty caught my eye in a flash. Isn’t it gorgeous? It still has the original glass, which is begging me to take this upcycled picture frame to a whole new level.

Thrifted Frame Before Upcycle into Mirror by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Isn’t it gorgeous? It has such a beautiful patina in the original paint. It is made out of wood, and features oodles of charm. Because it’s pretty much in great shape as-is with its original glass, I’m focusing on changing up what’s featured.

In times past, I have repurposed pictured frames into shadow boxes or have taken mirrors and turned them into wall art. In addition, I’ve taken old artwork and turned it into a “antique” mirror. This time around, however, I wanted to kind of mix it up and combine two techniques. I even have a step-by-step video to show you how. woot!

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

Materials & Supplies:

STEP 1

First, our upcycled picture frame project is going to start by cleaning up that awfully dirty glass. We want our glass surface to be squeaky clean and ready for the painting process. I use a rubbing alcohol to remove and residue and grime. After your glass is clean, remove any hardware that would get in the way of you being able to work. I had to take off the wire hanger and remove a few nails.

STEP 2

Next, you will need to either create a graphic, use a picture, coloring page, or posters (you get the idea) to use for your work. I made a collage of a few botanical prints of chamomile and made it IN REVERSE.  The reverse is the key part because we’re going to applying this from the front so we can paint the back. Does that make sense?

Reverse Image Print on Upcycled Picture Frame | prodigalpieces.com

What you see is my graphic taped to the front showing the reverse thru the back. While I went kinda crazy on my art choice, you could keep it simple with just text or a simple shape. However, don’t be afraid to have fun with it for sure.

STEP 3

Now, here’s where I need you to really key in. Because we are creating a reverse image, our painting process is going to be in reverse too. So, instead of starting with the petals, for instance, we are going to begin with the outline of our image. I am using basic acrylic paint, but you could use paint intended for glass too, if you prefer.

Normally you’d fill in the solid parts and end with the outlines and accents. However, this time you begin with the outlines or the first visible layer in the art. Let completely cure before the next step.

Painting Outline on Reverse Image Mirror Art by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

STEP 4

Once your first layer has cured, then you can fill in the backing of the art. For instance, with the chamomile flower head, I began by using a darker orange/yellow to outline and add texture. Then, I back-fill with a lighter yellow.

First Layer of Mirror Art of Chamomile on Upcycled Picture Frame | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Second Layer of Mirror Art in Upcycled Picture Frame | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Let all your layers cure, then remove the graphic and move on to the next step.

Revealing Reverse Mirror Art by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

STEP 5

Next, we are going to use our mirror effects spray paint to create an “antique” mirror with ghosting. Remove the glass from the frame and set up a spray area.

Mirror Effects Spray Paint by Rustoleum | prodigalpieces.com

Follow the manufacturer instructions to lightly spray many coats. I find that 5 coats suits my need perfectly.

STEP 6

Meanwhile waiting for the layers to cure, we need to work on our backing. In my case, I didn’t have the original backing, so I need to cut a board. I love using my Rip Cut Jig and my small circular saw to do this quickly and easily.

Panel Rip Cut Jig for Mirror Backing by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Then, we need to create a mirror backing look with either a gray spray paint like this, or brushed on paint.

Gray Primer for Upcycled Picture Frame Mirror Art | prodigalpieces.com

STEP 7

Now that are mirror has many layers of paint, we need to create the aging process. I use a spray nozzle in a bottle of rubbing alcohol and mist the back of the mirror. The video demonstrates this best or you can see this method also in my other post HERE.

As soon as you spritz the alcohol, take your rag and lightly pounce the surface, or you can lightly wipe side-to-side. This will create that worn, ghosted effect.

STEP 8

Last, we can put it all together back together. In my case, I had to add new hardware to hold my mirror backing in. I just LOVE my point driver tool. It makes assembling handmade art so easy.

Logan Point Driver for DIY Upcycled Picture Frame | prodigalpieces.com

It works kinda like a stapler. You can see it in action in my video. Just be careful not to hit your glass.

THE REVEAL

Here is my upcycled picture frame now turned antique mirror botanical art. I love it!

Farmhouse Bedroom Corner with DIY Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #bedroom #farmhouse

Botanical Mirror Art from Upcycled Picture Frame by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #farmhouse #home #homedecor #art

Doesn’t it legit look like an antique mirror? I think you can pull this off too. You’ve at least gotta try, right?

DIY Botanical Mirror Art by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #botanical #farmhouse #art

Mirror Art in Upcycled Picture Frame by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #mirror #home #homedecor #farmhouse #art

I’m just excited to share with you a new technique hoping to inspire you to give DIY a try. What would you have done differently, if anything?

Antique Farmhouse Decor with Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #farmhouse #art #bedroom

Botanical Mirror Art by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #botanical #handmade #home #homedecor

If you’d like to make this mirror art your own, you can find it available in my online shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces Furniture, Vintage Finds, Handmade Goods, & Supplies for your home | shop.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

In addition, pin and share my upcycled picture frame to inspire others to give this technique a try. It’s fun to make your own home story.

Grab that old picture frame and create upcycled mirror art. Video tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #farmhouse

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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Also, more projects like this upcycled picture frame:

Grab those thrifted store cast-offs and create some repurposed picture frame shelves for your home decor. DIY tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #handmade #diy #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #craftsThis vintage buffet makeover is one to see. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces gives it new life and purpose as a DIY Coffee Bar | Head to prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #coffee #farmhouse #homedecor

Comments

  1. Kelly says

    I love the frame itself. When I am out and come across one, I am going to try your shelf idea. Those are so cute!

  2. Rebecca - NC says

    That is so awesome!! I have a ton of old frames and a can of that spray paint. I may have to give this a try. You are so full of amazing ideas!!! 😃

    • Larissa says

      Wahoo!! Sounds like some DIY fun headed your way. Thanks, Rebecca! 😀

  3. Jennifer says

    I love your antiqued mirror! The graphics were the perfect choice. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Kaycee says

    This is just beautiful Larissa! It’s does look like an antique mirrror.

  5. Marie says

    This looks like a fun project and a gorgeous way to upcycle an old picture frame with glass. So pretty!

    • Larissa says

      It was a much needed break from stress. 😉 Thanks so much, Marie.

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