Monday, May 27, 2013

DIY Captain's Mirror- A Cautionary Tale

I'll be honest. B is not that into this. He wonders why I didn't remove the obvious embroidery loop junk on top. He is confused why I would use a border that doesn't go all the way around. He asked why we need to hang a mirror from a hook on the wall instead of just hanging the mirror itself.

These are all valid questions. I have made some strange decisions during this process. And yet... I totally like how the mirror turned out! So, if you're like B and are not all that impressed by my DIY Captain's Mirror, I will not insist that you need one in your bedroom too.

But if you're cool with the quirks of this mirror, let me tell you how I made it.

First, buy the largest round mirror at your local craft store. These are intended to be centerpieces on a table, with candles and things on them. I found one that is 14".

Second, find an embroidery hoop of the same size. Now, if you want the hoop to go all the way around the mirror, you will have to actually find one that is one inch bigger than the mirror (I think). But 15" was not an available size, so I went with this. (Also, buy it at Michael's with a 50% off coupon, if possible. Let's not break the bank with this little project, friends!)

You will also need an adhesive (I used Gorilla Glue), a belt (one you don't use or one from a thrift store would be fine), a hook or knob for the wall, and other decorative hardware, should you be so inclined.

Once I had all the materials home, I stained the outer hoop. This took a few coats to get a tone I liked.

Next, I decided to wrap the hoop around the outside of the mirror. Initially, I had planned to affix it to the front of the mirror. Had I done this, the hoop could have been closed. But I thought wrapping the hoop around the mirror would create a stronger mirror (that would be less likely to fall off the wall and shatter on our bedroom floor), so I went that route. I tightened it well and then applied gorilla glue around the perimeter for extra hold.

Sadly, the gorilla glue expanded right through the seam, leaving a hard ugly mess around the front of the mirror.

This would be where I tell you that you should probably find a different glue or maybe put painter's tape or something on the front to protect your mirror. I ended up chipping off the mess with an exacto, sanding, and restaining sections of the frame. Learn from my mistakes, you guys!

After that, trim the leather belt's hardware off and glue each end to the sides of the frame.

Now install the hook and hang your new mirror!

What do you think? Did it turn out okay? Have you ever DIYed something that your spouse didn't love quite as much as you did?

This post was linked up on:

Home Stories A2Z


  1. I love the look of this! Would have never thought to make a mirror like this at all! So creative! Pinning! Would love it if you would link this up to Give Me The Goods Monday: 1 Party, 4 Blogs!
    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

  2. WOW! What a great idea. Love it.

  3. This looks fantastic! It looks very high end, and yet so simple.

    I do TONS of project my husband doesn't like. LOL! You're not alone. ;)

  4. Aw, thanks!

    That's hard to believe, your projects look awesome!

  5. I think this is cool! You are creative and BRAVE and I just love this. I'd been wanting to try something like this but wasn't sure how to execute it. So glad that you shared at Give Me the Goods Monday!
    Amy @

  6. I had a starburst mirror that I made when I was single. I got lots of compliments on that mirror, but my husband hated it. Said it was "too girly". I ended up getting rid of it when we lived in the shack because we had nowhere to put it. But when we moved to our current place, I ended up buying anther similar mirror to hang over our bed, so i win!

  7. Seriously adorable and clever! Rock on I rarely get a hooray from my husband...he just says "how much did that cost"...

  8. Your spouse sounds like my boyfriend. I can totally relate.

    But I love how your mirror turned out! Great job!

  9. Is this mirror beveled? My local Micheal's doesnt carry beveled mirrors. Having never seen a true captains mirror Im not sure how it would look if I attempted this with a mirror that isnt beveled.

    1. Hi Amanda, this one does has a small (1/4”?) bevel but I don’t think it should have serious impact on the overall look of the mirror. Since the frame comes out further than the glass, it sort of gets lost in the shadow. Hope that helps!