10.28.2012

$7 DIY Rope Mirror

Have you ever started a DIY project thinking, "This will be fun!" only to realize 20 minutes later that you've chosen a tedious project that will completely test your patience?

That was me on Saturday. "This will be fun!" quickly turned into, "Holy moly, this is going to take me forever. What was I thinking?"

I ended up with a mirror that I really love, and thank goodness because it took me about seven hours of work!

Here it is, my $7 DIY Rope Mirror!

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

Cost Breakdown: $2 for thrift store mirror  + $5 for hemp cord/rope

Ok, let's start at the beginning. I was inspired by these two Pinterest projects (#1 and #2) to spruce up this vintage mirror from the thrift store.

I checked a few hardware stores for different types of rope, but I thought its thickness might hide the great lines of the mirror. I ended up in the craft/jewelry section at WalMart, where I bought this roll of natural polished hemp. One of the reasons I liked it so much was because it had a nice weathered grey color that I'm totally attracted to, as opposed to some of the generic beige or white ropes colors I was finding at other stores.


So I plopped down on my living room floor with my hot glue gun, the mirror and two rolls of hemp. 


And then the gluing began. I'd put down about five inches of hot glue, then place the cord on top. Round and round the mirror it went. I wished I had a lazy susan so I could have rotated the mirror with ease, but I had to do it the hard way. (This mirror is incredibly heavy, and I have no idea why since the frame is just plastic. It feels like it has a lead backing or something. Ridiculous!)

Glue. Glue. Rotate. Glue. Glue. Rotate. Glue. 




$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

I used about 80 yards of hemp cord and went around the mirror 25 times! Countless amounts of hot glue sticks were used to finish this project, and the glue string was everywhere. My neat freak husband was not pleased, but he tried his best to tolerate the mess. :)

My back was killing me. One can only sit Indian style on a hard floor for so long, you know? But I just kept on going– I was way too invested at this point. My mental pep talk: I've already spent three hours on this, and I'm not giving up now! 

Luckily I had an endless supply of college football to entertain me while I mindlessly applied hot glue. Halfway through, I had to bust out the Bandaids to take care of the blister on my hot glue gun trigger finger. Blister schmister, the DIY must go on!


Early afternoon turned to evening, and I moved the project to the couch. The Florida/Georgia game was over, so I moved on to watching Notre Dame/Oklahoma. My DIY assistants were less than impressed with my project.

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

When the entire frame was finally covered with rope, it was time to clean up the hot glue gun debris. That string was all over the place! The entire room had to be vacuumed, and the husband marveled about my ability to spread my craft project chaos through multiple rooms. I never cease to amaze him with my messiness. :)

I was really, really happy with the end result. I think the mirror looks really expensive, and it reminds me of something you would buy at Wisteria or Pottery Barn for hundreds of dollars. This treatment allowed me to keep the curvy lines of the mirror while adding a textural element that I love. I'm all about texture these days!

The finished mirror found a home by our back door, which is actually our main entrance since we park in the back of the house. I love how it reflects the light from the french doors and makes the space feel brighter!

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

Turns out it is really hard to take a photo of a mirror without seeing your reflection in the picture. You have to crouch down and shoot up at the mirror. At least that was my solution, but good photographers probably have a better trick. Oh well...

$7 DIY Rope Mirror by The Happy Homebodies

It did take me a really long time to finish this mirror, but there is something so gratifying about knowing that you made it yourself. I love that this mirror is completely one of a kind, and no one out there has the exact same thing. Mine, mine, MINE! Haha.

In case you're wondering about some of the other stuff you see by our back entrance, you can check out these past blog posts for more info!


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I'm linking this project up to the Fall Pinterest Challenge! If you've got a Pinterest-inspired project to link up, you should join the party! 

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11 comments:

  1. Recently I stained an old flower pot a rich color with gel stain, but I didn't take into account all of the intricate detail on the pot. 2 days later I was finished. It looks great, but OMG it took me forever! I know how you feel. The rope mirror looks great in that space. Can you decorate my house?!! : )

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  2. Love the mirror...good work!

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  3. I love the mirror!! All of that tedious work definitely paid off!! Everything looks so pretty :).

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  4. How did you hang the mirror? I have the same one(without the rope) and would love to hang it, but it is so HEAVY that I wasn't sure what type of hangar to use. Thanks!

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    1. My husband just used those plastic wall anchors. He drilled a pilot hole for the anchor, hammered in the anchor and then inserted the screw. It's not going anywhere! Isn't it amazing how heavy these old mirrors are?

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  5. I love this! I just found a gorgeous mirror at the end of my neighbor's driveway last weekend. He said I should go ahead and take it. It needs love, but this would be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Love it! This makes me want to add rope texture to other decor in my house, maybe a lamp shade, trash can, an ugly vase I inherited, but definitely a mirror. I've only used rope hardware twice (and I cheated and bought them) on a few dressers I gave a makeover. Wish my dogs weren't interested in my projects. My sheepdog has a patch of gray paint on his bum from getting lose in a freshly painted living room.

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  7. We have that exact mirror! What a great idea to personalize it.. Might have to give this treatment a try on mirrors, lamps, etc. Thanks for the great idea! Vicki K

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  8. I have a very similar mirror and it's been sitting, collecting dust, cause I didn't know what to do with it! Love this - totally goin to do this!

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