Monday, July 18, 2011

My DIY, Restoration Hardware Inspired Rope Mirror

Today at Apartment Therapy I'm posting on one of my favorite elements from baby Saf's room, but I had to share it here as well.
A few years ago, I incorporated RH's Iron & Rope mirror into my greenhouse garden bath that I drew up for a "dream bath" mood board for Apartment Therapy:

and I've been minorly obsessed with it ever since. So when I set about creating Saf's nursery, it was the one thing that I really wanted for the room. One reason I loved the mirror was its subtly nautical vibe. My grandfather, whom Saf is partially named after (his middle name) was a sailor, and I wanted to incorporate some nautical elements in without making the room beachy or too cute. The mirror was a perfect way to achieve exactly what I wanted, but at 35.5" and $650.00 it was too big and too $600 too expensive. I had about half of that for the entire room!

When I thought about how to recreate the look myself, I knew that the rope was going to be essential.
I finally got my inspiration while hanging out in my local hardware store (love to do that, it's where I get some of my best ideas) perusing the hinges and bolts when I spotted them--huge brushed metal eye hooks! After that the idea came together quite quickly since I already had a mirror in mind, IKEA's GRUNDTAL mirror which is a sizable 27.5" and a mere $29.99:

It has a raised stainless steel frame. It wasn't quite the bulky industrial piece that I has originally wanted, but when I pictured it with the rope and eye hooks I knew it would do the trick. 

Here's the process:

  • First I attached heavy duty picture wire to the back of the mirror, and secured a heavy duty picture hook to the wall (it's not an especially heavy mirror, but since it's in a child's room I went the better safe than sorry route)
  • Next I hung the mirror, and measured a half an inch on either side where I marked where I wanted each eye hook to go
  • Then I measured 1 foot directly above the center of the mirror where I marked the spot where I wanted the top of the rope to hit
  • Then I took the mirror off the wall, pre-drilled holes, and then screwed the eye hooks into the wall  
  • Next I screwed a regular screw into the wall at the place I had marked for the top of the rope to hit
  • After I filled the cavity of an antique doorknob with glue and placed it over the screw in the wall (purely decorative, the doorknob doesn't actually hold any weight, just masks the screw like a cover).
  • After, I tied the rope to one eye hook, draped the middle section of the rope over the doorknob , gently pulled the rope taught, then tied the other end of the rope to the remaining eye hook.
  • For looks and to ensure the semi-loose knots did not unravel, I wrapped black wax cord around the end of each knot. 
  • I didn't like how the rope sagged, so I hammered a small nail through the center of the rope on each side of the mirror which held the rope in place. I simply pulled one strand of the rope over the nail head to mask it so it isn't visible to the eye.
  •  Then I hung the mirror on the picture hook. Voila!

I think it's a pretty good alternative to it's $650 inspiration:

Sidenote: I was most excited about using the doorknob at the top. That was the one part that I hadn't quite figured out until I started putting holes in my wall :). I had thought about using this iron nail from BrookFarm General Store:

but it wasn't quite big enough for the rope I was using, and I wasn't sure how it would get along with our old plaster walls, so i thought I'd just put in a regular screw and hold out for something better. BUT when I was walking into the room I noticed that Saf's doorknob, original to our 1940s house, would be perfect! And, even better because I had an extra one since I had previously replaced the knob on my bedroom door with a flashier vintage crystal version (swiped from an old door buried in the garage of our previous home)--cha-ching!

The funny part is that I've been feeling like a total genius for the last several months everytime I look at that doorknob, but last week I spotted an eerily familiar sight on rockstar Eddie Ross's blog. He had used a doorknob as a hook too...with a mirror! Which I suppose still kind of makes me feel like a genius because, well, Eddie has a brilliant mind, and great minds think alike...right? Now if only I could come up with a approximately 1,000,000 other sweet ideas like Eddie and I'd be all set. Check out his beautiful doorknob/mirror combo here if you haven't already.  And all that brings me to my point, a point that I've been coming to a lot lately, and one that blogging makes very apparent, there really are no new ideas.


  1. This is fabulous and the best DIY rope mirror I have seen! I thought about doing something like this with the reclaimed mirror in my hallway but in the end the mirror which measures about 48" in diameter didn't need any extra embellishments. This is perfect!

  2. This blows my mind. You are a beast.

    1. This post a good one and I would love to share it if you like my rio 2016 Olympics streaming and NBA Scores Live Blog.

  3. thanks dudes!

    Emma, I adore your house! Whenever it pops up on a blog I get fluttery. Perfection!

    Alissa, you already know how I feel about you my muse :)

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  4. Great idea...I love when I can figure out how to make something for a fraction of the price - and the mirror looks great in the room!

  5. This is the best DIY I have seen in awhile! It looks better than the store baught ones! And the blue wall behind it is yummy. Great post!

  6. Finger erro- I mean't bOUght not BAUght ;)

  7. Ok, maybe there are no new ideas, but this one is pure brilliance. I love me some Moss Eclectic!

  8. Leah,
    It looks great and would equally good in a grown-up space! I remember when my sun was a toddler and I was obsessed with making shades for his room with rope and puleys...boy could I have used some blog inspiration then!

  9. Thank you so much. I have been in love with that mirror for awhile, but the price was out of the question. sometimes look-a-likes just don't work, but you nailed it! (no pun intended:)

  10. Nothing short of Amazing!! Loved the mirror, you got me scouting cool rope! I apologize if there's none left!!! Rope and chain u can't go wrong.

  11. I looks terrific! I'm with you about all the safety features you added in to make sure that mirror doesn't go anywhere. Love the blue wall in Saf's room too.

  12. It really does look better than the store one, what a great project, its just perfect against the blue wall too, great job!
    Enjoying ur blog:)

  13. Love it! One question....How many feet of rope did you buy, and where did you find it?

  14. This is AMAZING!!! I'm redoing my little man's room with a nautical theme and this would be so perfect - thanks for posting!

  15. Genius! Love it! Thanks for sharing. The door nob really makes it.

  16. Genius! Love it! Thanks for sharing. The door nob really makes it.

  17. Honestly, I think your version looks better than Pottery Barns!

  18. Hi! I love your blog and just wanted to let you know that you actually helped inspire my own rope mirror. Thanks for the inspiration!

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