Back in January I shared some of my favorite fresh interior finds for the new year. One of my picks was a set of Anthropologie mirrors that featured plated brushstrokes around the edges. I adored the mirrors; I pined for the mirrors. The only problem was that they started at $108. That felt like a little too much to pay for a relatively small mirror that looked like something I could come close to making myself. Besides, I was looking to take on a new DIY! And so it went that a couple of weeks later I found myself gathering up materials and getting down and dirty with some gold and silver foil. One short hour of crafting later I was the proud owner of two DIY Anthropologie mirrors.
When I began planning for this DIY I wasn’t confident I would get the results I wanted by using traditional gold leaf adhesive, nor did I want to deal with the necessary dry time involved with the substance, so I took to the internet. I was fortunate to come across a tutorial on how to apply gold leaf to glass by Jackie at Teal + Lime. She shared that she had a secret weapon in her arsenal…Elmer’s Craft Bond Glue Spray Adhesive. The Glue Spray was supposed to be easy to use, quick to dry and an all around fabulous product. Perfect.
I took to our balcony on a sunny Sunday afternoon and began applying gold leaf to the first mirror through a process of trial and error. I hadn’t worked extensively with gold leaf before and this project wasn’t the smoothest re-introduction to the material. I was covered head to toe in the glue adhesive as well as gold and silver by the time I was done with the mirrors. It was on my feet (?), my pants, under my nails…I wouldn’t be surprised to find it in my hair a week from now.
The application method that ultimately worked best for me was to spray one side of the leaf with glue spray, facing away from the mirror (to avoid the adhesive getting all over the mirror), then quickly slap it down haphazardly onto the glass surface. Since I did not want the end result of these to be too precise I was able to afford myself some mistakes and areas I needed to go over several times. It took a while to get the hang of things but by the end of the first mirror I was in my gold/silver leaf-ing zone and was able to cruise through the second one.
The mirrors ended up looking even better than I expected them to. I dare say (gasp!) that I even like them more than the Anthropologie version that inspired the original.