Mid Century Modern Stories

A DIY project on how to mid-centurise a basic mirror

A DIY project on how to mid-centurise a basic mirror

Here's a quick and easy project for any house item that's laying around in storage but doesn't fit your home decor anymore.

A little context first...

I've been planning to remodel my bedroom for months now. Problem is, the main item is a big PAX wardrobe from IKEA with mirror doors and that's of course the only thing that I cannot do myself. The rest of it is a wood slats wall behind the bed, a full-width floor-to-ceiling curtain wall for the window side, moldings to hide led strip lighting around those 2 walls, and some paint. So I've been postponing my project forever. It's been so long that I finally got fed up of having a huge empty white wall. That's when I remembered that I had an old cheap mirror from a department store that was sleeping in the shed. I decided to give it a new life.

Shopping for ideas

So I took it out, cleaned it up and started searching for ideas. The first thing I found was a wonderful gift wrap paper at Target: gold foil with a subtle mid-century modern pattern. While trying to figure out how to apply this to the mirror frame, I stumbled on a product I had never seen: Mod Podge. Many crafters following me probably have used this before but surprisingly, not me! I took those items home to give it a try.

No planning required

This project is quite straightforward. You follow the instructions on the Mod Podge bottle, put your own finishing touch, and hang the mirror! Right? Kind of but not so fast...

Since this was my very first try using this product, here are some of the findings I made, in case you try it out and it can help anyone:

  • The Mod Podge is a 3-way product: glue, sealer, finishing coat.
  • I was afraid an 8oz bottle would not be enough but I didn't even use half of it.
  • The principle is extremely easy. You put a coat on the item, and a coat on the material, then stick it on there. But beware, if the paper is very thin, like my wrapping paper, you really don't have a lot of time before it becomes mushy and hard to manipulate.
  • I cut large enough strips so I could easily fold it under the frame.
  • The liquid product is easy to apply with a foam applicator.
  • Easy to clean with water and doesn't leave bad marks on your working area. Just make sure you still protect everything, just in case.
  • They say to scrape the bubbles out but my paper was so thin that the plastic putty knife I used damaged it. So going forward, I decided to let go and have a natural, clunky vintage look with all the imperfections it brings, fading out bubbles with only my fingers.
  • There are 2 finishing styles recommended: a quick single coat or a multi-coat sanded in between for a shiny finish. I chose the single coat option because the visible streaks gave it a painted look which I love.
  • The inner silver finish on the inner rim of my mirror was damaged and didn't go all the way through. To correct it, I used foil duck tape stuck over it. I cut shallow strips that I crumpled in my hands before removing the backing paper and applying it to the rim and get an older look.
  • As a last step, I turned the mirror over and secured the folded strips of decorative paper on the back with some moving tape, just in case. The glue feature of the liquid worked really well though.

By the way, if you're wondering, YES I loved using it. I will definitely use it again.

mid-century modern mirror
mid-century modern-mirror
mid-century modern mirror
mid-century modern mirror project result


All that's left is to install on the wall, accessorize, and voilà!

Quick tip: to make installation easier, calculate measurements in advance but just mark your desired center on the wall at the right height, then calculate the left and right measurements and mark those on a wide level with a pencil, using the bubble as the center, finally pull your level up at the center mark and report your left-right markings on the wall. This way you won't have to struggle with having to hold the pen, measuring tape and level all at the same time, especially if you're alone.

What you'll need...

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