before and afterDIYdiy projects

before & after: lucy’s clock mirror + how-to

by Grace Bonney

every week i pour through our before & after submissions and get excited about the scores of upholstery and paint projects people have done. but when i see something like this in my inbox, my excitement meter goes off the charts. inspired by bddw’s captain’s mirror, d*s reader lucy gunawan decided to get crafty and convert an inexpensive clock into her own do-it-yourself captain’s mirror. the concept alone is clever, but the fact that she busted out a reversible leather trim, grommets, and a gorgeous hanging peg takes the project to a whole new level. i am in awe of the finished products- they are gorgeous.

as if this project wasn’t inspiring enough, lucy was kind enough to share her detailed project steps for creating the look in your home. so let me be the first to say “thank you!” to lucy for sharing this gorgeous project and the steps for recreating the look in your own home. thank you, lucy!

*stay tuned for a new we like it wild post at 2pm (studio choo is teaching us how to knit plant cozies!)

CLICK HERE for many more images and the full how-to after the jump!



A round wooden frame (in this case it was a clock)
Leather straps in three sizes: full width, half width, and thin
• Full-width: the same width as the wooden frame and length at least the circumference of the frame
• Half-width: half the width of the wooden frame and length depends on personal taste
• Thin strap (optional): this is just for decoration
Strong thread
Mirror cut to the size of the frame
Four button studs
A piece of MDF smaller than the frame area
Wood glue
Double-sided tape


Iron ruler
Hole punch for leather
Two needles


Disassembling the clock

First, the clock needs to be disassembled so that the wooden frame and the clock dial can be reused. In this case, the frame is used in reverse where the back of the clock became the front of the mirror and vice versa.

Making the leather frame

The full-width leather strap needs to be cut a bit less than the circumference of the frame, so that there is a gap (around 1 cm). This way, the leather frame will fit tightly on the wooden frame. To join the two ends of the strap, some holes need to be punched with an awl. In order to have even distance holes, marking can be done first. With two needles in one thread, double cross stitch is used to join the strap.

Installing the leather hanger

The half-width leather hanger connected to the leather frame with two button studs in each end. Some holes need to be punched first before installing the studs.

Attaching the mirror

The clock dial will be glued to the frame, followed by MDF piece, then the mirror will be attached to the MDF using double tape. This way, the mirror will be in the middle of the frame and well balanced.

Finishing touch

The doorstopper, is used as a puck, can be decorated by the thin leather straps. The mirror is ready to be hung.


The choice of using double-sided straps and button studs was made so that the leather frame can be reversed to have different color.

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