How to Make a Perfect Feather Mirror
I decided to make a pretty feather mirror. And to tell you the truth it was awful. I’m not kidding. My first attempt at this was not good. Keep reading and I’ll show you what it looked like. So, this is in fact my second version, and it is sooooo much better. Having said that there is still room for improvement, and I will pass all of those things onto you, so that when you make yours, it will be even better than mine 🙂
Supplies for DIY Feather Mirror
10″ round mirror
circular serving tray or board
hot glue gun
Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover – White
As with most of my posts, I have also done a YouTube video of the process. You can click here to view.
The first time I made this feathered mirror, I didn’t use goose feathers. I just used feathers that I bought from Wal-mart and they were not tapered at the ends. They were more cut off. So the end result was not very symmetrical. I sourced my goose feathers from 2 places. I bought some from the dollar tree and some from amazon. The feathers from Amazon were definitely nicer, they were in better shape and were generally whiter. But they were a bit more expensive. I did a bit of math and the cost came out to about 50% more expensive. But they were still pretty affordable.
Bend and Direction
You will notice when you get your feathers that they do not all bend in the same direction. And since there is difference from the front to the back of the feather, you can’t really just flip them over to make sure they all bend in the same direction. So when you get all of your feathers, take the time before your start assembling to split them into different piles depending on the direction that they are bending in. You will probably also have a pile for those that are shorter and straighter.
Making your Circle
Now that all of your feathers are organized into piles you will need to mark out your circle that you will use as your guide to keep the edges of your mirror perfectly round. To do this I used a display board from the dollar store. You could also use a large piece of cardboard. Then you will want to draw a circle the size that you want your finished feather mirror to be. I drew my circle 25.5″ around, which was almost the full size of the display board width.
To make my circle I made my favourite home-made compass. I used a Sharpie, a piece of string (or wool, or ribbon, or whatever is available) and a small screwdriver. Measure and mark the centre of the board. Tie the string around the screwdriver and poke into the cardboard at the centre mark and then use the string to determine how large you want the circle to be. Attach the other end to the sharpie and then draw your circle, keeping the screwdriver upright.
Pizza Pan Options
I used a large round pizza tray from the dollar store for the base of my feather mirror. This is one of the pieces that I think could be improved upon. I found the tray that I used to be a bit too thin, and a bit wobbly once all of the feathers and mirror were attached. So I would suggest instead using something a bit stiffer. You can still use a pizza pan, just not one that’s too flimsy. You could also just use a piece of foam core, and that would work fine too.
Paint the pan white, using spray paint, just in case it shows through in any spots.
Paint and Tape
Measure to the centre point of your pan and poke a hole in it and then using that, centre it on the cardboard, using the existing hole that you made when you drew your circle. Or If you are not able to make a hole just measure to the outside edges of the tray to make sure that it is centered in the larger circle. Then tape it down. Make sure that the tape is in a location where it will not be glued down.
Attaching the Feathers
Time to make that diy feather mirror. The most important thing when you are placing your feathers, is to use that outside circle as your guide, which will keep all of the outside edges perfectly aligned and make your mirror FABULOUS! So do not pay too much attention to the quill end of the feathers, instead pay attention to where the feather end meets the outside circle. Just glue into place. Since you had already sorted the feathers into piles depending on direction, do the first level or row with all of the feathers facing in the same direction.
When doing the second layer, use the feathers facing in the other direction. Keep paying attention to the outside edge and maintain the same distance from the first layer all the way around.
I only did three layers, you could do more, if you like. For my final layer I chose feathers that were a bit shorter and fairly straight. The goal with this layer is to cover up all of the areas where you can see the quills.
You will need to attach something to support your mirror, as the feathers are raised enough that you won’t have good contact with the pizza pan. I just used a piil cap, since it was about the right height and not too big. Since my feathers were a bit crowded in the centre area, I went in with a small pair of wire cutters, and cut away any quills that were in the way of the lid. Then I just attached it to the pizza pan using E6000 and hot glue to hold it in place while the E 6000 dried.
I used E6ooo to attach the mirror. This gives you lots of time to adjust.Once you have placed the mirror, make sure it is centered by measuring to the outside edges of the feathers. Then let dry overnight
To finish it off I added some decorative trim. This is twisted cord that I picked up at the dollar store in silver. I taped off the end to the cord so that it wouldn’t unravel and glued the end under the mirror, since there is room under the mirror. Then applying hot glue to the outside edge of the mirror, pull the cord around so that it stays perfectly circular. Don’t let it slip under or your circle will look wonky. Once the cord is applied all the way round the mirror, tape, cut and tuck the other end of the cord under the mirror.
Since the pizza pan was very thin, I just poked a couple of holes in the edges of the pizza pan, using a small sharp pair of scissors. And then tied off a piece of ribbon across the back. The mirror is very light weight, so can be hung easily without any reinforcements. A small nail or picture hanger will hold it up.
The Original Attempt
ok, ok, I promised I would show you my original version. so here she is in all of her glory, or lack there of. Unfortunately I lost the card. that had the pics on it, and the only I could find was before the mirror was attached, so the mirror is replaced here by a well placed circle. 🙂
Here is what it looks like in my spare bedroom with my zingy wallpaper
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Judi Greenwood says
Really nice. You are one of the posts I actually read EVERY TIME
Thank you so much Judi. You have no idea how much that warms my heart!
Thanks for this post! Was a bit Impatient and unprepared so cut a few corners but think it all worked out. Wish I could send you a pic of the finished mirror! But don’t think I can attach images here.
Anyways, just wanted to say thank you- appreciated the informative guide and video 🙂