How to Make Fabric Covered Mirrors

Updated April 17, 2017

It's the small, unexpected touches in decorating that pulls a room together. In this case, fabric-framed mirrors will draw the eye to their decorative value as well as their utilitarian purpose, Whether it's a handheld vanity mirror or a large wall mirror, you will like the results of your efforts.

Make a pattern by placing the handheld mirror on the wrong side of the fabric. Trace a line around the mirror. Use a tape measure to calculate how much more material you need to cover the side and front of the mirror. Calculate an extra quarter inch to turn under the raw edge. Add the extra inches to the original tracing and cut the fabric to measure.

Turn the raw edge of the material under ΒΌ inch and glue it in place with fabric glue. Allow edges to dry. Use a foam brush to sweep a small amount of fabric glue on the backside of the mirror. Adhere the fabric to the back and use your fingers to push the fabric back and forth in a seesawing motion. This works out air bubbles and allows the fabric to lie flat.

Turn the edges of the material over the side and around to the front. Use scissors to make small cuts in the fabric so that the edges can overlap each other and lie flat. Stick them in place with fabric glue. Snip away excess material. When all is smooth and dry, use a disposable foam brush to paint on a layer of Mod Podge. Allow that to dry and then do two or three more layers. Always dry between coats. Embellish with ribbon, gems or lace.

Ask an upholsterer for old leather or fabric scraps. Measure the front and sides of your mirror. Add at least 3 more inches to wrap around the back of the mirror frame. If you are able to remove the mirror from the frame, you will also wrap the fabric inside the frame. If it cannot be removed, the raw edge will be concealed with decorative cording.

Plan the pattern that will go around the front of the mirror. Cut strips of leather the width of the mirror front sides and back, add decorative fabric cut to that measure, and cut gold cord to embellish the quilt strip. Sew the edges of the leather and fabric together using a heavy sewing machine needle. Quilting this strip is a random project, so it is not necessary to have all fabric exactly the same length. Continue until you have a strip of sewn material the length and width of the mirror frame, plus an extra inch.

Cut a strip of foam batting the width and length of the front and sides of the mirror frame. Use fabric glue to adhere it to the backside of the quilt strip where it will fit onto the front of the frame. Leave the front turning edge and back of the mirror portion of the strip without batting for a better fit. Lay gold cord across the strip in a random pattern and sew it to the strip and foam batting with a zigzag stitch to attach the two pieces of material. Feed dogs on the machine may catch on the foam. Put a piece of waxed paper beneath the foam so it slides easily.

Lay the quilt strip on the frame and mark the corners with dressmaker's pencil. Measure from the corner around the back and cut a slit. Wrap the overlapping edges over each other. Trim away the excess material. Use hot glue gun to fix the strip to the front of the frame. Then glue the sides and mitred corners and continue around the back. Adjust the material so that it lies flat and even. Conceal the mitred corner cuts by gluing on the gold cord if you wish.

Finish the mirror by gluing the front in place. A frame without a mirror is easier to conceal the raw edge because it tucks under, but if the mirror cannot be removed, trim close to the mirror edge and hot glue decorative cording around the raw edge. Be sure that the quilted material stays in place by using short finishing nails on the sides and back.

Things You'll Need

  • Handheld mirror
  • Wooden-framed wall mirror
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Upholstery scraps
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavy sewing needle
  • ¼-inch deep foam batting
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Fabric glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Dressmaker pencil
  • Disposable foam brushes
  • Embellishments such as ribbon, gems, glittery cord or lace
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About the Author

Pat Olsen has over 35 years of experience as a professional journalist in California. She attended San Francisco State and Pacific College. Olsen has several published books, is a staff writer for Mill Creek Living Magazine, and currently writes for Demand Studio. She is a retired educator who still teaches twice a week.