before and after

Before & After: Recycled Lamp Mirror

by Kate Pruitt


These glass lanterns have been popping up a lot lately. I’ve seen them mostly repurposed as terrariums, which I love, but I don’t see many people taking them apart and tinkering with the individual pieces. Sarah Dorsey decided to disassemble her lantern and use the glass panes to create this beautiful faceted mirror; it’s easier than it looks, and the elegant result costs far less than similar mirrors found in stores. This is inspiring me to experiment with some old lamps that have interesting glass shapes; this method could be applied to making all sorts of interesting designs. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 7 hours (not including drying time)

Cost: $48 (chandelier with glass surround, $10; round mirror, $14; 1/2 sheet of plywood, $6; paint, $4; trim, $7; grout, $5; glue, $2)

Basic Steps:

1. Disassemble the glass surround of the chandelier and clean the panes of glass.

2. Lay the glass panes in a circle on 3/8” plywood and determine spacing. My glass panes were 7.25” long and 5.75” at the widest point; spacing was about 1/4” between the panes. So the finished mirror included 15 glass panes and was 28.75” in diameter.

3. Mark all outside edges and corners of the glass panes with a pencil on the plywood.


4. Cut the outer edge of the plywood with a jigsaw and sand to remove any rough edges.

5. Paint glass panes with an airbrush (spray paint would work great, too!) and set aside to dry.


6. Since the inner mirror was round and the panes of glass met at an angle, I chose to have them overlap. To make the glass panes level, cut a 1/8” board (same thickness as the mirror) with a chop saw slightly smaller than the glass panes. Glue the 1/8” pieces to the back of the panes with an adhesive for glass and wood and allow to dry fully overnight.

7. Adhere the 1/8” mirror to the plywood backing, using the existing pencil marks to center it. Allow the adhesive to dry until the mirror is set.


8. Arrange the glass panels with 1/8” backing on the plywood, using the existing pencil marks. Adhere the panels to the plywood.


9. Once the glue is dry, apply framing around the inner and outer edge of the mirror. I used rectangular jewelry wire for the inner edge and cut melamine edging to size for the outer edge. Adhere wire to the glass panes with a small amount of super glue, and adhere the melamine edging to the side of the plywood with strong all-purpose glue. Use tape to hold the framing in place until dry.


10. Apply unsanded grout using the same method used for the tile.

11. Once the excess grout is wiped away, place tape around the grout lines and the mirror and apply Rub n’ Buff to the grout and frame.


12. Remove the tape and any excess grout or glue.

13. Finally, install heavy gauge wire on the back of the plywood for hanging.

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