Sunday, 29 January 2012

How to Re-Cover a Vintage Hand Mirror...

 Last night at about 5 past midnight my mind started whirring about this old mirror that's been sitting in my drawer for at least 5 years.  It was my Nan's, and I snaffled it when she died, it was covered with years worth of hairspray, and much as I enjoy the image of her looking at her perm and spraying it solid using the mirror, it wasn't very nice to look at.  I washed it a bit overenthusiastically and water seeped into it, making the fabric go all brown and gross.  Last night I decided I could probably find that mirror, take it apart and recover it.  Cue scrabbling about in drawers at 1am (sorry mum.  sorry neighbours!)  

Sadly, I don't have a before picture of the mirror, I only thought to take photos after I'd dismantled it, but you can see in this one the pink with brown blotches fabric (top left).  And my dressing gown sleeve.

To dismantle the mirror you need to unscrew the cap off the end (number one) then pull the handle off (number 2), then pull the cap at the top of the handle down (number 3) then remove the metal frame around the mirror (number 4).

You're then left will all sorts of bits from mirror was padded with this cardboard with a picture of some sort of hovercraft (I think!) on it, which I think is very cute!

Then you need to draw round one of your pieces with the new fabric you want to use...I used this vintage flowery stuff someone gave me...and cut it out.  Next you have to sandwich all the layers back together again...mine went mirror, metal handle thingy, vintage hovercraft cardboard, new fabric, perspex cover and hold on to them really tight while you feed all of it into the metal frame.  This is the trickiest part and took several goes, in the end I had to take out a layer of cardboard (there were 2 originally) but I still only spent about 10 minutes fiddling with it.  Once you have the frame back on you can put the caps and handle back on and tighten it up again.  Et voila!  One newly re-covered vintage hand mirror!  

I'm glad it's been redeemed from that sad and sorry place in my dressing table drawer and can be used again !


  1. Love it! Looks awesome sooz... ;-) why you up so late? Sometimes my mind goes on overdrive too and I start spring cleaning the house at an ungodly hour... Tee-hee

  2. looks great :) So satisfying making old unloved things useful again.

  3. Thanks Carolyn...I always get absorbed in my book then look at the clock and find I've been reading for hours, then it takes a while for my brain to calm down and while it does I find myself contemplating mirrors and suchlike! If I didn't live at mum's I would probably be up and about when I can't sleep, I always get the urge to crochet or clean out my drawers! But I have to be quiet or she wakes up!

    Thanks Dreamer :) It was very satisfying indeed! I keep looking at the back of it!


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