Create Unique Wall Art For Under $25 Using An Old Mirror & Wood Shims

Deer Run Revamps
by Deer Run Revamps
7 Materials
75 Minutes

Who doesn't need wall art pieces? I know I still have bare walls...2 years after moving in! 🤦‍♀️

This project is super easy and inexpensive!

We always come across cheap (sometimes free) mirrors while going to estate sales, garage sales, auctions ect. and really wanted to figure out a way to use them. I have many ideas, but here is one example.......

**Price is based off of the amount of product will have plenty of stain and wax leftover for dozens more projects

**I've also included $8 for mirror price (our mirror was free)

**Time is based off of actual work time, dry time not included

Before shot

Grab an old mirror, any size. Ours is 28"x22"

This size worked really well with the shims. We only needed to cut one to fit

We used 3 packs of shims (27 shims to be exact). These can be found in the lumber section of most home improvement stores, check the end caps.

Shims are usually used in the building industry to level out things such a as cabinets before screwing them into place. They are shaped a lot like door jams, thicker at one end going thinner at the other. This is perfect for getting a textured look.

Each pack of shims is a bit different. Look at the wood coloring and pick packs that have a bunch of different colors in them for a variety of looks. I love pronounced wood grain, so I looked for that as well

Since I refinish furniture for a living, I have quite the inventory. I went into my stain cabinet and picked out 6 colors that I thought would look great together.


*Dark Walnut

*Weathered Gray

*Carbon Gray (my personal favorite)

*Vintage Aqua

*Red Mahogany

You don't have to use this many colors, you don't even have to stain the shims at all, this is the creative process and completely up to you. We also thought about doing an ombre pattern next 🤔

Grab some supplies such as an old paintbrush that you don't mind throwing out afterwards (I hate cleaning up oil based products), and a couple sponge applicators.

Put on a pair of gloves and apply the stains to the shims.

When applying the stain, immediately wipe off the excess with paper towels or rags.

I mixed it up a bit with a few shims and applied one color to half the shim and another color to the other half. Or just a stripe down the middle with one color, and another color on the sides. Create unique patterns and looks with the stains

I left a couple of the darker colored shims natural.

You can see the variety of color and they all go with one another.

While allowing the stain to dry, move onto the frame.

I didn't want to leave the mirror frame plain ole' white because that's just not my style.

Clean the frame first. I used Frenchic's Sugar Soap. It's a non toxic cleaner that's great to use before painting or sanding.

To get the look on the mirror, I took my electric sander with 150 grit sandpaper on it and heavily distressed the mirror.

*Before sanding, make sure your frame is wood and not plastic

I then went over it with Frenchic Furniture Paint's clear wax. These waxes are the best on the market! They are so creamy, go on smooth, and don't even have to be buffed! I personally prefer a matte-satin finish, so I usually choose not to buff the wax. But if you want a more glossy finish, buff away 😁

And the microfiber car wax sponges that I use for furniture wax, love them! I get them off Amazon. They make it really easy and apply the wax evenly

Now, grab Frenchic's Browning Wax and a small detail paintbrush

Add the browning first to the details and nooks & crannies.

Then take the wax sponge and go over the entire frame with Browning Wax. This will darken the color as well as the wood that's peaking through.

Frenchic's Browning Wax is a versatile product. I use it all the time for aging pieces, but it can also be used as a wood stain! If you put it on bare wood, the wood will soak up the wax and give a beautiful medium-dark brown color as well as seal it.

Silly me was so excited to get the shims into place, I totally forgot to clean the mirror first. It took me forever to clean the mirror after the shims were in place and info not recommend it 😆 So, clean the mirror now

The fun part....lay out the stained shims in the design you want. Again, you can get creative, you don't have to follow this exact design if you're not in love with it.

But, if you want to recreate this design, you'll lay down that middle row first. Then the top row so that the end butts up to the shims in the middle row, and finally lay down the bottom row, again butting up the edges to the middle row pieces. If using the same size mirror that we did, you should only need to cut one shim. They are really easy to cut by hand. A good pair of scissors or tin snips do the job perfectly. Measure and cut the thin strip you need to finish up the bottom.

For the texture, we did 2 shims facing one way, 2 shims the other way, continuing on with this alternating sequence for each row. This allows some thick ends to butt up/lay next to thin ends, as well as some to match up - thick-thick, thin-thin.

Now that you have your design laid out, you can glue the shims into place.

We used E6000. It's a great glue that we use for majority of our projects. Home improvement stores sell it as does Walmart and Amazon.

You don't want the glue to ooze out so don't put too much

We applied 3 dots - top, middle, bottom.. and then carefully put it back down into place.

Press it down firmly and make any slight adjustments needed to get it into the right spot

Continue on gluing each piece down until your deisgn is complete

You can see the texture really well in this shot

Finished Project

There's so much room for creativity here, which I love!

We'll definitely be doing more in the future 😉

I'm totally in love with how this came out! And it was just so easy!

Now for the real test...put it in our store and see if it sells 🤔

I love seeing the mirror in the random knots ♥️

Even the frame has that rustic charm 😍

I really hope this tutorial has inspired you to grab some shims and get creative! ♥️♥️

You find even more projects on our Facebook page

(Linked below)

You can also check out our Etsy shop for all your project needs!

We carry Frenchic Furniture Paint and products, Redesign With Prima goodies, along with Retique It Liquid Wood and gel stains

Use code THANKYOU10 at checkout for 10% off 😁

Thank you for reading! Now head to the store, grab your supplies and get started 😉♥️

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 6 questions
  • Mary McDonald Mary McDonald on Feb 09, 2021

    For a rustic look, not bad as it’s not a style I prefer. Looking at it, I can see the optical illusion of the shims taking shape. But then again, it sorta looks like a sample board of stains, lol! I just thought of something. What if next time you were to do a piece in “perspective”? That would be cool too. Or one where it looks like the mirrors go on forever?

    However yours is very cool and I’d be proud to hand it on a wall in my living room 😊

  • Linda Sowell Renew Linda Sowell Renew on Feb 09, 2021

    What did you use for tree design on wall in hallway?

  • Mary Mary on Mar 01, 2021

    Can anyone help me--Just saw a bunny rabbit made out of a pallet for outside but can not find it again--maybe the rabbit ran away thanks

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