Old Mirror turned Statement Piece

Every time I walk down a beach, I can’t resist collecting shells that catch my eye….  which led to a big collection of shells over time.   Combine them with an old mirror I had been meaning to update and my idea was starting to take shape…

In case you are not a shell collector like me, you can purchase a wide variety online or in a craft store.

My old mirror:


Step 1 – Cover mirror with tape and paper.  I put the tape as close to the frame as possible but I had to really work to get it off in the end,  I think leaving an 1/8 of an inch space would have been easier.


Step 2 – lay out your shells around the mirror and start arranging them how you like.  Tip – place larger shells evenly around and any stand-out colored shells, to prevent getting large shells or the same colored shells in the same area of the mirror.


Step 3 – Use mortar to “build” your frame.  You can buy a bucket of mortar for around $20 – $30 at your local hardware store.  I wanted a heavy textured look so I added a healthy amount of mortar directly to the mirror and also to the back of each shell, creating a rounded frame.  My mirror is 2ft x 3ft and the mortar adds some serious weight to it.  I would not try this with any larger of a mirror, especially one like this that has a fairly light weight frame.


When arranging your shells, try to incorporate different shapes, textures, and depths throughout the frame.  You’ll want to make sure there are no “holes” and that you can’t see the old frame.


The Finished Mirror

Finished Mirror


This mirror will eventually go out in our lake cabin when we get the fireplace and mantle built, but that’s another project for another day.


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