Monday, October 7, 2013

Strings and Springs Mirror

This post first appeared as a guest post on July 8th.  Hope you enjoy it again.  Be sure to visit Vicky at Autumn Blessings at Life On Willie Mae Lane.

Vicky's Sunday night posts are always so special!

 Hi, I am Donna from Distressed Donna Down Home - a self proclaimed rust goddess. I am extremely happy to be guest posting here at Life On Willie Mae Lane.  Vicky is away on a trip, but she promises to bring back plenty of thrifty treasures and photos.

I love all things vintage, rusty, and crusty.  If I find something new, I will distress it until it appears to be vintage.

Today I am transforming a mirror with gesso, strings, and springs.

 I found this mirror at a yard sale.  Really nothing special about it except Ashley (whoever she is) is definitely a budding design diva.  She decorated with handpainted symbols around the petal frame.

Too bad and so sad, but I will be painting right over her artwork.

I used two coats of gesso.  Gesso is an excellent primer, but I will be using it for the final paint coat, too.  It covered all the symbols quite well.  I left a little of the coral peeking through.

 Next I located a spool of string, Elmer's school glue (there is no life without Elmer's - I buy it by the gallon), and a cup.

I added the glue with a little water to thin it to the cup and dunked in a length of string.

Let the string soak up the glue.

 Now the messy part.  Pull the string out of the mixture across the lip of the cup (so excess can run back in) and arrange in any design you want on the surface.

I did this free style, but you could lightly pencil in a design.

Use the spoon to lightly press the string into place.

Let this dry,
And dry,
And dry!

Plan on several hours if not overnight.

After the glue dries (and you have gotten a good night's sleep), coat with another layer of gesso.  At this point you could use a craft paint.

Add two coats of satin varnish with a foam brush.

I should have told you gesso goes on smoother with a foam brush and so does the varnish.

You could add an antiquing glaze at this point, but remember I left a little of the coral paint showing - that was enough for me.

The strings alone were not enough for me though.

So I went to my craft stash and found some bed springs.

Rusty and crusty.

A light sanding and a waxing.

They were ready.

I screwed tiny eye hooks around the edge of the mirror - one spring for each petal.

I inserted the top of the spring and twisted each into place.

TIP:  I used a nail to turn the eye hook into place.

 Wherever the spring touched the wood, I squeezed a dab of E-6000 to secure the spring.  Keep the mirror flat.

Don't want your springs spronging!

It dries clear, and can be touched up with paint.

I hung it inside of a frame as you come in the front door.

I like this summery look here in the foyer.

I am envisioning some flowers or photos or notes tucked into the springs.

One final close-up of the mirror with its springs and strings.

I hope you have enjoyed this mirror transformation.

A big "THANK YOU, VICKY!" for letting me guest post.

See y'all! 

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  1. I love the look of the freestyle string and gesso you created on the border. I think it looks very pretty without the springs. But you do love your rusty things so I'm sure it would look great with some photos or mementos added like you suggested.

  2. I loved this mirror when I first saw it at Vicky's and I still love it. So fun and funky!!

  3. Hi, Donna!!!
    I miss you!!!!
    Awesome project!!! I have a friend that loves those coils but never know what to do with them!!! Perhaps Christmas season you can put all the cards you get on them!!!!

  4. Donna! You have created an adorable thingy!! It looks so pretty and nice & I love the Springey effect ;) .. It pops out of the mirror in such a nice cheesy way!! Mirrors are the best to play around with creativity..
    Jessica x

  5. You are just so creative and clever! I used gesso in drawing class in college but wouldn't have thought of this. Thanks for joining the We Call It Olde party, hope you come back again every Tuesday! -Dawn @ We Call It

  6. The string is a fab idea for wooden object hmm got me thinking, the springs really make it unique


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