Decorating, DIY's & Crafts

Making a French Mirror

Fall is here!  I’m not part of the norm, I love the colder weather, but many don’t look forward to cooler shorter days.   Anyway,

If you are new to Cloches and Lavender; welcome.  If not, you may remember me saying when we downsized and built this house I was going to add more French touches.

After a few years of my struggles with MS, which I don’t like to discuss here much anymore and having a new biologic, things have improved with my health to a point where I’m back to blogging more often and I feel more creative.

Our foyer was the spot I knew a French mirror would be beautiful.  What I didn’t realize at the time was finding one would be a challenge.  French mirrors in the style I was dreaming of are very expensive.

Being fortunate to have my own handyman on retainer, aka my husband, I figured he could help me create a mirror.  I took my time planning what I wanted to achieve with the overall look.

I decided to tackle our Bombay chest makeover first, you can find this HERE  I hope you will take the time to look because this was a big makeover using many layers of paint and adding details.

Once the chest was finished, I realized I didn’t want a lot of the gilding which French Trumeau mirrors are often seen.  This is the time I looked on Pinterest, antique shop websites and blogs I follow.



One of many sources on my Pinterest board Making Things.

I saw on these resources these mirrors don’t necessarily have to have all gilding.  In fact, many I saw that were antique didn’t, so I began really searching for my plan for what Cindy would want.

During the planning phase I had to remind myself, this is my vision for our home.  I didn’t have to follow what I thought fit the criteria for the finished mirror.  I looked and waited patiently for the pieces to fall into place.

FYI, everyone related to me and my hubby are laughing at me saying I was patient waiting, ha, ha.

We had a large picture in our foyer and I figured we could use it for the base, very strong and sturdy.

Next, I wanted to find appliques so Esty became my search engine.  I found them a year before the project began.


I recently mentioned a thrift/antique store I discovered.   We took a ride and found a mirror to use at a great price.


Next, I knew I wanted something up top to make a statement.  Most searches for the style I wanted showed appliques or hand painted murals at the top.  I didn’t want more appliques and painting a mural wasn’t going to happen.  This girl can transform furniture and décor pieces, painting a mural wasn’t happening based on the fact I can only draw stick figures, ha, ha.

After searching Etsy and being patient.  Notice, twice I was patient?  I found this beautiful Florentine plaque.  I loved the image and the piece having blue trim I  felt it would blend perfectly with the Bombay chest.


 Excuse my husband’s foot. 

Having all the pieces to the puzzle my handyman got to building.  We talked about what I wanted the end result to look like.


Notice in the photo a stencil, I was thinking of using plaster instead of molding at first which quickly changed.

I didn’t want to damage the Florentine plaque I found.  John reminded me there was a little wire for him to use a small nail to attach it to the wood.  



I chose to have the mirror mounted on the board using a screw so not to damage the mirror.  It’s old, heavy and glued to the back board.

Deciding on this addition for the plaque is why I nixed the plaster stencil for trim around the plaque..

Picking the correct trim was important to me when putting this together.  I didn’t want the molding to be overstated.  I wanted it to be delicate in nature and I believe I achieved the look.



Piece by piece it came together and the building was finished.


It was time for me to take over and I began painting.  I used Swedish Grey in a new chalky paint named Jolie.  The colors in the Jolie line are pretty soft French colors.


I waxed the paint with clear and dark wax.  On the thinner molding around the Florentine plaque I went a tad heavier in dark wax then added gilding wax here and there.






I’m very happy with the end result. 

Thank you for stopping by.  More fall touches will be updated in our home now that fall is officially here.  Bringing on the pumpkins, mums and flowering kale.  Happy Fall!

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29 thoughts on “Making a French Mirror”

  1. Stunning Cindy. You did a great job. I like your version so much better than your inspiration. Just gorgeous. I am so happy the biologic is working for you and giving you back your life. That is amazing.
    Happy Wednesday. Hugs from Buddy to Peanut and Reeses

  2. Cindy, this is gorgeous. I am so impressed with what you have done, and I am so happy that you are feeling so much better. xo Laura

  3. Wow, Cindy! That’s really outstanding. You have great vision and a handyman on call is always a plus! Gotta love that. It’s awesome to hear that you have had some relief and can get back to doing what you love. It’s no fun when your body won’t keep up with what your brain has planned. Can’t wait to see the rest of your fall decor!

  4. Cindy I was just starting to look for DIY tutorials for these mirrors. This is fabulous! I have so many little Florentine pictures I could use for mine. Thanks for this inspriation!

  5. I like this very much, Makes me want to try it since I have a mirror also similar to yours.
    really like your paint choice also

  6. I think this creation is absolutely gorgeous! I’m a francophile too so I’ve longed for one of them as well. You and your husband did a fabulous job. Congrats! I’ll be featuring you at tomorrow’s Vintage Charm Party #202! Hope to see you there. xo Kathleen

  7. OOOOH! Cindy, I am sooo glad you shared your mirror with us at SYS!!! Happy to feature your post at Share Your Style #226 this week. When you get tired of your lovely mirror… I’ll be happy to give it a home! 😉 Love how it turned out!!!

    Happy fall and now I’m off to read your bombay chest story,
    Barb 🙂

  8. I absolutely love this! It looks beautiful hanging in your home! Also glad you are feeling better! I too take a biologic and another injection so I have not dared to get a flu shot yet. Waiting one more week…I hope you continue to feel well!!!

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