April 30, 2012

How to Stencil a Mirror - A Feminist DIY Project

I recently gave a mirror a feminist makeover with a cool, custom stencil:



I stenciled an important feminist message on a mirror, as a daily reminder of the social construction of what is beautiful. 

Here's how I made this stenciled mirror:

First I painted a found a cute, ornate frame yard saling last summer.  Using a small paintbrush, I primed it first, then applied three coats of a pale, pale turquoise (the same paint I used for the framed bakelite brooches).  Spray paint would make this task a little easier, but I started tackling this project when it was still too cold to paint outside.


Unfortunately, my attempts to simply tape off the frame were ultimately unsuccessful because you could see the underside of the frame reflected in the glass.  Oops.  So, I quickly took it apart, painted the back and inner edge of the frame, then put it back together. 

Word to the wise: take a mirror apart before painting!

 
Now for the fun part!  I was inspired by this image I saw on Pinterest:

via Pinterest
I thought it was too important a message to be taped up on glass, so I ordered a custom stencil from Stencils Online with these same words.  Stencils Online create amazing custom stencils and are super DIY savvy - they were really excited about my ideas for stenciled mirror projects.  Once I had sent over my designs, they provided me with proofs, offering me a variety of options and making sure I was 100% happy during the entire process.  Once I was satisfied with the font, size, and layout, I was sent two durable, polyester film (Mylar) custom stencils.


I used a spray adhesive to keep the stencil from slipping once it was positioned in place, but it wasn't smooth sailing.  I covered everything but the stencil with newspaper and then I lightly misted the stencil with thin, even coats of Krylon Primer (leftover from these play kitchen projects).  I figured primer would grip the glass really well - just rolling on latex paint did not work.   


It kind of looks like it has been etched, no?



It looks more faded in the photos above because I took them at an angle to avoid getting yours truly in the shot.  Do you have any idea how darn hard it is to photograph a mirror? 

Now I have a cool "new" mirror, with a feminist twist!  And my penchant for ornate mirrors has now blossomed into a full-blown obsession!  Remember my DIY magnetic message board, card display and vintage framed bakelite brooches? I need a support group.

If you're thinking of doing a project with custom stencils, alphabet stencils or decorative lettering, I highly recommend Stencils Online because their customer service, pricing and product can't be beat!  I hate to be so gushy but I have a second project on the go with a custom stencil from Stencils Online, and I wouldn't work with a company twice unless I was totally smitten. 


Curious about my second stenciled mirror project - click the link to see!
SHARE:

52 comments

  1. I LOVE IT! I might just need to make one of these for my daughters room, (even though she can't read yet) and my room. Heck, I think every woman I know needs this mirror!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! I kind of want to take this stencil with me and spray every mirror I see, lol. Like mirrors in restrooms, dressing rooms, other people's homes . . .

      ;)

      Delete
  2. I love this! The mirror looks amazing - such a pretty color! And the message is spot on!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it! Beautiful color and wonderful message. Such a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your mirror turned out beautifully! Knowing the details of the 'secret project' myself, I'm excited to see how it turns out. :)

    It's done in one of my favorite fonts, and since I've never had a customer before that I was able to recommend it to...your order was one of my favorite projects to design. (And I promise I'm not just saying that). But I shall say no more! I don't want to spoil anything...but I'll be keeping an eye out for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessie!! You did an amazing job designing the stencil(s). I love the fonts you suggested for the secret project too, and I'm really happy with the one I decided to go with. I said it before but it needs to be said again: working with you was fabulous!

      Delete
    2. Aww thank you! It was wonderful to work with you as well. :)

      Delete
  5. Cool!! I thought that you just photoshopped it on in the first photo. I never would have thought to stencil a message on a mirror.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love how the stencil looks semi-industrial & that you can see the spray pattern if you look really closely -- it's a great contrast for the feminine curves of the frame. :)

    This is awesome. The End.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I read the title of the post in my google reader I was like um what the hell is a feminist mirror LOL

    I do love it though. It really does look etched! Perfecto. I just bought an old vintagey mirror at a sale for 2 bucks. Hmmmm I see a project!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A feminist mirror treats everyone equally, lol. Yup, I'm gettin' all political with my crafting. Can't help it, because feminism is awesome.

