Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coin "Tiled" Mirror Frame

During our snow days a few weeks ago, I finished a project that I've been planning to do for a while.

Several months ago, I bought an IKEA mirror at the Goodwill.  It looks something like the one below, except with a completely flat frame.  When I bought it, it was turquoise, which although lovely, was a bit brighter than what I wanted.  So I spray painted it antique gold, then lightly with a silvery champagne color and hung it up.  I've been wanting to bring more silvery tones into my living room, but it just didn't look good.  I liked the shape, but not the color.  Also, the flat frame just looked too contemporary for my shabby chic/junk market/aspiring Miss Mustard Seed-style living room.  So I left it on the wall and just felt cranky and confused whenever I looked at it :).
SONGE Mirror, silver color Diameter: 28 3/8 "  Diameter: 72 cm
One day, one of my friends, Genevieve, hemmed and hawed, finally summoning up her courage to tell me: "Uh--promise you won't be offended--but I think that mirror doesn't look so good there..." We do decorating projects together and bounce ideas off each other all the time, so this wasn't completely out of the blue, but it was pretty bold of her to say.

I laughed in surprise--I wasn't at all offended, and we we brainstormed about what to do with the mirror.  Then Genevieve, genius that she is, reminded me of my plan to do a table top of international money something like the penny counter I had pinned a few months ago.  What about putting the money on the frame?


 I knew this was a good plan instantly.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  By the way, this technique would work on any other flat surface (picture frame? small table? etc.?) you want to cover with coins.  The guy at nubcakes.blogspot.com used resin and a framed counter, but I knew I didn't have the time to do a project that was quite that intense/messy/smelly/required somehow adding a lip to contain the resin all around the edge of a round mirror.  

So I went with what I had on hand (or could borrow from Genevieve).  I absolutely loved how it turned out.  

Pretty cool-looking, right?  Despite the lame pictures?  I need to invest in some better equipment for taking low-light interior photographs in Washington. A light scoop?  A tripod?  (Gulp) a different lens?  I am not exactly experiencing sun-drenched rooms this winter.

Anyway, technical difficulties and insecurities aside, here is the tutorial:

Other than a surface to decorate (flat mirror frame?  picture frame? etc.?), you'll need:

  • Silicone adhesive (I used Dap Clear Silicone Rubber Sealant)Mod Podge CS11245 8-Ounce Glue, Hard Coat
  • Modgepodge Hard Coat
  • Foam brush
  • Lots and lots of coins (more than you think you'll need--I was literally raiding my kids' piggy banks--I did pay them back, don't worry...)
Step 1.  Arrange your money on the surface in whatever way pleases you.  I kind of sprinkled all the international money evenly around, making sure to make the silver/copper balance roughly even, then filled in with American money.  Incidentally, I put all the American money heads down unless it had a year that was significant to our family (birth years, year my husband were married, years we graduated from high school, etc.).  My kids liked helping me find coins that had special years on them.

Step 2.  After you have it all arranged to your satisfaction, start using the adhesive to stick the coins on.  You might experiment with how much sealant you need.  I found about a pea-sized dollop was about right for a dime--more for larger coins.  Do all the coins.  It took me about two hours to do all of mine spaced out over a day or so.

Step 3.  When you think you are done, pick up your frame and turn it upright.  If you are like me, a few coins will fall down because you forgot to glue them.  Better to find this out later than never.

Step 4a.  Let the sealant dry.  I left it overnight just to be safe.  Then break out your Modge Podge Hard Coat and foam brush.  Brush a generous coat over the top and between the coins.  Don't worry if it looks a bit gloppy (see picture below).  It will dry just fine (see other pic below).  Just spread it all out there.  I was a little conservative around the edges, though--I didn't want any drips.

Step 4b.  Let the first coat dry completely.  Then add two more coats, letting them dry thoroughly between coats.  Voila!  You will be done and have a unique, valuable (har har) home accessory to be proud of.

A few braggy pictures:



Let me know if you try this technique.  I'd love to hear how your project turns out!

I'm linking up to:
Home Stories A2Z

Not Just a Housewife's Show Me What Ya Got


  1. I LOVE it!! It turned out brilliantly. What a complete change. Go you, go you!!

    I have some foreign coins that I'd like to use up somehow...this is such an inspiring idea. Thank you!Sarahx

  2. In regards to the comment to your camera, you just need to adjust your white balance. That should fix your problems.
    Love the site!

  3. Thanks so much, Sarah! Let me know what you come up with.

  4. Mary-thank you thank you for the tip. Now scurrying away to do research about how that works :). Thanks for the visit today!

  5. This is such an AWESOME project!  I just found you over at ABFOL, and am so glad I did.

  6. Hi Stephanie! I'm do glad you stopped by! It was really easy and has a lot of great applications. Let me know if you do a similar project-I'd love to see it!


Please feel free to comment. I love to read what other people think!