Charter Mark Mirror

We bought this big mirror (second hand) to have more light in the entryway. It looked like it had been painted in the 1990s – rusty reddish brown with barely-there sponge-painted gold. Here it is hiding behind some flowers:


It only cost $10. It was clear from the beginning that it needed to be geekified, but it just never made it very high up the priority list. Then last summer I cosplayed Lirael from Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series (with a friend who cosplayed Sabriel), and I made *spoiler ahead* the golden hand, using a glove, gold paint, and three-dimensional/relief gold paint. So I ended up with half a bottle of gold paint and 3/4 of a tube of gold relief paint left over.

First I thought why not paint it gold – it’d look fancy-schmancy, and it would probably reflect even more light into the area.

If you’ve worked with gold acrylic paint before, you know that it doesn’t give great coverage with only one or two coats, so it’s best to do a base coat in a light colour if you’ve got something dark there to begin with. So I painted it white first, then gold:photo(4)

If you’ve given it two or three coats of gold and there are places here and there where the white shows through, it’s fine. It’ll still look bright.

If you want to make sure not to get paint on the glass, although it’s not a big deal if you do because acrylic scrapes off clean, slide a piece of paper in between the frame and the glass. If you’re using spraypaint, I would definitely recommend this step.

So I ended up with a fully gold mirror:

photo 1(3)

Nice and bright, huh?

But just gold is a little boring. I thought about maybe adding some Hylian script around the frame, since I need a few more Zelda projects to balance out all the non-Zelda ones, but couldn’t think of what to write, and was put off by the concave surface of the frame. BUT! Charter marks are simple enough to do, and would make the mirror enchanted! 😀 Not that I’d know what sort of enchantment it is, but anyway…

So, using the various book covers and the Abhorsen wikia for reference, I added some:

photo 2(1)

And then added some more:

photo 2(1)

Aaand some more:

photo 1(3)

Here’s what it looks like up:

photo 3(4)

There’s a baptismal charter mark (the circle with the triangle inside that you see on all the Leo&Diane Dillon cover art) top and center; I put that there to, um, baptize anyone who looks in the mirror? XD I dunno.

photo 3(4)

Right now there are only charter marks around the top left and bottom right corners; I haven’t decided yet whether to fill in all the way around, or whether that will look too busy. Also I’d have to go out and find another tube of the relief paint. [Edit: I totally covered the whole thing in charter marks of varying sizes, and  didn’t need another tube of paint.]

Oh, I added a message for people to find. By this time the tube of paint was nearly empty, and I had a hard time writing neatly, but people who’ve read the books should recognize it pretty quickly:

photo 5(4)

photo 5(4)


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