Every year you put up a tree, hang garland, string lights, create seasonal tablescapes, and try to incorporate every surface you can find for holiday decoration, both inside and out. It’s what we all do, especially if we want to show personality and showmanship at a time of year when competition is stiff and ideas are many. Here’s a project you may not have thought of—a surface you probably haven’t used.
If you already have a mirror on the wall in a room, why not make it part of the act as well? All you need is an ample supply of plastic ornaments, a design plan, and a hot glue gun. You’re going to put your Christmas design directly on the mirror.
When the holiday is over, you’ll use a single-edged razor blade to remove the ornaments, and scrape off glue reside. No damage will be done to your mirror.
First, figure out what you want in the way of a design. A tree outline is best—read: easiest—because it’s pretty simple to create the ‘trunk,’‘branches,’‘lights,’‘tree topper,’all out of regular ornaments.
You’ll probably need to plan out your design on a table or flat surface first, to make sure you have enough ornaments to do the trick, and to see that it will have the effect you want. You can easily measure and mark for placement of your design by using a Sharpie or dry erase marker directly on the mirror.
You and your glue gun are going to be best pals before you’re through, so make sure you have enough glue sticks. The key to success with keeping the ornaments stuck to the mirror, and getting great show out of your design can be found in one word: Plenty. Use plenty of glue to suspend each ornament. And go back to augment the glue as you assemble your design. And use plenty of ornaments. You don’t want to be skimpy because your design is going to look right back at you.
Stop often to make sure your lines are straight—or not—and that each ornament will stay where you placed it. And check your colors and design as you progress. You might want to bring in something unexpected, or sustain the idea of brown ornaments for the trunk, green, red, and gold for everything else, or whatever color scheme you want to go with.
Remember that your design, as well as the colors you use, will be increased by the reflections in the mirror, and you’ll get a sort of ripple-and-shimmer effect with anything you use.
Keep adding glue, but keep your touch light, because too much glue pressed on at once will create globs when hardened between ornaments.
Once your tree is finished, remember to top it off, just like you do the real thing.
And you’ll be able to disassemble it all with ease, once the holiday is over.
You’ve now created another place for Christmas, found another area that lends itself beautifully to decorations. Anyone else would have limited themselves by hanging a bit of tinsel around the mirror’s edge, but you’ve taken it to the next level. Your tree, suspended from the mirror, will reflect well on you and your holiday celebration. And if that mirror is in a room where your friends and family gather, it will shine like never before.
Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.