How to Make a Mantra Mirror

comments (7) January 26th, 2009     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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Write a message that speaks to you on your mantra mirror and change it up when the mood strikes.
A plain mirror can be restyled into a feng shui mantra mirror in just a few hours.
Your first coat of paint probably wont look too sharp, but just wait until you add a second coat.
Write a message that speaks to you on your mantra mirror and change it up when the mood strikes.

Write a message that speaks to you on your mantra mirror and change it up when the mood strikes.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

After a rocky start to the new year, my friend Sandra Watson (an amazing event planner and seamstress) came over to my place last week to help me improve the feng shui of my apartment. I can’t do anything about the fact that the toilet is in my prosperity corner, but I have been working on improving my relationships/love corner and my bedroom (interestingly, my fame/reputation area; go figure). I moved the mountains of magazines and books out of the bedroom and replaced them with a saucy burgundy lamp. It’s important to bring a bit more red into the bedroom. I found a mirror that my mom had given me tucked behind a door. It was sort of plain Jane, with a rectangular wood frame.

A plain mirror can be restyled into a feng shui mantra mirror in just a few hours. 

It’s at about this time that the lightbulb appeared above my head.

I would paint the mirror red!

And then I realized that I needed to whip up a Valentine’s Day project for CraftStylish. I’m a bit down on love at present, having just gone through an unexpected breakup (rocky start to the new year and all). So instead of coming up with hearts and flowers, I thought the love should begin at home, meaning with me, for me.

Originally, I thought I’d tole paint song lyrics or quotes around the restyled frame. But three things happened to change my mind. First, I accidentally took Vicodin instead of Ibuprofin and got nauseous and sleepy. Finishing this project on time became an issue. Second, the frame was curved and beveled and didn't really have a good surface to paint a message (and my handwriting is pretty bad even without this challenge). Third, after the Vicodin wore off, I brainstormed with a friend and came up with an even better idea. Cue the lightbulb.

Using lipstick or dry-erase pens, I created a mantra mirror, a place where I could change up empowering or loving messages to myself as needed. Happy Valentine’s Day to me.

You’ll need:

  • Newspapers
  • Mirror with wood frame
  • 150-grade sandpaper
  • Edging or masking tape
  • Small, flat paintbrush for primer and base color
  • Primer
  • Acrylic paint (I used Homefront interior satin acrylic paint, color 17207 red spice)
  • Paper plate
  • Deft satin polyurethane spray varnish
  • Dry-erase marker or lipstick

Step 1: Lay down newspapers on your workspace. To prep your frame for paint, sand the frame until smooth with sandpaper. Wipe with a damp cloth and let dry. With edging or masking tape, tape off the edges of the mirror to prevent any primer or paint from spilling onto the mirror’s surface.

Sand the wood frame to prep it for primer and paint. 


Use some edging tape to protect the mirror while painting.

Step 2: Use a flat brush to paint a coat of primer evenly on the surface. Allow to dry (about 1 hour). Repeat if the surface color is still showing through. Again, let it dry. Clean your brush after each use with soap and water.

If the wood is dark, start with a primer. 


Make sure the primer is dry before breaking out your acrylic paint. 

Step 3: Paint a base color all over the surface. Allow to dry (again, about an hour between coats), and paint a second coat. Let dry thoroughly. Cover the mirror with newspaper, then in a well-ventilated area (i.e., outside), spray a clear varnish over the frame to protect your paint job. Let dry.

Your first coat of paint probably won't look too sharp, but just wait until you add a second coat. 

Step 4: Now the fun begins. Think of a fun quote, mantra, or song lyric and with a dry-erase marker or lipstick, carefully write it across the top or bottom of the mirror. Hang your mirror and admire the beauty within.

A few mirror-worthy phrases:

  • Love the one you’re with
  • Living well is the best revenge
  • Love is in the air
  • Go big or go home
  • Live out loud
  • Change starts now
  • Here’s looking at you, kid
  • Who’s the fairest of them all?
  • Live abundantly
  • I’m 32 flavors and then some
  • This one goes to 11

Hang the finished mirror in your bedroom or love corner for serious self-love. I added a lipstick smooch to drive my messae home.

To change your mantra, use dry-erase remover spray or window cleaner and a paper towel to clean the mirror.

What would your mirror say to you?

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

posted in: red, paint, restyle, Valentines Day, Love, feng shui

Comments (7)

jansonmc writes: wait im confused in all the feng shui i have studied you should not have a mirror in your bedroom
Posted: 12:56 pm on August 13th
paperrain writes: I look forward to doing this. And this mantra you have on here, this is PERFECT!
Posted: 3:33 pm on February 5th
MallysGirl writes: I love this!! :) I definitely want to try this using either one of these:

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.
Love is the essence of life.

Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 2:08 pm on January 28th
Jen_W writes: I think you could do with for about $15, depending on if you have any brushes, sandpaper, or spray varnish already around the house. It was suprisingly cheap. I bought most everything at my local Ace Hardware.
Posted: 9:00 pm on January 27th
sewcraftyithurts writes: How exciting! I have an old mirror that has a lot of attitude, but no good uses as the mirror glass has black spots where it doesn't reflect. This would be a neat resurrection for it. Thanks! JP

What would your budget for this project be? Assuming mirror was already owned?
Posted: 6:27 pm on January 27th
Punkinhead writes: I have two favorite quotes! The first, which was printed on my wedding "program" is "You can't win if you don't play." The second is my favorite life-guiding quote: "It's never too old to be what you might have been."

Thanks for sharing - I need to feng shui my house.
Posted: 9:22 pm on January 26th
JenniferStern writes: I'm going to transform my ordinary mirror into a mantra mirror. It's the perfect way to keep what's important in my life right in front of my eyes...sometimes when it gets really busy, I can forget the real gig is!!! Thanks ...also, being a Chapstick girl, I have lots of Clinique Lipstick (that comes with the "free gift with purchase" sitting in a drawer just waiting for this opportunity!)
Posted: 1:58 pm on January 26th
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