Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fretwork Mirror Reveal!!

Hi all,

Well, it’s taken me some time to finish this project but I've finally got my mirrors finished and hung on the wall. I wrote a blogpost (read here) a while back on mirrors hung behind nightstands and a design that really caught my eye.  I was eager to try my hand at cutting fretwork for my mirrors. In case you aren't familiar with the term fretwork, it is an interlaced decorative design that is either carved in low relief on a solid background, or cut out with a fretsaw, coping saw, jigsaw or scroll saw.

So after reading Kristi who blogs at www., I set out to make my own. I wasn't going to reinvent the wheel  so I chose a simple design that was similar to the one Kristi used. Besides, I liked it!  Just in case you have a hankering to try this I am going to give you a blow by blow account of how this was done. But promise me that if you try it, you’ll share your results with me! So…

                                     These are the doors that Kristi made...My Inspiration

Off I went to Home Depot to buy 2 cheap inexpensive, full length mirrors. Hey, I discovered something in the process. Even though they were right together, and looked the same I found out there was a slight difference in their sizes.

Anyway, the next step was to buy the wood. I decided that the thin, ¼ “ sanded plywood would work for this project. I was worried about the mirrors being too heavy if I used ½” plywood. I knew I couldn’t get a 4’x8’ sheet in my car so I had 3 pieces cut to the actual size I needed and saved the rest for…you know it, another project. After all, isn’t there always, another Project?

This is when I discovered that the 2 mirrors were slightly different sizes. Luckily, I checked both pieces to make sure they would fit inside the frame and was able to sand one down just perfectly.

I had already drawn out the design on the back of some wrapping paper. This worked well because the back of the paper had a grid marked off in 1” increments and that helped to keep the design symmetric. Well, as symmetric as can be drawn by little old me! Ha-ha. I then cut the paper pattern and traced the lines onto the plywood inserts.

From there, it was on to cutting the plywood. But, I must admit that I did have to make a few adjustment to the pattern that was drawn on the plywood. Truthfully, I think I could have skipped the paper pattern and just drawn my design right on the plywood, but first using light pencil marks so that adjustments could still be made.

The next step was where I really got excited. Using my new Orbital Jig Saw  to cut out the fretwork was so much easier than I expected it would be. Have you ever been afraid of a step in a project and realized that you blew the whole thing way out of proportion? Well, that’s what I did.

 I actually got so excited that after just a few cuts I ran in to see what it would look like and even snapped a pic.

Anyway, after I had cut both panels I used my Dremel Rotary tool to sand the edges. Well, all good things come to an end and my Dremel finally bit the dust in the middle of this project. Not wanting to buy another one right now I discovered that Wal Mart sells a very cheap, I meant inexpensive rotary tool with lots of attachments for, get this…$11.97. It worked just fine.

 After sanding the edges, I set up my professional paint station, a tarp attached to a tree truck in the backyard and ….spray painted both of the fretwork panels and the frames of the mirrors.

They looked so good (to me) I couldn’t wait to hang them up.
This is how they look hanging up in my bedroom. I used my go to Command hooks to hang them on the wall.

 This bedroom is on the back of the house and there isn't a lot of natural light (too many trees), and I don't get really good pictures in here, but...

Almost forgot, a big part of DIY projects (at least for me) is to see how little I can spend on a project. This project did go way over my expected costs because I had to replace the rotary tool. My costs were:

2- 11.5x 47 “ mirrors                     $12.69
1- 4’x8’ plywood                           $13.76
1 rotary tool                                   $12.69
Additional sanding accessories
 for rotary tool                               $21.19 ( strictly optional)

2pkg.  Heavy Duty Command
Hooks                                              $10.58
                                                        $70.91 tax included

Breaks down to about $35.00 per mirror, but would have been a lot less without the optional accessories, and would have been a really great price if I hadn’t replaced tools along the way!!
But I have plywood and a rotary tool for my next project, so it's  not too bad.

I would love some feedback on what you think. Please leave a comment here on the blog. Is this something you might try?

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1 comment:

  1. OHMy Stars! These are gorgeous mirrors! You did a fantastic job .. Love, love, love them!