      Delete
  8. I love the color of the frame. If you don't mind sharing, what's the name? I've been looking for a great mint green for a dresser I have and I love this color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ashley! This is Debbie Travis' "Zen Calm". I'm not sure if you're in the US or Canada but I bought the paint at Canadian Tire. Hope this helps!

      Delete
  9. THIS IS AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for linking up today! xoxox

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is incredible! Love the quote, love the idea, and love the mirror color. Great job! Thanks for the link!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's a pretty fantastic project, I love how it came out. Great message. Thanks for linking up :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Found you via Life on Mars, this color is AMAZING. I love the whole thing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love it! What a great idea (and message).

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love this idea! In my old apartment we had a mirror that said "we are not the images we see" (a strike anywhere lyric) though it was far less professional looking since we literally wrote it out in permanent marker! I don't have a mirror now but this may inspire me to make one happen with messaging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jesse, I LOVE the message your mirror had and permanent marker is so much handier and a little more rebellious! I'm glad you like this project. Wouldn't it be amazing if everyone started writing, taping or painting something affirmative onto every mirror?

      Delete
  15. Great makeover! Love the color and the message. :-) Thanks for sharing this terrific idea. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is awesome. The color mint is so on trend right now too!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this mirror! My teenage daughter pinned your inspiration pic herself, so I might just make something similar as a Christmas gift. Thanks for sharing your solution for getting the paint to stick!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE, love, love that your daughter pinned this mirror. Your comment completely made my day! I hope you do make a similar mirror because I'd love to see your take on this project.

      Delete
  18. Loved this idea and featured you this week on Motivated Monday at BeColorful
    pam

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love it! When I first saw your thumbnail at Polly Want a Crafter, I thought you had meant to say "feminine" mirror, not feminist! However, now that I'm here, I understand, and I totally love it :)

    I would love it if you would link up at Watch Out, Martha!’s first link up party: Martha Mondays, going on now through Wednesday! Hope to see you there!
    http://www.watchoutmartha.net/2012/05/martha-monday-link-up-party.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. This mirror is gorgeous! Love the color and the phrase you added!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks so much for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday, I featured this on my blog today! Come check it out and grab a featured button: http://www.mygirlishwhims.com/2012/05/your-whims-wednesday-58-and-features.html

    ReplyDelete
  22. Tanya! You are so rockin! I've been reading your post on my phone so haven't been commenting much because it's such a pain to comment from the phone. But, now I'm on the computer and wanted to tell you that I've featured this awesomeness today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lesley! That means a lot to me and I'll be adding the link(s) to my press page.

      Delete
  23. I found you through Fabulously Flawed today. I LOVE this mirror! Every teenage girl needs one for sure! And moms too! Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. this is SUCH a great idea. i love it! do you think there's a less permanent substitute for the spraypaint which would stick just as well well to the mirrors? i'd love to spray this in public bathrooms, but wouldn't want to cause any damage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks vickie! Hmmm, lipstick? Marker for dry erase boards? Maybe a sticker or post-it instead? I'm not sure what could be sprayed that would remove . . . but a dry erase marker would work really well and be 100% wipe-able.

      Delete
  25. Ahhhhh! I'm head-over-heels for this. One of my bloggy buddies pointed me in the direction of this post after I just did a round-up of ideas for frosted vinyl projects. This is SO being added to my TO DO list. Thanks for the inspiration!

    And here's my round-up if you're curious: http://www.thinkingcloset.com/2013/04/22/anniversary-gift-frosted-vinyl-round-up/

    Cheers,
    Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a great saying for a mirror! I am going to do this, thanks so much for the idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy you like this idea!! I'd love to see the mirror you create.

      Delete
  27. Do you still have the stencil saved? I'm having a difficult time making this with the custom option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean the physical stencil or the file I sent to them? If you want the exact same one, reach out to them by email or phone, show them this link, and they can make it. They shipped out a bunch right after this post went live, but that was awhile ago - hopefully they still have it one file.

      Delete

You've made my day - I love hearing from you! I approve comments only to keep out the spam, so don't worry if your comment doesn't pop up right away.

© Dans le Lakehouse | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig