Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Spooky Halloween Mirror: Happy Hauntings!

Hey there, friends!  So this week's Halloween craft post was inspired by a craft I used to make at summer camp.  By scraping off the backing of a mirror, you can place an image behind it and make it look like it is in your mirror--or like your reflection is replace by whatever image you place behind it. (The wheels start turning.....) Hey--perfect idea for Halloween or what?! :)  The possibilities of making ghostly visitors appear in these Halloween decorations is endless. (See Jack, the Pumpkin King, gracing us with his ghostly presence in the mirror below.)

The Pumpkin King looks like he is wanting to join me on my couch for a visit
So off I went to the dollar store to buy myself a mirror.  If you have vinyl and a razor blade on-hand, this nifty little craft will cost you just the price of the mirror, i.e. $1 from the Dollar store!  Thanks, little green store.

First, since this was a cheap mirror, the cardboard backing was attached in a manner that I could only get to the glass itself by cutting away a portion of the cardboard.  This is actually pretty common. So, if needed, use an X-acto knife or razor to cut away a portion of the backing where you would like your "spooky" "ghostly" visitor/image to appear.  (I.e. if you want it just in the bottom of the left-hand side, cut out a square on the back in the bottom right, so that when you turn it around it will be where you want it. Etc.)

First make sure you can actually get to the back of the glass portion of the mirror.
Next, use your razor to scrape away the reflecting backing on the mirror.  Most mirrors are actually just glass with this other substance painted or coating one side of it.  If you scrape it away, you then get clear glass.  
Scrap through the backing to make it clear where you want your image to appear, but leave edges rough and feathered to make it appear more "spooky" and more a part of the mirror.
Note: Don't get too anxious in your scraping.  You want your image to come through and be able to be seen, but you want it to look like it is really there; thus, if you scrape away too much around the outside of your image it will not look as natural a "part" of the mirror.  I made this mistake this time because I forgot to measure well enough the sizing of my image.  It would have looked better if I had just scraped right around the exact shape of my image, and none of the empty "fill space" inbetween. Also, it adds to the spooky effect if the image doesn't come through quite perfectly.  Feather the edges and have fun. Keep wiping it clean and placing your printed image behind to check and see how it looks from the other side.  

Now, I don't like too scary of images, so for my ghoul/ghost I went with the more "fun" choice of Jack, the Pumpkin King from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can obviously pick a really spooky, tortured face or whatever suits your fancy (or fear) to make your mirror playful, scary, or just intriguing (throw in a picture of Einstein!  Why wouldn't his ghost come to visit your intellectual house?).  You decide.  But once you have your image chosen, print it out and cut it to the correct size (based on how much of your mirror you want it to cover).  

Finally, once you are satisfied with the scraping "show-through" vs. not, tape your image to the back of the mirror. 

For some finishing touches, try scraping away some of the corners to look like webbing, or add a vinyl spider's web using our "frosted glass vinyl."  For my mirror, I did the following:

* Cut out a vinyl web on my Silhouette using "Frosted Glass Vinyl."  I also used a scrap of this vinyl to make my string for my spider to hang from. I chose this type of vinyl for the web since it is slightly see-through.
            --Idea:  Use Frosted Glass Vinyl to make simple ghosts for your windows or other mirrors in your house (ones that you want to have be normal during the rest of the year).  It works great, can come off easily, and looks fantastic as ghosts in your front window!  You'll thank me. 
* Cut out a phrase in black vinyl (we have 9" and 12") for my mirror in a Halloween inspired script, and a spider to finish it off.  Again, I used black vinyl, and for my font I used one that I downloaded online called "Shipped Goods 2". I love it.  
* I also scraped a little around some of the other edges to create a spooky look.  Not sure that I like it paired with my cute vinyl web, but it ties in the spooky image well.

And there you have it.  Spooky mirror to add to your Hauntingly Awesome Halloween DIY decorations.  Happy Hauntings!!

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