I love old stuff. I love the dusty smell the years leave behind and the memories tucked into things that have lasted long beyond their owners.
I particularly love old mirrors, the kind that have real silver on the backs and bubbles in the glass and hand-glued labels on the wood. I haul them home whenever I can, and my husband gives me that husband look that says he doesn’t appreciate blurry, wrecked mirrors the way I do and he wonders if we don’t already have enough already?
One of the mirrors I scavenged was from a church garage sale. It was framed with barn boards and the silver was delightfully scratched and it weighed about half as much as me. I lugged it home and when my husband rolled his eyes, I said, “Don’t worry. I’m going to do something with this.”
Which, in point of fact, was not the part that worried him.
My plan was to make an etched mirror. For years, I toyed around with what to do. I even bought supplies to make my own stencil, but I couldn’t quite find the right thing and I was a little afraid I would ruin the mirror (never mind the fact that my husband thought it was too late for that).
So, I was thrilled when I turned on my computer one day and found a link a friend shared to Fruitful Vine Creations. They make gorgeous vinyl wall decals in every shape and size, including the one below.
Micah 6:8 happens to be one of my favorite verses. I even named a child after that book of the Bible. I was in love.
The size of this decal was perfect for my mirror. I knew I could affix the vinyl piece to it and the hardest part of my glass-etching project would be done for me!
Best of all, this particular letter art was being featured that week as the company’s Fruitful Deal. Every week, they offer one vinyl letter design at a deep discount. I scored this design for 50% off!
Once my order arrived, I positioned the vinyl decal on my mirror.
Then, I secured the design with tape on one edge and peeled the back off. This way, I could flip the design back onto the glass. (All the directions are included in the package, and they are super easy to follow, so don’t worry if that part doesn’t make sense. It will when you see their step-by-step tutorial).
I squeegeed the design onto the glass, pushing out air bubbles and making sure the design was stuck on tight. Since I was going to be applying glass etching acid to the top of this vinyl, I wanted to make sure all the edges were sealed.
Once that was done, I carefully pulled the top sheet off. The decal was perfectly positioned underneath.
Now it was time to get to work with the etching.
To etch glass at home, all you need is glass etching goo. This is what I used to do the job. This is the link to the product description on my Amazon affiliate page. But, it’s crazy expensive. I highly recommend using a coupon and getting it at your local craft store if you can. I got mine at Hobby Lobby for 40% off.
Using a paint brush, smear that stuff all over the mirror, right on top of the vinyl, until it is evenly coated.
The product is a little lumpy. Ignore.
The directions on the Armour Etch say to leave the product on for 60 seconds. I tested this with a smaller bottle and that amount of time was not nearly sufficient. Maybe it’s because my mirror is very old and things were made better back in the day. I don’t know. But I had to go back and purchase another bigger bottle and try again.
I let it sit for about fifteen minutes, or until I could see the glass was cloudy underneath. Then, I washed off the creme, cleaned the mirror, and let it dry.
You will notice that the glass-etching product did not take evenly. Grrr…I am telling myself that the variations in cloudiness are in keeping with the weathered look of the mirror. I may go back and purchase another jar of Armour Etch if I decide not to leave my children an inheritance.
You will also notice that the vinyl looks just as good as it did before I applied the acid. In fact, a simple design might be able to be used again.
For me, it was time to remove the vinyl letters and see if the etching worked.
This particular design from Fruitful Vine Creations is very delicate, so I was a little worried that the acid might get underneath the thin parts. It didn’t. The vinyl stuck tight, just like it was supposed to, and gave me beautiful, crisp lines.
It’s hard to tell because the mirror creates a double image, but the lines are so clean. You can even feel them with your fingers, just like on real etched-glass.
I love the way the Scripture verse looks on the mirror. The light catches the words in different ways at different times, and it is beautiful. Even my husband has to admit that this old mirror isn’t so bad.
Aren’t you all dying to get your hands on some vinyl letter art so you can create your own etched mirror masterpiece???
You are in luck! I contacted Tonya over at Fruitful Vine Creations and told her what amazing readers I have and how much you all would love to shop on her site. She offered to give you all a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Fruitful Vine Creations! This gift certificate can be used on anything in their store, including shipping! The only exclusions are the My Fruitful Deal decals (which are already a smashing great price, you might just want to sign up for their sale e-mails so you don’t miss any).
To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below! I will draw a winner at 6 pm Monday, April 14. Enjoy!