Monday, February 28, 2011

Good Ol' Nate...

I was mattress shopping the other day (boring!) and came across the perfect mirror for the entry way.

Nautical Rope Mirror

I remembered it from Lonny Magazine a few months ago.

Image courtesy of Belle Maison

But for $125, I thought maybe I could make it myself.

During my research, I found that Nate Berkus did this same project and documented it with a step by step how to.  Thanks Nate!  Everyone is raving over your show, but I think it's horrible.  Sorry :(  Anyone else agree?

Get the step-by-step guide to creating a high-end rope mirror on a low budget!
A high end rope mirror can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but here’s how to make one for under $35!
What You Need
Sisal Rope - 1" Thick
Glue Gun
Circular Mirror (Unframed)
Duct Tape
1. Buy a generic circular mirror without a frame. (The one shown in the demo was only $15.)
2. Make a cardboard O-shaped frame that covers the outer 2" of your mirror.
3. Take 1" sisal rope (which you can find at Home Depot for around $10) and cut one piece that spans the diameter of the frame. Tape the ends of the rope to prevent fraying.
4. Use a glue gun to attach the rope to the cardboard frame.
5. Measure another piece of sisal rope that spans the diameter of the outer-edge of the frame, with extra rope to make a loop at the top of your mirror. Tape the ends of the rope with duct tape to prevent fraying.
6. Use your glue gun to secure the top loop, and then secure the rope to the outer edge of the cardboard frame.20101102_1041_Rope4_700x481
7. Cut a third and final piece of sisal rope to lay on top of the sisal rope base you've created. Cut your rope the length of frame diameter, and secure the edges with duct tape to prevent fraying.
8. Using your glue gun, secure your third piece of sisal rope to the top of your rope base.
9. Loop and knot a piece of twine where your sisal rope ends meet. Loop your twine around the rope 30 to 40 times to give your frame a finished look.
10. Using your glue gun, add a substantial amount of glue to the edge of your glass mirror, as well as the cardboard of your sisal rope frame. Place your rope frame on top of your circular mirror, and let it dry completely before hanging!

I put this guide to the test and have a few adjustments/suggestions if you decide to do it yourself.

I decided to try the rectangular version and headed to Walmart to look for a cheap mirror.  I found it for $5!

Hi Quinn!

I had to put a weight on the loop to get it to stay put, but even that didn't work.  I eventually gave it a good twist in the other direction and it cooperated.

I used the bread knife to cut the rope.  A normal person could use a saw. 

I suggest binding the ends section with tape before wrapping it in twine.

And, if you're still reading this very long post (thank you, Mom) here is the finished product:

It didn't come out perfect.  I bought a second mirror to perfect it after I did this trial run.  I will hunt down some boat rope instead of the stiff jute rope at Lowes and I will measure the cardboard better.  Oh, and a very important note:  don't use a colorful cardboard.  I used a Pampers diaper box and you can see the torquoise edge in the reflection of the mirror (ugh).

After all that,  there is an affordable version from LL Bean.  :)


  1. Oh dear! Once you make something or buy something, you have to stop looking! I bought two (non matching) leather chairs for the livingroom. I was very happy with them until I saw two matching upholstered chairs at C&B. They were so wonderful and a much more unusual color choice than the ones I bought and would have looked so gorgeous with the rug... And I can't get them out of my head. Perhaps blinders would work? Nice job on the mirror!

  2. Oh, that is so cool that you did that! Love it.

  3. looks great kate! good job. Making it yourself is still cheaper.

  4. I think it looks GREAT!!

    xo - LL

  5. That is AWESOME!!! You did a fantastic job.