Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Mirrored Jewelry Window

My goodness it has been a long time since I've had a project!! We are presently living in East Tennessee and are fortunate enough to be renting a place with a GARAGE, which means I now have a new "studio"! I'm quite excited, if you can't tell from all the exclamation points. There are a few projects in the works already, one that I'm particularly excited about. It might end horribly though, so I'll hold off on introducing it.

Today I want to share a project that I started a few years ago (and mentioned ever so briefly here), left in my last "studio" (aka my parent's garage), and only just now finished a few years later.

It has probably been 4 years since my mom and I picked up a number of old windows at a garage sale and stowed them away in the garage. Although there are a plethora of ideas on Pinterest these days (a picture frame, for example), we were at a loss for what to do with them at the time. My first inclination was to make a mirror out of one, using Krylon's Looking Glass spray paint. When sprayed on glass it creates a mirror effect. In fact, I intended to make it look like an old, antique mirror.

My first step was to remove all the chippy paint that was falling off all over the garage. I scraped and sanded and when I couldn't take it anymore, I mixed up some Antibes chalk paint with one of the blue chalk paints I had on hand (forgive me, it has been years and I don't recall which color I used!) and slapped it on. I then of course distressed it so that the white under layer peeks through in some spots. I like the way the rusted handles add to the character, too.

You may notice that there are 3 panes missing on this window, making it asymmetrical. I debated knocking out a pane to even it out, but decided against it. I left it in and sprayed the panes from the back with Krylon Looking Glass spray. At the time I started this project, I was in the throes of a mercury glass obsession. In fact, I still love mercury glass! I wanted to make the mirrored panes look mercury glassish/antique mirroresque, if you will. I did some research and decided on a course of action---a handful of layers interspersed with a misting of a vinegar/water solution. I'll be honest, it did not turn out how I intended. I think that this method could work with some practice, but that Krylon stuff is EXPENSIVE and I'm not that picky! The window frame itself has a "vintage" charm about it and the imperfect mirror seems fitting (although I suppose it could be more perfectly imperfect, if you catch my drift). This is the point where I stopped all those years ago because it just wasn't doing it for me. It didn't seem finished. When my now-husband and I moved to Houston, this flawed window mirror just didn't make the cut and was left behind.

Fast forward to it hanging out in my new garage back in Tennessee. But what to do with it! My brother came to visit us one weekend and we went picking through a recently torn-down house from the 1920s (with permission, of course). We packed the back of my brother's hatchback full of goodies and hauled it back to my garage. I now have a stack of aged, rustic, full-of-character wood downstairs at my disposal! I was looking at a nice, flat piece when it occurred to me that I could screw that sucker to the bottom of my homeless mirror and make a shelf. I had already been toying with the idea of making it a jewelry holder, and this shelf was the perfect solution to how I was going to house earrings and other odds and ends.

I screwed in hooks across the frame, for holding necklaces, and screwed that exceptionally thin piece of wood to the bottom. It took a lot of cleaning to get all the years of funk off the wood, but with some elbow grease and a few coats of spray poly it looked bright and rustic at the same time. All that was left was to affix some hardware to the back and slap it on the wall! Here are the finished photos (I still need to write about the dresser below it! It has a similar story of being abandoned in my parents' garage until recently).

I hope this inspires you to branch out from all the window-picture-frame ideas out there and try a new window project! Let me know if you do--I would love to see what you make of it! What are some other cool window project ideas?

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