How to Bedazzle a Mirror With Costume Jewelry

If you’ve been hanging on to a trunk-load of old costume jewelry that you simply can't part ways with, consider using it to create a spectacular, bedazzled mirror. It's a fascinating and very pretty way to present a mirror that will let you see the beauty of your costume jewelry daily rather than keeping the pieces hidden in a box. All you'll need to turn your vision into a reality is a plain mirror awaiting transformation, your costume jewelry and a sturdy hot glue gun.


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    Select suitable jewelry. Be sure that it's okay to use all the pieces you select (you don't want to be gluing a family heirloom to the mirror) and that they can be arranged around the mirror in a stylish and interesting way. You will need to decide whether you'd like color continuity or just a jumble of colors and whether size uniformity matters or not. It really depends on how eclectic a result you're happy with, what pieces are available for use and the décor where you'll be hanging the mirror. For example, the room you plan to house the mirror in may have a warm color scheme but your jewelry is darker, in which case, you'll need to find different pieces.
    • Other bits and pieces that align well with the costume jewelry can be included too, such as beads, buttons, rhinestones, etc.
    • Group jewelry based on design. You may have certain eras of vintage jewelry (such as pieces from the 1940’s versus items from the 1970’s) that may not work harmoniously together.
    • Avoid choosing pieces that are flaking or chipped unless you're willing to paint or decorate them back to good condition. Broken pieces might actually be okay if you can glue them back into their original formation or if the broken pieces actually look okay separated.
    • If you don't have enough pieces of costume jewelry of your own, there are plenty of budget sources, such as local thrift stores, online auctions and live auctions of estate items.
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    Select or purchase a plain mirror. If you already own a mirror that you don't know what to do with, this might be the perfect solution. Otherwise, head down to a mirror supplier, a local garage/yard sale or thrift store and purchase a new or used mirror that could be massively improved. There's no need to spend a lot––this mirror will turn into something spectacular after you've glued on the costume jewels. Importantly, this mirror needs to be able to accommodate the amount of jewels you intend to use, and their size.
    • Be certain that there is sufficient space for the mirror in your house. That said, it is actually recommended that you start with a small mirror for your first project, as you're more likely to find it an easy starter project.
    • Some frames around mirrors may accommodate the costume jewelry, while others might not. This will require sizing up the benefits of a framed or non-framed mirror at the time of purchase. Which type will look better with the type of jewelry you own?
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    If you plan on hanging the bedazzled mirror, check the hanging apparatus on the back of it. The mirror will need to be able to support the added weight you're going to glue onto it and it's easiest to deal with this aspect before adding the costume jewelry. If the mirror already has strong hanging hook or wire on the back, that's great. However, if not (for example, it only has string stapled to the back of it), you'll need to strengthen it. The recommended hanging equipment is eye hooks with wire threaded through. This will provide the maximum strength needed.
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    Sketch or plan the mirror's border design. Once you're happy with the jewelry pieces and have the mirror, it's time to plan. Planning will help you to decide for sure which pieces are going to be useful and which need to be broken down further or not included at all. If you're not feeling particularly inspired, it's recommended that you do an online image search for "jeweled mirrors", which will return many ideas to inform your design.
    • Place the jewels around the frame of the mirror to get an idea of how it will eventually look.
    • Move pieces around and create designs until you are satisfied. Think symmetry when putting together two pieces that are the same (same color, shape, size, style, etc.), such as aligning them in exactly the spot on either side of the mirror.
    • If you have many pieces, you may want to label each piece with a small piece of tape and a corresponding number to avoid forgetting the placement.
    • Create a map on a piece of paper so you will know where each piece will eventually go. Alternatively, take a digital photograph of your end design, for ease of reference as you begin gluing the pieces into place.
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    Disassemble your jewelry as needed. In many cases, you'll need to remove findings and other elements from the costume jewelry, just so that it sits flat and glues on tightly. In some cases, you might even need to break down certain pieces of jewelry into smaller elements (your planning should have revealed where this is needed). To remove findings, use a wire cutter and needle nose pliers.
    • Remove any findings that will simply get in the way, such as the studs/fasteners on earrings, brooch pins, settings around jewels, etc.
    • If a jewel is of especial interest but the setting is broken or undesirable, remove the jewel with care.
    • Be careful, especially handling older pieces, which may be particularly delicate.
    • Place discarded chains or jewelry pieces in a bowl or separate area Don’t automatically toss what you may not think you need––you never know until the mirror is complete and even then, these pieces may come in handy for a different craft project.
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    Prepare the work space. Lay down newspaper to collect wayward drips when making the border.
    • Lay the mirror on a flat surface. Make sure the surface is very sturdy and is an easy-to-access work area.
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    • Place your design plan next to your work project for ease of following.
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    • For a glue gun rest, use a tin lid, piece of foil or similar item to rest the glue gun in/on between use, to avoid a build-up of drips on your work surface.
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    Glue the costume jewelry to your mirror. The easiest way to add the costume jewelry to the mirror is using a hot glue gun. However, you can also use rubber cement or liquid nails, especially for any items that don't seem to stay put with just the hot glue gun backing. To apply:
    • Place a dab of glue on the back of the jewelry piece. Then gently press it down against the glass or frame in the position shown by your design.
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    • Hold in place for a few seconds until it adheres to the mirror.
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    • Continue around the mirror, taking care to shift items to their exact position before the glue sets.
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    • Infill any gaps with small items such as buttons, broken pieces of jewelry, beads, etc., if desired. Alternatively, leave the original surface beneath to shine through.
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    Allow the bedazzled mirror to dry while still laying on the flat surface. Leave the mirror on the surface for up to 24 hours to ensure the glue has completely dried.
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    Display the bedazzled mirror. If hanging, ensure that the wall mount is strong enough for the mirror before hanging. If not, replace it first. Have another person help you to hang the mirror, holding it underneath while you check that it's level, etc. This will also help should the wall mount prove unsteady––your helper can catch the mirror if it falls. Once you're happy with the placement of the mirror, stand back and admire the final result!
    • If your mirror is going to lean against a wall, sit in a stand or has its own stand, again be sure to test that the placement is level and safe for the mirror before walking away.


  • If you want the border underneath the bejeweled part of the mirror to appear a certain color, paint the border with acrylic paint before commencing with the addition of the costume jewelry pieces.
  • Consider creating a special mirror like this for the relative who gave you the jewelry (especially if you are using her jewelry). Make sure, however that she would be comfortable knowing that you repurposed it instead of decided to wear it.
  • Take care if you plan to hang the mirror. Avoid holding the mirror by the jeweled pieces as they may break off or shift during the hanging process.


  • Keep the jewelry pieces out of the reach of small children and pets––glittery pieces might attract their attention.
  • Work with care when pulling apart pieces of jewelry––some of the pieces may be sharp.
  • Always check with family members surrounding questionable pieces––you don’t want to pull jewelry apart that could be either valuable or sentimental to other members of the family.

Things You'll Need

  • Costume jewelry (and any other relevant bits and pieces)
  • Mirror - whether it is framed or not is up to you and the design effect you're after but you do need to be sure that the frame will actually work if adding jewelry to it
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Liquid nails or rubber cement (optional but possibly helpful)
  • Newspaper for work surface
  • Tin, foil or some other container/surface for resting hot glue gun on as you work
  • Strong wire and eye hooks for hanging the mirror
  • Digital camera or paper and marker for making design pattern

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