Thrift Store Mirror Gallery Wall.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

thrift store mirror gallery wall
So this spiffy, easy, lil' DIY decor project, a Thrift Store Mirror Gallery Wall has been on my to-do list for quite some time.

How's that?  

Well, it's thrift store hunting which is a process.  If you're me, that is; not always making a run, very few thrift stores nearby me (one), and finding the right mirrors, mirrors in general too, takes a spot of time.

Ya know, thrift store roulette.

Once I collected a bunch and was ready to go, Finn's health was shifting downward and his needs shifted up.  I wasn't free to do projects around the house as much as when he was my Trusty Furry Assistant shadowing my every move.

With a melancholy cloud, grief lethargy, and minimal motivation, the project lingered further, as everything-house is currently.  

But.  The wall is done.  Or, I should say, done enough as I suspect I'll continue the thrift store mirror chase to fill in gaps.

Why a Thrift Store Mirror Gallery Wall, where did this project come from?  

Well, it's that darn hall bedroom ya know.  It's dark.  And look, I know, I've said hey, dark room, embrace it and work with rather than against and while I absolutely stand by that, bouncing some light around with mirrors isn't contradictory.

hall bedroom wall before
Plus it's decor, it dresses up the room a smidge, and it's fun.  It draws the eye in, up, around, and visually enlarges the room for it.

I know, I maybe should have repainted the room as while the dark brown works for me, it maybe could be a better brown.  I can't help it.  I like to paint.  And repaint.  Mike dislikes the brown just anyway.  

The idea of repainting felt too much for my broken soul, so it stays for now.

Ok!  It's a Thrift Store Mirror Gallery Wall for you today and I've got tricks and tips for your success.

First, the mirrors.  Being budget-friendly, other than the large round one I purchased at Aldi a while back and the three gold, more ornate ones I bought at TJ Maxx decades ago, all the mirrors were under ten bucks.  Yep.  Ten bucks.

thrift store mirrors laid out in pile
Point being, you don't need a large budget to create a gallery wall.  High impact on a low budget, nice.

And like I said, I collected sort of far and wide when I could.  So, patience is my first tip.

Second tip:  don't be afraid of a mirror that needs some work or a little jazzing up or a color shift.  Buy mirrors for size, shape, and style.  Hey, if it's good to go out of the chute, perfect.  

And buy more than you think you might need.  I thought I had enough and while the wall is in a good place, I could use more.

After piling up mirrors for months, I spread them out to assess and huh, I pretty well stuck to a general theme.  

That's a third tip:  keep in the back of your mind an overall look to shoot for, meaning balance plain mirrors with mirrors that have texture or pattern.  Or are a wee bit weird even, or out of your comfort zone.

Keeping the mirror style all the same is perfectly fine for sure, but if you can amp up the visual interest of the collection, the final look, while also not being visually overwhelming or chaotic, you should.

Fourth tip?  Keep the size of wall you plan to splash in mirrors in mind too.  Proportions are key to success here.  A variety of shapes and sizes keeps this from looking dull and boring.

Right, so next was assessing my thrift store mirrors for color, damage, boringness, and such.

Mine were in pretty good shape and I didn't mind dings or a little color loss here and there.  I did add trim to one mirror which I'll do a post on later and tweaked the color of another because it was, well, weird and gross.

Grab yourself a roll of kraft paper* and while I know this tip could be more environmentally friendly, it will save you a sh*t ton of time, headaches, wall holes, and hassles.  You can reuse the paper for other things.

mirrors and kraft paper roll
Trace around each mirror on the paper, cut out the shapes with scissors* or an Xacto type knife,* and bonus tip, write on the paper what the mirror's color/style/important feature is on there with a big black marker.*

paper cut out of mirror frame

paper cut outs of mirror frames laid out
Clean the mirrors up (and if you need a good homemade DIY glass cleaner, click here) and we're ready to install!

It's occasionally nuts to me that a slow burner project fermenting in my brain for months is wrapped up so speedily here, heh.

Anyway, ok, grab some painters tape,* rip off little pieces, roll them into a loop so it's like double-sided tape, stick them on the backs of the paper frame cutouts, and start arranging on the wall.  Fun, right?!  This is the extra fun part.

tape on paper cutouts
Somehow I got mine up and done in one shot.  Dunno how, dunno why, but, rearrange to your heart's content.  In fact, stick them up, walk away, come back, and live with it for as long as you need to.

paper cut outs of mirror frames
This is why using the kraft paper makes sense and is soooo helpful.  Rearrange the paper, not the mirrors!

Time to hang those thrift store mirrors as a gallery wall, friends.  Assess the backsides, the hanging mechanisms in place, and use hardware accordingly.  

progress hanging mirrors on wall
Mostly I used simple nails but in some cases I did need to add picture hanging hardware* to a frame or use a picture hanger* or screws in the wall.  For the latter, I went with WallDog drywall screws.*

Only for super lightweight or plastic glass mirrors would I use Command Strips* though I've had super bad luck with them in general, they never work for me.  Regardless, you don't want mirrors crashing down.

You may find you need to skootch a mirror here or there from your paper placement but no biggie.  Try to do it before you sink a nail in the wall.

Last handy tip, get some cork stickers* (oh that cork link fires my creative juices, I love cork), or I used cabinet door bumpers,* and smush those on the bottom backside of all the mirrors.  This will keep the mirrors from slip sliding around the wall too much, helping to keep them aligned and straight.

thrift store mirror gallery wall done
And voilá tada holy cow, you've got yourself a Thrift Store Mirror Gallery Wall!  Neato!

thrift store mirror gallery wall
Throwing light around like it just don't care, lookin' all decor-y, stylish, and fancy.  For cheap too!  Be proud of yourself!  Honestly, I really am.  It was a long, tough haul to get here, but it turned out better than I foresaw.

thrift store mirror gallery wall completed
Happy mirror hunting!

thrift store mirror gallery wall side view
Check out the little video I made of the process over on the TikTok where you can watch me in action!  haha, sweet!

thrift store mirror gallery wall finished

*The kraft paper, scissors, Xacto type knives, markers, painters tape, picture hanging hardware, picture hangers, WallDog screws, Command Strips, cork stickers, and cabinet door bumpers are affiliate links with either Amazon, Home Depot, or Lowes.  Please excuse my laziness in not parsing each out respectively and not offering more store options.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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