Yes, I played along in Christy Nelson’s monthly craft challenge yet again this month. It definitely helped that I won this month’s kit free as a prize. Despite the challenging family life moments this past month, I managed to sit down for a few hours last Sunday and get my project completed.
The inspiration for this piece was a vintage mirrored music box my Granny had in her home. The music box played the theme to Love Story. Can’t say I’ve ever seen the movie, but it’s one of those identifiable pieces of music. This music box had a magnetic butterfly and somehow in the internal workings there was another magnet that moved around, giving the effect of the butterfly dancing about. It was a truly captivating piece as a child.
Last month, while on a trip to visit family, my sister and I were in a thrift store. They had one of the music boxes for sale. It was missing the butterfly, and my sister almost didn’t recognize it. I have no idea why I didn’t buy it at the time, I really should have! Especially now, as I found a way to recreate the butterfly. The original butterfly on the music box was a dainty plastic thing, but by using 2 pieces of the same paper, it gives nearly the same mirrored effect.
The elements provided by Christy’s challenge were:
- brown ribbon
- small wooden clothespins
- decorative paper bag
- metal tin
- foam tape
Supplies I purchased to create mirror:
- dollar store mirror
- wooden spools
- round magnets
- acrylic craft paint
- scrapbooking paper (Recollections “Glorious Garden” line from Michael’s)
Here are the supplies from my crafting stash. They missed the photo because I added many as I was working through the process:
- Mod Podge
- craft knife (X-acto style)
- foam brush (for Mod Podge & paint)
- hot glue gun & glue
- Kindergarten scissors
- glass cleaner
- paper towels
- rotary cutter, guide & mat
- foil tape (Oriental Trading Company)
I started the process by painting my wooden spool in a matching green color. Between coats, I disassembled the dollar store mirror. I had to use the craft knife to cut through some of the glue, but it wasn’t too difficult. I tested the magnets, one on each side of the mirror, to see how easily they moved. I decided to remove the thick corrugated cardboard on the back to make the magnets move more smoothly. The choice is yours. Ultimately I chose to wrap the edges of my mirror in the foil tape rather than glue the frame back on and have gaps. If you plan to share the project with a young child, I’d consider using both the cardboard and frame for added safety. If you choose not to use the cardboard, you can gently remove the hangers from the back and glue them to the piece at the end of the project or save them for another project. My hangers were slipped through a slit in the cardboard and held on by tape.
I continued to add coats of paint to my wooden spool. Next, I opened the decorative paper bag to use it as a pretty backing for my mirror. The bag opened pretty easily along the seams.
I used a foam brush to apply Mod Podge to both the paper and the back of the mirror. I used my brayer to make sure there were no bubbles or creases as I applied the paper to the mirror.
While the Mod Podge and paint dried, I cut out my butterflies and flowers from the scrapbook papers. I found that the Kindergarten style short scissors were most effective for cutting around the round edges and small spaces. I made sure to cut two of each butterfly, a top and a bottom. This required two identical sheets of scrapbook paper, but the effect is well worth it!
I chose to cut a round magnet down to the size of my wooden clothespins. I used the craft knife to score the magnets until I was able to snap it into the pieces I needed. While using my cutting mat, I took some of the remaining paper bag and cut a strip 1/2 inch wide to cover the bottom of the metal tin. The rotary cutter and guide made this amazingly easy.
Next was round two of Mod Podge. Using the same technique as before, I applied the cut out flower to the front of the mirror. I applied a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the paper as well. It was a trick to clean the Mod Podge off the glass between the flowers and petals, but I wanted everything to be neat. I also used the MP to attach the strip of paper bag around the bottom portion of the metal tin. I added a coat of MP to the outside of my painted wooden spool to give it a finished look. I also took a few minutes to use the foam tape to stick the sets of butterflies to each other, print sides facing out, to create a dimensional look.
While things dried, I moved on to hot glue. I used the hot glue to attach a magnet strip to the bottom of each clothespin and the dimensional butterflies to the top of each clothespin. When the MP was dry, I used hot glue to attach a magnet to the top of the wooden spool. I also used hot glue to attach the brown ribbon to the edge of the metal tin lid as well as a magnet to the bottom of the tin.
Once the front of the mirror was dry, I used the foil tape to trim the edge of the mirror. It gave it a finished look and covered the rough edges of the dollar store mirror.
Once finished, use the extra plain magnets on the back of the mirror to hold the tin and butterflies in place. This makes a cute note holder.
Or if you wish to ‘play’ with it, use the magnet attached to the wooden spool to make your butterfly dance around the garden.
If I were to do it again, I’d probably shop around a bit more for some flower or garden stickers to make it easier to decorate the front of the mirror. This would take out the Mod Podge and MP removal step and make the whole process a little easier. I would probably also purchase another cheap photo frame in the same size as the mirror, looking for a frame style that would be easier to glue and fit more tightly once the cardboard backing was removed from the mirror. Those are just my tips and thoughts, but I’m still very pleased with this project. For a cheap, dollar store, style project this works pretty well. If budget were no issue, I would research magnetic paint options so there would be no need for magnets on the reverse side. This would make it much easier to use as a note board, but would likely double the cost of the project (or more).