Makeover — Yard Sale Mirror Two Ways

by Diana Durkes

Get your DIY on as our furniture and accessories makeover specialist, Contributor Diana Durkes joins us again today. Diana gives “New Life to the Tossed and Found” at her blog, Fine Diving in Chicago.

DIY Mirror with Felt Polka Dots

I was excited to find this framed mirror at a yard sale last weekend. The square shape was friendly, though its industrial grey paint color gave a mixed message. I thought its makeover potential was a bargain for $8, but what to do with it besides change the color?

Yard Sale Mirror Before

Driving home, mirror in the back seat, I mentally sorted through the on-hand materials I have to give it some surface decoration. Not a packrat (that would be my husband); I’m more of a selective saver. I try to qualify materials by asking, “Will I really be able to use this in the next three months?”

Fabric, printed paper and an array of leftover paint are always in stock in my inventory, but I try to stay disciplined for smaller items, knowing the world doesn’t really need a Museum of Bread-Bag Tabs.


To change the color of the frame, I roughed up the old surface with sandpaper, and then used two coats of orange-red semigloss I had on hand.


When the paint was totally dry, I played with the arrangement of the random felt circles on the frame. I taped them on with loops of scotch tape, making the frame easy to change again at anytime.

Here’s a comparison of the plain and polka-dot frame.


Diana DurkesWhich do you prefer? I’d love to know if you’d try a similar treatment, and whether you think it’s more decorative arts or preschool project?


Diana Durkes is a creative recycler and a confessed alley shopper. She gives a makeover to one found item each week, and publishes the before & after on her blog, Fine Diving in Chicago.

She also writes the Tossed and Found column for Time Out Chicago and pens the blog Garage Sale Warrior for the Chicago Trib’s Chicago Now.

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4 Comments for “Makeover — Yard Sale Mirror Two Ways”

This is fun. I guess you can change it up, whenever the notion strikes, or your mood changes!

The basic red is better in my opinion. The one with the coloured dots would be GREAT in a kids room though.

It entirely depends on where you intend to use it. The polka-dot one seems fun, whimsical, kitschy even – but wouldn’t fit in any of the rooms in my home. The solid finish one would.

I think its a great idea! You can always change up the color or add vintage buttons or found sea shells or sand dollars if you would prefer a “beach theme” for your bathroom. You could change the paint color to an aqua blue and use a spray adhesive with white sand from your local garden center. The possibilites are endless!

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