As we were planning our wedding, I was thinking of creative wedding decorations. I was not willing to stretch our budget by adding in rentals for decorations. On top of that, I love doing DIY projects. So I had a few projects in mind that I will share in another blog post, but Pinterest hugely inspired this DIY project. I was mindlessly scrolling one night and found these beautiful vintage gold mirrors detailed with white calligraphy. In every picture, the mirrors escalated the wedding venue by bringing a romantic, sweet touch. I could not stop dreaming about these mirrors at our wedding venue!
So I went on a hunt to search for these mirrors because I did not trust my calligraphy skills at first. There were some listed and customizable on Etsy, but the price tags for the style of the mirror I wanted were upward of $250 on the website. Mind you, you can find vinyl decals for a very reasonable price where it is just the flat & reflective piece of a mirror! For our wedding vision and the final placement of the mirrors, the vinyl decal didn’t quite fit. But I am sure these would absolutely work for some of you, so be sure to check out Etsy first!
At this point, I was a little defeated and crossed up about spending the dollars. I knew it wasn’t worth it for us to push the budget for a mirror. One day, I was walking along a vintage antique store and found the perfect mirror for this project. The elegant shape and rusty gold captured my eye… and the best part… It was $18. There was a crack in one of the bends of the mirror, but that did not discourage me because I saw the vision and beauty in it all. Besides, the crack added character!
I thought there was no way I could do this calligraphy, but I just went for it. And you can too.
A couple of months later, I was walking along a vintage outdoor marketplace, and a sweet gal was closing her vendor booth to open a brick-and-mortar store across the town. There was another mirror, and on top of the marked-down price, it was an additional 25% off. So I landed it at $12, and at that point, I knew I was going to DIY this project & bring the vision to life! The Lord was definitely nudging me to push my artistic abilities, and stretch my bounds!
These mirrors were in rough shape! Lol! They did not match one another at all. One had a slightly red tone underneath the gold paint, and the other mirror was ivory white. I researched how to make these mirrors have these deep, gold vintage colors… and after a few videos & how-to blog posts. I found the answer. Rub n Buff…
SO for FORTY Dollars! Here is your shopping list or your craft room search list! Most of these items can be found at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or on Amazon!
Rub ‘n Buff. The answer to getting beautiful gold! The color I used is called Antique Gold! It was perfect! Rub ‘n Buff is a waxing finish that gives you that rustic & shiny look. One of my mirrors had a metal border, and the waxing finish went smoothly on it. The other piece was a wooden frame, and it also went smoothly. Side note: For the wooden frame, we did spray paint since it was white, white. Then after the spray paint dried, we went over with Rub ‘n Buff! This was the HOLY GRAIL of this project. This is what matched the mirrors to be sisters & made me have hope in how it was all coming together. then, it was time to do the calligraphy. I have zero experience in calligraphy. If you do not have any trust or hope in your calligraphy, I am simply going to tell you the secret.
The secret is to try. But really, just try it out. First, clean the mirror with rubbing alcohol on the glass, and then Clorox wipes around the frame. We measured out each mirror to create lines with a white chalk marker. At the end of this step, the mirrors looked like line paper. There was a middle line to make sure we had the words lined up and centered. Then we had additional horizontal lines to create how big we wanted and needed the words to be (much like a lined paper!)
When the mirrors were measured & lined up, I gently freehanded the words with the white chalk marker. On a computer screen or a phone screen, I pulled up the “wedding calligraphy alphabet” in the Pinterest search bar and just freehanded each letter, one by one, slowly. Be patient in this process. White chalk marker is easily removable with rubbing alcohol. I had q-tips laying around, and when I messed up, I would use a dab of rubbing alcohol to redo it!
The greatest tip I can give you is to go very lightly with the chalk marker, otherwise outlining on top of the chalk marker with a white sharpie will be harder. For some reason, the white sharpie is oil-based thus semi-erases your white chalk marker letters when you go to outline. Learn from my mistakes, and lightly use the white chalk marker to write out what you want on the mirrors.
After the white chalk marker has dried and you have the letters & words in place. Gently and lightly scratch away some of the chalk markers. This will make the outlining process much easier as the less chalk, the better the sharpie goes onto the mirror. Scratch gently. You still want to know where the letter placements are at. Keep an outline, and outer borders of letters intact. The chalk marker naturally gives up the inner parts of the letter and leaves a gentle outline.
This part will look messy, but the chalk marker is only an outline.
Once you are done, you have an outline of where the words and letters should be! Bam. You are ready to make it permanent. Take a deep breath and have confidence! Pick up the white sharpie (oil-based) and trace the rough outlines of the chalk marker! This step may need repeating to get the full white calligraphy that you see on the pictures of this blog. So take your time, and slowly fill in the letters, word by word, then line by line until your mirror is a satisfying piece of artwork!
The hardest part is over! Reward yourself! Whoop Whoop!
Let the paint dry for a few hours, or days if you can. Go back with a toothpick over the areas you want to fine-tune, paint-wise. Scratch the paint off LIGHTLY. I had random droplets of white paint from the Sharpie markers that needed to be scratched off. Then you can GENTLY wipe it down with glass cleaner. Try not to touch the words (we used q-tips). This is heinous work, but it makes your mirror shiny and professional looking! Certain glass and mirror cleaning projects can disrupt the marker, so it is better to be safe than sorry! From Costco, I had a package of sunglasses cleaner wipes, and those seemed to work the best. But no worries if you don’t have that because simple Windex works as well. You must be mindful that cleaning needs to be delicate and tender! The marker paint and chemicals of cleaning products do not agree well!
You created a masterpiece for your BIG EVENT! These mirrors are going to be for my wedding, but I think it would be AWESOME to do this at bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, and anything EVENT-wise!
Always rooting for you! Try this because you will not regret the end finished product!
With all my heart!
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.