Make a Beachy Rope Mirror

Give a plain-Jane mirror an inexpensive, coastal makeover by covering the frame with natural jute or sisal rope. Hang your finished mirror from a boat cleat for a fun nautical twist.
Beachy DIY Nautical Rope Mirror

DIY Nautical Rope Mirror

Give a plain-Jane mirror an inexpensive, coastal makeover by covering the frame with natural jute or sisal rope. Hang your finished mirror from a boat cleat for a fun nautical twist. Craft your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo by: H. Camille Smith

H. Camille Smith

Materials Needed:

  • framed mirror
  • medium-grit sandpaper
  • thick jute or sisal rope
  • painter's tape
  • heavy-duty epoxy adhesive
  • hammer
  • 1" brads
  • boat cleat
  • spray bottle filled with water
  • toothpicks for spreading glue
  • screw eyes and picture wire (if old frame is without them)

Prep Frame

If possible, remove mirror then sand the frame using medium-grit sandpaper to remove any glossy finish (Image 1). If mirror can't be removed, use painter's tape to protect the glass before sanding (Image 2).

Attach Rope on Inner Frame With Glue

Select a spot on the inside of the frame, near the mirror, to start the rope. Use a water-filled spray bottle to wet a small area of the frame then, using a toothpick, apply a thin layer of epoxy over the damp wood and press the first few inches of rope into place (Images 1 and 2). Tape or clamp the rope in position for a few minutes to give the epoxy time to set. Working in small sections, just a foot or two at a time, continue the process of wetting a small area then applying a thin layer of epoxy before attaching the rope then taping or clamping that section in position until epoxy sets. Tip: Be sure to keep the rows of rope tightly positioned side by side so none of the frame shows through.

Attach Remaining Rope With Brads

It's only necessary to attach the first few rows of rope with adhesive; after that, switch over to tacking the rope to the frame every few inches with small brads (Images 1 and 2).

Finish Wrapping Frame

Continue tightly wrapping the frame with rope, tacking it in position as you go, until the entire frame is covered. Once you've reached an area of the frame where the rope's end won't be visible — like the mirror's top or side where it will be covered by a knot — cut the rope and attach the end to the frame with epoxy using the method explained in step 2.


Hang Mirror

If the mirror isn't already wired for hanging, add screw eyes and wire to the back (the knotted rope and cleat are purely decorative). Hang the mirror in your desired location. For added nautical flair, attach a boat cleat to the wall a few inches above the mirror (Image 1). Knot an end of the rope and tack it to one side of the mirror with a brad (Image 2) then wrap the rope up and around the cleat to simulate a cleat knot (Image 3). Bring the remaining rope down to the other side of the mirror, tie a matching knot, cut the rope and tack the second knot onto the mirror's other side (Image 4).

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