Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mirror, mirror...made out of toilet paper rolls

In my new home, aka my parent's house, we have two rooms: our blue bedroom and our yellow living room/the guest bedroom that no longer houses a bed.  Our little yellow living room is crammed with our love seat, a chair, a few bookshelves, Buddy's crate, and our TV.  It's cozy.  We painted it yellow about three weeks ago and I've been trying to figure out how to make it homey without too much effort or special projects since everything is temporary and we didn't unpack most of our belongings.  When it's all finished I'll share more pictures but for now, here's a taste of my current inspiration from Pinterest.

I'm slightly obsessed with that mirror and really wanted it to go over our couch.  I love that it's a) a little bit gaudy, b) red, and c) oval, since most of our yellow room is boxy with lots of 90-degree angles.

So I looked and looked and looked for a mirror that would cost me $10 and look like this.  You might be surprised to learn that I did not find it.  Shocking.  But I did remember something that I pinned a few weeks back.

You know what?  I was right.  It does make an awesome frame for a mirror.  The original tutorial is found here but I'll show you my spin on it.

First, living with five adults and three bathrooms, it only took about 5 hours to accumulate enough toilet paper rolls for the project.  I may have dug through a few trash cans.  I don't remember how many rolls I used, I just kept cutting until I had enough circles.

First, you cut each toilet paper roll into small circles of varying sizes, they don't have to be the same width.  The cardboard gets a bit squished but it's okay, you just smoosh it back into shape.

I got a mirror from Hobby Lobby in the candle/centerpiece section.  It was originally $7.99 but at 50% off I got it for about $4.  Yay!  I started by laying out the toilet paper roll circles around the mirror to get and idea if this was going to work (and it did, whew).  Then a little bit of hot glue between each circle holds the thing together.

Around and around and around until I had three layers.

I fully intended to include the little curly cues like my inspiration wreath but I kind of liked the cleaner look and figured I can add them later if I want to.  Plus, I was out of toilet paper rolls.

Then I just lifted the whole thing off (it wasn't attached to the mirror yet!) and took it outside to spray paint it "Colonial Red."

After it looked like something horrible had happened in the backyard or like Dexter had shown up and the first side was dry, I turned the whole thing over and spray painted the other side.  Toilet paper rolls really suck up spray paint!

To hang the mirror I used 3M picture hangers, the kind of the clicking plastic things.  I thought I took a picture but....I can't seem to find it.  I stuck three on the back of the mirror and followed the instructions to hang.

After everything dried, I used a little bit of hot glue at a few points around the new frame to attach to the mirror and then *CLICK* attached it to the wall.

Ta-da!  It's a bit smaller than I thought it would be and since the toilet paper rolls are really only chunky from the side it doesn't have the red showpiece effect that I was hoping for but it was only $4 + $3.77 for spray paint so if I do find that awesome oval mirror, no biggie.  In the meantime, it's adding some curve appeal (harhar) to our tiny yellow living room.

I have more things to spray paint for our yellow space but today it's raining so I guess it'll have to wait.

Now that I am fully aware of the abundance of toilet paper rolls, any other suggestions for how these little tubes might enhance our home?


  1. This looks awesome and I love the creativity! I also just found: Ironic that both your post and this one popped up on my reader on the same afternoon!

  2. I love that! I have two canvases from a failed project sitting in the other room. Hmmmm....

  3. Love it!! I also am newly obsessed with spray painting. Obsessed. I also saw a big huge gawdy mirror (on someone else's blog) from ikea. You could make some chains for your Christmas tree?!?! Glasses. Tiny flower vases. Coin holders. Tiny shot glass cases? I have no idea, but if it involves spray paint I'm for it.