It happens to the best of us. We inadvertently bump into a wall, sending mirrors or frames crashing to the ground, shattering to pieces. Or maybe the kids and pets are being too rambunctious in the house and that collection of plates and glassware ends up in shards.
But what if we looked at broken glass and mirrors as an opportunity to think outside the box – decor perhaps? There is a multitude of ways to use those broken bits in your home and give them new life and meaning. Whether you break it intentionally or by accident, there is a project for you!
Let’s start with larger-scale projects. These will likely require a bit of planning and, possibly,
breaking glass and reflective mirrors on purpose. (Although, if you do have bits of something special, throw them in there, too!)
Mirrored and reflective glass on accent furniture is all the rage these days. To create your own designer piece, simply remove all the drawers, handles, and hinges from your piece (if applicable) and give it a good coat of primer and two coats of paint in your choice of colour.
It’s best in this case to stick to naturals and neutrals in order to let the glass pieces be the showstopper. Black, white, or grey are great choices.
Next, mix up some light-coloured and fast-drying mortar. You can pick this up at the hardware store.
Using a tile trowel and working relatively quickly, apply the mortar to your drawer fronts or tabletop,
then strategically place your bits of broken glass and mirrors into the mortar, like tiles.
Wipe it down with a damp sponge to make sure you don’t end up with mortar bits all over your pretty pieces of broken mirrors! Let it dry before reassembling your piece of furniture. It might seem a bit tricky to add drawer pulls back onto your chest or bureau once you’ve tiled the fronts with glass, but there are options.
You can purchase a special drill bit that will safely make holes in glass (a carbide tip is what you’d be looking for), but this can take a long time and requires that you constantly pour water over the bit as you drill to prevent it from heating up too much.
For a less messy and time-consuming method, pick up some all-purpose adhesive putty, which is often found near the construction supplies at the hardware store.
You only need a small amount to create a lasting bond that will allow you to stick your drawer pulls back onto the face of your furniture quickly and easily. Just remember – once it’s bonded, it’s nearly impossible to remove, so measure twice and adhere once!
Beach Glass Bathroom Backsplash
Alright, let’s take this broken glass trend into the guest washroom or powder room! Mosaic tiles have been on trend for years and don’t appear to be going anywhere. But they can be pricey! So why not use larger bits of broken coloured glass to achieve that same mosaic feel with a unique flair?
This technique is much the same as the one for sticking mirror bits onto furniture, except in this case, you will be working on a vertical surface in your washroom.
It’s best to keep this motif to a smaller space to avoid overkill and to make sure it stands out as an accent rather than something overwhelming to the eye. Focusing on the area above the sink and below the main mirror in a small bathroom is a great idea.
The first step is to sand and clean your wall space and remove anything that will get in the way of you completing the job, like walls and face plates. If it’s a two-piece bath and doesn’t have any moisture issues, you’re set to start applying mortar to the walls and “tiling” with your glass bits.
If you have discovered moisture issues, you might need to replace your Gyproc with mould-proof drywall and add a vapour barrier first. If this is the case, bring in a professional to consult before tackling anything.
Once the mortar and glass bits are dry (and wiped down thoroughly with a damp sponge while wet!), use a mixture of unsanded grout to smooth out the wall and get into the grooves between your glass bits. Remember to also wipe down thoroughly at this stage to keep your glass looking shiny and opaque.
Once this is completely dry, it should have similar upkeep to a tile backsplash. Simply wipe it down with an all-purpose cleaner and a soft sponge to keep your new glass backsplash looking shiny and clean.
Unique Family Monogram Wall Hanging
We don’t all have enough broken mirrors or glass to cover a piece of furniture or create a tile backsplash. Given that, there are some smaller and easier ways to incorporate this look into your home!
Monograms and decorating with typography are all the rage right now, so why not blend the two looks in one simple craft project?
Head to your local crafting store and purchase a wooden letter of your choice. Consider picking one that matches your first or last name! When buying your letter, aim to get one that is large – at least eight to 10 inches tall – and has a flat front.
Try to avoid the ones that have a bevel or special edge because it will make finishing your broken mirrors or glasses craft more difficult.
These letters typically cost less than $10 and can often be found on sale. Paint your letter with some acrylic craft paint in a colour of your choice. Let it dry completely.
Then, all you need is a glue gun and your glass bits! Using hot glue, adhere your bits to the letter in a mismatched pattern.
To finish it off, you can grout between the broken mirrors on your letter, using craft-grade grout found at the craft store. No need to use construction-grade stuff for this!
But if you do, just make sure it’s unsanded, as it will be easier to work with on such a small item. Let it dry for at least 24 hours before hanging it up on the wall.
Mirrored Holiday Ornament
Lastly, why not bring a little bling to your holiday decor? Mirrors and glass bits are the best for making a holiday tree or garland extra sparkly and festive.
All you need to do is purchase some clear plastic ornaments from a big box store. You can usually grab them for about a dollar a piece starting just after Halloween.
The only caveat for this project is you’ll want to ensure your glass bits are small and not sharp,
because children and pets tend to be attracted to these things around the holidays!
A good alternative to using real glass, in this case, would be to cut up an old CD instead. Pop off the hanger of the ornament and fill it with your glitter of choice: snowflakes, confetti, or whatever suits your style.
Then, turning again to your hot glue gun, cover the outside of your ornament with your bits of glass (or cut-up CD) to create an irregular disco ball effect!
Reattach the ornament hanger and adorn your tree or garland with your fabulous and on-budget glittery orb. As you can see, broken mirrors and glass isn’t always a tragedy!
It can present endless opportunities to be creative and bring a unique style and life into your home and decor. Happy crafting!