Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chunky Framed Knock-off Ballard Designs Garden District Mirrors

I think that's the longest title I've ever written :)

So in my quest to find some decor for my newly planked walls, I've ran into a few walls...haha. Pun totally intended. Anyway. So, I had this great idea in mind with some beautiful round mirrors. I knew with so many straight lines, the wall needed to be softened up with some round ones. So, I was on a dead end search for the perfect round mirrors that fit my budget. I found some at hobby lobby, for $20 each, but once they went up on the wall, they looked like the size of an ant. Seriously. Either that, or a porthole. Either way. Ants and portholes aren't up my alley. So, I came up with a plan to make a giant round mirror, frame, mirror and all. But. I kept holding off doing it. I knew it may work. But there was a very strong possibility it would be an utter fail. And the amount of time and money I was going to put in it, I wasn't up for the risk.

So, that brings me back to my knock-off BD Garden District mirrors.  I loved them in my old dining room, but when put against the planked wall, it reminded me too much of a garden. Yes, I know. They are called 'garden' district mirrors. But still, it worked in the old room, why not this one? Its like ivy was going to spring out of the walls at any moment.

Anyway. So, since I exhausted my search for pretty round mirrors. I decided to use what I had and see it if worked. But the way they were, just didn't work.
knock off decor
 So, I decided to chunk them up a bit! This was a super easy process, I wonder why I didn't do it earlier.

So, as you may remember. Each mirror cost about $5 without the frame. Now with the frame? $9. Still way way better than Ballard's $199 price tag.

So to get from point A to point B. I took my finished mirrors from before (you can find the tutorial here) and used these supplies:
Two 1x4s (per each mirror)
Flat Corner Braces (4 per mirror)
Glue (optional)
Gorilla Glue
Sawtooth hangers
Miter Saw
and misc. things from the kitchen :)

building framed mirrors
 1. Cut 1x4s to size using mitered edges. The inner part of mine measured 11.5 inches for the small sides and 47.5 for the longer sides. Next, place down on even surface. Line up corners, and screw in a flat corner brace. Easy, yes? Frame is now complete! Now to purty it up.

2. So, I wanted to give it a little bit of something instead of just a plain board, so I traced out a pretty pattern on the top (this was before I knew I was going to hang in horizontal) using a plate for the curve.
3. I used my level to trace the straight lines that were going to be going up and down the rest of the frame.
4. Then I took some glue, and followed the lines.
 For the straight lines, it was definitely hard to keep looking good. I found that faster is better. But there's only so long you can do that for. But in the end, it didn't matter, cuz if you just take your finger and go up and down both sides, it'll straighten out. Maybe want to keep a towel on hand for all the excess glue you'll get on your finger :)

Let the glue dry.

Then paint the frame whatever color you choose! I chose Linen White from Better Homes and Garden. No use spending $$$ on expensive paint for this kind of thing :)
gorilla glue
 After the paint is dry. I took the old mirror, and at ever corner and middle point I put a dab of gorilla glue on it. I then placed the frame on top of the mirror.

Placed a little weight on it, and had it sit over night.
easy way hammer nails
 Next was to get the thing hung. First attempt, I used some d-strap frame hangers. Total fail. They weren't strong enough for this amount of weight. They started tearing out of the wood, and one of the 'd's just pulled right out of the metal. Nice. Very Nice. Good thing I was testing it and it wasn't already hung.

But on another note! I did decide to try this tricky little tip: Use a comb to hold up the nail. These nails are extremely small! There's like no possible way to hammer them in without banging your fingers to death. All in all, this little method worked. The nails would slip out of the comb teeth every once in a while, but that's far less frustrating than continually banging your fingers with a hammer.
 Since the d-strap was a fail. I had to go with the sawtooth hangers, which worked better in the long run anyway.
 This one was tricky to hang, cuz now with the sawtooth, I had to maneuver around the 1x2 in the middle of the wall. Ugh. To get around it, I used extra long screws. I think about 2.5 inches? Anyway. Long enough to go into the stud in the wall and still stick out further than the 1x2.
garden district mirrors
 They hang a little bit off the wall, but I think it gives in dimension :) And so far, days later, they are still hanging on strong! Although, I'm still waiting to here them crash down in the middle of the night. They are up there pretty good, but I like to stress about the small stuff.
white dining room
 I'm glad I went for this option after all. They brighten up the space a lot! And going the route of horizontal hanging rather than vertical somehow made it less 'gardeny'. I'm sure the chunky frames helped too :)
ballard design mirror
 I love all the white on white. I redid this table also. You may recognize it from here- although, if you do recognize it, wowee! You've been with me for awhile :) That was like one of my first posts 2 1/2 years ago.
diy mirror frame
 Sorry for the crazy lightening. It was changing on me every other minute.

You can kind of see the glue lines here. I didn't do them real thick cuz  I wasn't so sure how much I wanted them to be visible. This was just a single layer. I'm sure if you want it more visible, once the first layer of glue was dry, you would just do another on top of it.
knock off ballard design
 This really adds grandeur to the dining room too, which is great since it has the lowest ceiling in the house. Yes, 9' is lowest. I know, I'm spoiled :) It also adds the perfect amount of character....not that it was missing or anything :) thanks to the planked wall.
Can I tell you how fun it is to try to not get your face or random hand or camera in a photo while taking pictures of mirrors??? If I had the patience, I wouldn't care and just photoshop it out :)