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Friday, 9 March 2012

Tutorial: Bling Craft - Mirror makeover

I've so far blinged up my MAC computer screen, digital camera, mobile phone, iron and sewing machine...and on Wednesday night it was the turn of my make-up mirror. I recently realised that my beauty regime is being let down simply because my mirror is soooo boring:
Here's the evidence - a plain metal/bronze colour. It's one of those mirrors where you look normal on one side, then can flip it over to get a close up so you can apply details.
This kind of blingtastic makeover can happen to anything you own at home - a vase, tissue box, drawer, door knob, mug rack...whatever you think could do with some sparkle.
You will need:
  • Acrylic gemstones (cheap, plastic coloured stones in assorted shades)....if you can afford it you could use Swarovski crystals for an exquisite million dollar looking design but I'm guessing 99% of my readers won't have that kind of money and you certainly need quite a few for complete coverage
  • Glue gun & glue sticks
  • Soft cloth
First of all use the cloth to wipe all over the item you want to pimp.
Don't worry about planning the design, just concentrate on positioning the largest stones first. Apply hot glue to the surface then place the gem on top. It will hold immediately, you won't be able to lift it off. Once all the big stones are in place, fill in every gap with smaller stones, then any remaining gaps with tiny ones, so every gap shimmers.
The main thing to remember is that glue guns dry quickly so you can't expect to glue the entire surface, it's easiest to glue each stone one at a time. Be patient - this project took me 2 hours but I was watching TV at the same time - Bling Crafting is good to do whilst you're watching a movie!
I chose not to bling the bottom edge as a) this makes it easier to lift it and place down and b) I was running low on gems and didn't want them to look sparse, this concept is about cramming in as much as possible!

Here's a bird's eye angle, as well as the base and neck I customised the top of the mirror.
But I didn't do the bottom rim as the mirror still needs to move freely. It will dry immediately but you will need to do a little tidying up.
Fancy having a go? Here's 5 tips for Blinging Bliss:
1) Glue guns leave stringy lines of glue. Ignore these as you work, you can pull them off afterwards - if you leave them as they are, you will end up with a spider web type layer on top.
2) I recommend a glue gun despite the stringy finish because they are easy to use, fix fast and will hold the gems - some other strong glues can let you down also because it may take you a couple of hours to complete, you don't want to be using a super glue with a strong odour.
3) Should you spray on a layer of protective glue to make it last even longer? This is not necessary unless your item will spend long periods outside like if it's a garden pot or is something you will travel with. Adhesive sprays can leave a dulling effect so if you do use one, when it's dry, give the surface a quick cloth polish up.
4) Where to get gemstones - I get mine from Creative Beadcraft - I've been using them for many years - they are a jewellery making specialist and you will find that most jewellery stores sell acrylic beads in packs. You may also find them in a general art and craft supply shops, possibly stocked in the children's section or check out Ebay or one of my other fave online stockists Josy Rose.
5) Though stones alone give a wonderful finish, if I was to do this again I would use some white pearly beads in amongst them to add a sophisticated twist - it will also tone it down if you feel it's too much colour overload - or stick to a palette of about three colours.
Happy Blinging!


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  2. I adore this! Very good job on the lovely mirror & thanks for sharing! I save these little gems when I come across them, so now I know just what I might be able to do with them one day -- when I've collected quite a few more. I really love your mirror! :)