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How to make carnival mirrors

Updated April 17, 2017

Carnival mirrors, or funhouse mirrors, are a memorable part of a day at the fair for many kids. Carnival mirrors allow children to see themselves in a funny way that ordinary mirrors do not allow. These mirrors can show an image as wider, thinner or wavy. Carnival mirrors play with the science of reflection through angles and perspective. You can make carnival mirrors at home as a fun craft or an addition to a Halloween haunted house. Create a row of these fun mirrors for the neighbourhood kids to walk through and see their reflections shift along the way.

Remove the original mirrors from the frames you have bought or found. These will serve as the new frames for your carnival mirrors. Obtain the largest frames possible in relatively the same size. Find at least four frames for your carnival mirror wall.

Measure each frame and make a note of each set of figures. The measurement you will want is of the inside rectangle of each frame, as this will dictate how large a piece of Mylar you will require for each mirror.

Measure a sheet of Mylar for each frame. Decide what type of mirror you want to create with each one. To create a mirror that plays with concavity or convexity, you should measure two pieces that are longer than their frames by 2 inches. Complete this measurement for two frames lengthwise and two frames widthways.

Tape the top and bottom of the longer pieces of Mylar to the top and bottom of their respective frames. Leave the middle free. Tape the left and right sides of the remaining two pieces to the left and right sides of their respective frames.

Push one of the lengthwise mirrors and one of the widthways mirrors in, making the surface concave. Pull the remaining two forward, making them convex. These effects will show all different shapes and sizes in the mirrors.

Warning

The effects from carnival mirrors can be disorienting, so warn visitors beforehand in case their children are young or have certain illnesses that may cause anxiety or any other difficulties.

Things You'll Need

  • Mirrored Mylar sheets
  • Large mirror frames
  • Double-sided tape
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About the Author

Rosalind Mohammed began writing in 2002. She contributes to various websites, specializing in writing about art and design-related topics. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design and an honors Bachelor of Arts in English and fine art history from the University of Toronto.