I started out in the thrift shops in our little town and found this bird for the top. It was the perfect shape and I knew the details in it would come out when I spray painted it. It cost me next to nothing--I bought it and a silver-plated tray for five dollars total--and I was thrilled I'd had such luck in the first place I went. (My husband gave me the weirdest look when he saw it sitting on the table at home--I think he thought I had turned into an old lady overnight. I told him that he just had to trust my vision!)
As for the round mirror, I had zero luck finding one. So I re-worked my idea and decided that a long, thin rectangular frame would look really lovely, would be a cinch to find, and would probably give me less issues when it came time to attach the bird to the top. I found this frame for five dollars at a different thrift shop in town. It was exactly the shape I wanted and I didn't feel at all bad about throwing away that dog artwork--yikes!
This project was filled with a lot of trial and error, and my husband really helped me figure out the engineering details and the wall-hanging part. It wasn't the most stream-lined process, but here are the basics of what I did.
I scrubbed and sanded the frame and thoroughly washed the porcelain bird. Then I glued the bird to the top of the frame and let it dry. I cleaned the glass in the frame and spray-painted the back of it with this fantastic Looking Glass Spray Paint (about 6-7 thin coats). This spray paint gives glass a faux-mirror finish, and it was ideal for this project because it created a clouded, antique-y looking mirror. There were also a few spots where the paint rubbed off a touch, and these imperfections really make it look old. I love that!
I then spray-painted the frame/bird, along with this brass chain I got at Lowe's, in Oil-Rubbed Bronze. I wanted the chain to look a little bit distressed and for the brass to come through in places, and my husband had the brilliant idea of rubbing it with some sand from the backyard to give it a naturally aged look. I think it looks perfectly worn.
My husband also helped me come up with the best way to hang the mirror from the chain. I was initially skeptical of his idea to put picture hangers (upside down) on the sides of the frame, but the idea really grew on me. I think the exposed hardware gives it an industrial look. I found these attractive, curvy ones at Lowe's, spray-painted them to match, and then we hammered them into the sides.
The final piece of engineering was to add the keychain to the top. Now, it not only more closely matches the original mirror I was mimicking but my husband assured me it would prevent the chain from snapping in a few weeks or months from the weight of the mirror. I just grabbed an extra ring from my set of keys and spray-painted it to match.
And here's one straight-on shot--obviously, I couldn't get this photo without including myself in it! It's no easy feat photographing a mirror, let me tell you.
I really loved working on this project all weekend and I'm thrilled with the results. These photos aren't the greatest but I must say that in person, it looks rather expensive and authentic!
What do you think? If any of you want to take on this project, let me know and I can offer you some more details and tips!