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Espejitos (small mirrors in Spanish)
Submitted by Pam on Thu, 12/11/2008 - 17:37
Get acquainted with the beautiful arts and crafts of Mexico, beginning with these lovely mirrors, the inspiration for my colorful small mirror ornaments. And while you are visiting the mirrors, do a little exploring on the site. So much artistic talent there to enjoy (and of course to purchase.)
I have loved the painted tin mirrors from Mexico ever since I can remember. Being raised in Santa Fe, I was in the perfect place to be exposed to them at a very early age. So it was probably just natural that while I was working on my punched tin tutorial, I would think of making these small mirrors. It sort of happened the minute I put a little mirror in the middle of the punched tin star!
HERE IS HOW TO MAKE THEM
First you will need 36 gauge tooling foil, which is almost always available in craft stores. However, you can order it online here and save a lot of money.
In addition to tooling foil, you will need:
Sharpie fine point permanent markers in the colors of your choice. (Bright primary colors work well)
Mirrors (1" x 1"square, 1" round, or ovals about 2"x2 1/2", etc. Available at most craft stores
Embellishments (we used self-stick gems and dots)
Aleene's Tacky Glue
2" eyepins (optional)
How to make them
Using scissors, cut the tooling foil into the shape you wish. I used a simple square shape here, but you can make it any shape you choose. Cookie cutters make great templates to trace, and are usually about the right size.
Place the mirror in the center of the foil and trace around it with the pencil. (The pencil will leave a lightly embossed line rather than a pencil mark.) This line will be your guide for the placement of the mirror. Set the mirror aside.
Begin drawing your design onto the foil, using that pencil to emboss. Avoid the area that will be covered by the mirror. If your design involves strong geometric shapes like squares, you may find that a ruler comes in handy. But freehand designs work just as well.
I am using the ruler here to help me make straight lines for the sun rays, but the flowers were drawn freehand.
When you're happy with the embossing, you can add color using the Sharpies. If you want to emulate Mexican art in your design, bright colors are a hallmark. Also keep in mind, nothing needs to be perfect.
Now add those lovely embellishments. I used the self-stick variety, but you can also glue the little beauties to the mirror. I suggest you use only flat bottomed gems or other embellishments. I have learned the hard way that round beads don't stay on very well.
Place a dot of glue in the area marked off for the mirror, and set the mirror in place. Diane suggests gluing an eyepin to the back for hanging. As for me... I just punch a small hole near the top and call it good!
And here it is! Beautiful! And I just can't believe how reflective and sparkly these are on my tree. Don't you want to make one RIGHT NOW!
You may sort of recognize this little adaptation of Diane's Light Collars made from used aluminum tea light cups. I think it makes a fabulous small mirror ornament. And it is a very easy project for older children to make - as long as they handle the metal very carefully to avoid cuts. I believe aluminum pie plates would work for this craft, but I have never actually done any crafting using them. If you make a small mirror using pie plates, let me know how it turns out.
And of course, Diane went way beyond the simple craft I started with! She began layering - metal on metal, mirror on mirror, mirror on metal on mirror! I just LOVE these.
But wait.... I can do cool stuff too! See! Would have been better though if I didn't have such a greatly exaggerated opinion of my freehand abilities. A ruler would have helped this out - but then again, I don't mind it being a little "off".
Get out that tooling foil, some sparkly stuff and a few Sharpies and get busy! Christmas is only 14 days away.