Saturday, January 8, 2011

Motivational Mirrors: Etching Tutorial

 While Mr. Cabin has been toiling away in the basement trying to finish building me my little exercise room, I have been busy with a few projects of my own trying to make the space inviting and inspiring.

Most traditional gym and exercise spaces feature an entire wall of mirrors. While I have nothing against giant mirrors, purchasing one for the space was not within our budget.
 Besides I already know what I look like, right? Only staring at myself sweating while I was exercising- not very motivating. So I decided to use several smaller mirrors which I am going to incorporate into a collage with some other art work.
To get more bang for my decorating buck and my wall space as well, I decided to try etching different motivational words onto each of the mirrors.
If you would like to try it out too, here's what you'll need: mirror or glass, etching cream, an exacto knife, clear contact paper and words or images printed on paper.

Here's what I did. First, I printed out the words I chose from the computer. Then I cut out large pieces of contact paper. I made the contact paper pieces slighter larger than my 12 x 12 mirrors.

Next, I taped the words upside down to the underside of the contact paper.

Then I flipped the paper over and traced each word onto the vinyl.

Then I removed the words and the paper backing from the contact paper and carefully adhered the sheet to the mirror. I used a credit card to help smooth out the bubbles. The extra contact paper I rolled over the edges, which helped protect me from being cut  while I was handling the mirror.

Next, I used an exacto knife to cut out each letter. I have to mention my new favorite letter of the alphabet is now v...such a simple letter to cut out- gotta love it.

Finally, I was ready to apply the etching cream. I will admit the warnings on the bottle did have me a little scared. "May be fatal," is not a warning I take lightly. So I donned my protective goggles, a pair of chemical resistant latex gloves and turned the exhaust fan on in the kitchen before I was ready to proceed.

I  followed the directions on the bottle. I applied a think layer of etching cream, waited five minutes then rinsed with water.

The finished product.
I was actually surprised with how easy this was.
I may even try etching words on a bathroom mirror soon too.

Anyone curious what the other words I chose were?
Come on back for the grand reveal of the exercise room.
Cross your fingers for me it will be real soon,


  1. What a great idea. I would've been worried with the "fatal" part, too. Going to have to give this a try! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Michelle, that is such a cool idea. Can't wait to see the reveal. Thanks so much for joining the party.

  3. I love etching cream but have never tried it on a mirror. Thanks for the great idea, your project came out great.

  4. This is such a neat idea. Great job!...Christine

  5. this is cool! I have always been a little bit chicken to try the etching cream. you are brave ;-)

  6. Very cool.
    I can't wait to see the final reveal and your other words.
    For myself, I would have probably chosen words along the lines of 'Quit Whining', or 'Must Go Faster'.
    I think your choices are certainly more inspirational!


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