My mantle mirror up close and personal…

I guess I’m finished sewing for the year, so I’ll have to see what kind of things I can “post” to still keep you all interested. I had hoped to get 2 more doll dresses finished, but with baking to be done, house cleaning, family coming in, and other obligations, it’s just not gonna happen! I still have a few “dolly” posts up my sleeve but will spread them out while I’m not “sewing like usual” right now…

I did a Christmas-y post yesterday showing my hubby’s many Nutcrackers we have on display… (here’s that post) and the smallest of the nutcrackers were on a ledge just below my mantle mirror.


Someone asked me if it was old and could they see a close up of it. I know this isn’t a “dolly” related post, but I thought you still might enjoy seeing it.

It IS an old mirror, probably from the 1920’s and was in horrible condition when I bought it. The wood on the back was practically falling apart and I didn’t know if it would make it to the car if it was picked up. I spotted it on Craigslist and waited 3 days before I even told my hubby about wanting it. It was about a 20 minute drive to where it was and I wasn’t sure he’d be on board if he saw how sad it looked. I never showed him the pictures but eventually did talk him into going to see it. I was right…when he saw it, he gave me that sort of puzzled look like, “we just drove 20 minutes for this?” I knew immediately I wanted it, so I paid the lady the $15…yes $15 for it! It was so heavy I could barely lift it…so my hubby obliged and I was thrilled with my new treasure in the back seat of our car.

When I got it home and cleaned off all the dirt and dust I could see I had my work cut out for me… It had lots of missing pieces and in some places even huge hunks were gone, but I loved it…especially the etched design in the mirror. Two sections were in pretty decent condition but the left side is pretty fuzzy like. The mirror frame was what’s called “gesso,” which actually means “chalk.” These mirrors are usually a carved or molded relief frame. If you have a fancy ornate, usually gold frame, you probably have a gesso mirror. If you study the history of gesso, you’ll find that it was extremely popular in ancient times. It’s found in the tombs of ancient Egypt as paintings on the panels and sarcophagus, but probably most identified with the country of Italy. (sorry… a little history lesson…)

Please note: If you click on my pictures, they will enlarge…so you can see more details…




Not to be outdone and not to let $15 go to waste, I got out some spackling and got to work chipping away the broken pieces and filling the empty spaces with spackle.





Some parts on the corners were almost completely gone so I had to build up the spackle and sort of carve a new design in it. It took lots of time letting it dry, sanding it and then building it up each time. Then when I was all done, and it was as good as I thought I could get it, I primed it and then was ready to paint it.




When I got it painted, it all seemed a bit too stark white, so I distressed it somewhat and love it now…





I have lower than normal ceilings in my living room and they are plank wood ones which make them seem even lower. This little section of wood above my fireplace was the perfect spot for a long narrow mirror and works well. I think it sort of balances the wall area.


So…that’s the story of how my mantle mirror came to be! Hope you enjoyed this, even though no dolls were shown…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings and Merry Christmas, Jeanne

Please spread the word!Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    So interesting, Jeanne! When you showed the picture yesterday, I actually thought at first that the mirror was a window! Today’s post gave me a closer look of the detailing that I totally missed! You did a wonderful job!

    I see a box under the tree that looks dolly sized! Did Santa come to Carbondale already??

    • Hi Linda,
      You are the second person to think that “box” under the tree is for ME… no, sadly, it is for my hubby… it’s another nutcracker, but I had to put it in a bigger box so he wouldn’t guess right away what it was. I WISH it was a doll… but don’t know who I’d wish for exactly…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. I thought your mirror was a window at first too. It must be the perfect spot for it. You gave it a beautiful new life with all of the hard work and love you gave it.

    I am glad you are getting notification of my new blog posts now. I am not a writer (or storyteller) like you, but I enjoy blogging all the same. Thanks for reading.

    • Thanks Cindy,
      It’s actually the second mantle mirror I’ve had there. I had another one that I had bought at an antique shop but it’s been moved to the hallway and replaced with this one.

      I did get a notification on my phone, but when I went to my computer to look at it, I couldn’t get it opened, because it said my password was wrong. I gave up trying and just typed in your site and looked at it. I had a comment all ready to leave, but will have to try again when I can see if I wrote down my password somewhere. Talyssa’s dress was adorable! …and YES, you are too a writer and a story teller…every bit as much as I am… I’m not a writer, I just like to babble…. Your Rudolph story was wonderful and charming!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I think you did a wonderful job on that mirror. Very talented. 🙂

    • Thank you Christine,
      I do like my mirror very much now… when I got it and had to work so hard on it… not so sure… but now… yes!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Your lovely room looks so “merry and bright” and your Christmas decorations are just perfect for the room. The mirror is really neat…speaks vintage so much.
    Now that’s an interesting size box under the tree….hmmm

    • Now Paula,
      That box isn’t for me…. it’s for my hubby, only in a bigger box to “disguise” what it really is! If I put his new nutcracker in a regular sized box, he’d guess it in a heartbeat!
      I’m glad you liked my mirror post… It was fun to show the pictures of it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Didn’t get to comment on the new colors in your room./’s o updated! The room, the mantle, the mirror and the tree all look amazing! Great job!

    • Thank you Kathie,
      We have a L-O-N-G way to go to get this place whipped into shape, but little by little we are whittling it down… Thank you very much!
      Blessings, Jeanne

Speak Your Mind