7 ways to upcycle a broken mirror
Mirrors are not recyclable because they're made from chemically treated glass. Here's what to do if your mirror ever has a little accident.
Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM
We all know that breaking a mirror is said to bring on bad luck, but personally, I’m much less concerned about a supposed seven-year slump than I am about the fact that I can’t recycle all those reflective shards. That’s right: Mirrors are not recyclable, because they’re made from chemically treated glass. So what’s a person to do if ever their mirror has a little accident? Well as it turns out, all sorts of things! Like ...
1. Mosaic: This is the most common, and most obvious, project choice for a broken mirror. The reflective effect is just lovely, on photo frames, DIY disco balls, table tops, garden stepping stones, and anything else you can imagine. Homemade mosaic is actually very easy. All you need is a pair of tile nippers, an adhesive, and some grout. For inspiration, check out this amazing mirror mosaic fence on Hometalk. Why not go all out when installing a fence?
2. Backsplash: Similar to mosaic, you can use your mirrored pieces to create a unique backsplash in your kitchen, bathroom, or even along a windowsill. The size of the space will depend on how much you have to work with, but you can always mix in pieces of glass or tile, or you can use the mirrors in a small, accent area. I love that with this backsplash project I have the option of either doing it myself or working with a Portland tile contractor.
3. Compact: Use a little mints tin, or any other small container, to make your own custom compact. Just glue a piece of the mirror to the inside of the top, then decorate the outside however you like. You can even store an eye shadow or lip tint in there. It is just perfect for a girl on the go.
4. Portable hand mirror: Even easier than a compact, you can make an asymmetrical hand mirror that slips easily into your purse. Just start with a nicely shaped piece of mirror. For a decorative backing, find a pretty picture or — if you want to get whimsical — a handwritten poem, cut it to fit the mirror, and glue it onto the backside. You should use self-hardening craft clay around the edges to prevent any poking. This is a simple craft but it would make a great girly gift. You also can use a piece of a broken mirror to make a not-so-portable wall mounted mirror, like the one that our friend Donna from My Sweet Things made. Check out her medallion mirror tutorial.
5. Ornament: Just the same as the hand mirrors above, but in this case you can glue festive wrapping paper to the backs of each piece. Instead of craft clay, use thick glittery puff paint to soften the edges. Finally, affix a pretty ribbon to the top, and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous ornament. Another excellent gift!
6. Diorama: Continuing with the holiday theme, you can use larger pieces of glass to act as “frozen ponds” in the table-top town scenes that are so popular around the holidays. Make sure to protect the edges if you’ll be doing this project with children.
7. Wind chime: Mirror glass makes a perfect wind chime because the gentle clinking sounds so lovely, and because it also doubles as a sun catcher, snatching up rays of sunlight and scattering prisms everywhere. You can also bring it inside and use it as a pretty mobile. Without any wind it wouldn’t make noise, but hung in front of window it would still send rainbows across a child’s room.
Do you have any cool ideas for reusing broken mirror glass? Please do share them in the comments below. Legend says that using the pieces will ward off any bad luck that’s been incurred, so get to crafting!
Related DIY story on MNN: A dozen DIY projects for old, discarded dishes