How To Make an Ikat-Inspired Mirror

Pin it button big

It's late winter here in Minnesota, and my whole outside world is the color of dirty, plowed snow. And because I recently jumped on the pale gray wall bandwagon, my living room is the same color. What have I done? In desperate need of some bright color to cure my cabin fever, I whipped up a mirror frame with strips of wood that mimic an ikat pattern.

It was super cheap to make ($8 for wood and $5 for a craft store mirror), fairly easy once I got going, and it adds a touch of exotic texture and warmth to my cold surroundings.

Materials:
3 strips of 8 ft x 3/4" by 1/2" wood
12" square mirror
4 screws and washers
picture wire
paint or stain
polyurethane

Instructions:
1. Lay the mirror on a large sheet of craft paper and trace around it.
2. Cut strips of paper that are the width of the wood (3/4") and various lengths. Lay out on the traced mirror shape so that the edge of the mirror is covered. You may have to experiment a bit to get a pattern you like.
3. When you like the pattern you've made with the paper strips, tape them down to the craft paper.
4. Cut the wood in lengths that correspond to the paper strips. You can use a handsaw or a power saw. It's a lot of cuts, but if you have a power saw (I used a miter saw) you can knock it out fairly quickly. If you're using a handsaw, you're going to have awesome triceps when you're done. Sand the edges a bit, and then lay each piece of wood onto it's corresponding paper strip.
5. Slip out each piece of wood one at a time and apply a thick layer of wood glue to the edges. Slip it back in and squeeze it tight to get a good bond. Wipe up glue overflow with a damp rag.
6. When the glue has fully dried, paint or stain the wood however you like. I used a watered down fuschia craft paint followed by a watered down brown paint wash. Seal with polyurethane.
7. Flip the frame over and lay the mirror in place. Drill 4 pilot holes and drive 4 screws with washers in the holes to hold the mirror in place. Don't make it too tight. You don't want to break the mirror.
8. Run picture wire between the top 2 screws for hanging.

(Images: Katie Steuernagle)