I recently made a cute and poignant feminist DIY project that I’m so thrilled so share with you! As you know, I’m pursuing a PhD in Feminist and Gender studies and I’ve been struggling for a way to combine my academic pursuits and my passion for making things. This craftivist project combines my two loves perfectly – and there’s even some mint and a yard sale find involved!
I just love how my stenciled mirror turned out! Thanks to the help of a custom stencil, I stenciled an important feminist message on a mirror, as a daily reminder of the social construction of what is beautiful. I need this reminder in my life.
Here’s how I made this stenciled mirror:
First I painted a cute, ornate frame that I found yard saling last summer. Using a small paintbrush, I primed it first, then applied three coats of a pale, pale turquoise (the same paint I used for the framed bakelite brooches). Spray paint would make this task a little easier, but I started tackling this project when it was still too cold to paint outside.
Unfortunately, my attempts to simply tape off the frame were ultimately unsuccessful because you could see the underside of the frame reflected in the glass. Oops. So, I quickly took it apart, painted the back and inner edge of the frame, then put it back together.
Word to the wise: take a mirror apart before painting!
Now for the fun part! I was inspired by this feminist warning I saw on Pinterest:
I ordered a custom stencil from Stencils Online with these same words. Stencils Online create amazing custom stencils and are super DIY savvy. Once I had sent over my designs, they provided me with proofs, offering me a variety of options and making sure I was 100% happy during the entire process. Once I was satisfied with the font, size, and layout, I was sent two durable, polyester film (Mylar) custom stencils.
I used a temporary spray adhesive to keep the stencil from slipping once it was positioned in place. I covered everything but the stencil with newspaper and then I lightly misted the stencil with thin, even coats of white Krylon Primer (leftover from these play kitchen projects). I figured primer would grip the glass really well – just rolling on latex paint did not work.
It kind of looks like it has been etched, no? That could actually be another way to emblazon a mirror with this feminist statement, but spray paint was easy and affordable for me.
It looks more faded in the photos above because I took them at an angle to avoid getting yours truly in the shot. Do you have any idea how darn hard it is to photograph a mirror?
Now I have a beautiful “new” mirror, with a feminist twist! And my penchant for ornate mirrors has officially blossomed into a full-blown obsession! Remember my DIY magnetic message board, card display and vintage framed bakelite brooches? I need a support group.
If you’re thinking of doing a project with custom stencils, alphabet stencils or decorative lettering, I highly recommend Stencils Online because their customer service, pricing and product can’t be beat!
Curious about my second stenciled mirror project? Click the link to see!