When you have a mirror that is showing signs of aging, or an accident happens breaking a mirror, it is time to weight your options. Once your replacement mirror is in place with a nice frame around it, you need to figure out what to do with the broken mirror.
If you are the superstitious type, see our previously covered blog “The History Behind 7 Superstitions and Myths about Mirrors“, and how you may want to properly dispose of the mirror. You also have the option of using this accident as a chance to create something unique and special.
What can you do with a broken mirror? Let’s take a look!
Disposing of an Old or Broken Mirror
The most obvious answer to this question is to throw away your mirror. So, how do you dispose of a broken mirror? Here are three steps to take to throw away or recycle a broken mirror.
We all know the shards of a broken mirror, especially a mirror that shatters, can be extremely sharp and dangerous. On top of that, there can be a lot of tiny slivers that are hard to see and can be missed if you are not careful.
We recommend getting a good pair of thick gloves, long pants, a shoe with a thick sole, and possibly even safety glasses. Breaking a mirror is bad enough, but adding a cut or injury to the situation just makes it worse!
Gathering the Pieces
Hopefully, your mirror will have only broken into a few big pieces and not completely shattered. If it has broken into mostly large pieces, before you move it, you can use duct tape to cover the mirror and hold it together. This has the added benefit of grabbing the smaller stray pieces of mirror.
If your mirror has shattered, we recommend lining a cardboard box with newspaper and putting the shards of mirror in that for disposal. Glass will easily cut through plastic trash bags as well as your hands, so do yourself a favor and find a box.
Once the big pieces are removed, there are several methods for cleaning up the little pieces/shards of mirror. You can use tape, a broom, a mop (a Swiffer works well), or even bread to gather the small pieces.
Dispose or Recycle the Mirror
Once the shards are all cleaned up and put into a box, tape it up securely, making sure there are no cracks in the box where the smaller pieces can escape through.
Many cities have glass recycling centers that you can drop these boxes off. Just be sure to label the box appropriately before drop off. If your area does not have a recycling program, the secure box can be disposed of in a normal waste bin.
Create a Broken Mirror Wall Art Piece
While most people will dispose of their broken mirror, the fun can begin when you get creative with it!
Take the broken pieces and lay them out on a piece of cardboard or canvas. Once you find an arrangement you like, you can use a strong glue or epoxy to secure the pieces to the cardboard or canvas. This can be a creative, fun, and original piece of artwork for your home! Not to mention being a great conversation piece with your guests!
To give this mirror wall art a finishing touch, you can add a custom mirror frame to give it a solid edge and make it easier to handle!
Lastly, you can take an old picture frame that you don’t care for and glue pieces of the mirror to the front of it, giving an old frame a stylish and interesting upgrade. Just be careful with the sharp edges of the mirror when gluing them to the frame. For safety, use sandpaper to smooth the edges of the mirror before gluing to the frame.
Make a Mosaic Tabletop or Backsplash
We saved our favorite option for last.
A broken mirror can be combined with tiles, shells, or stones to create stunning tabletops or backsplashes for your kitchen, bathroom or wet bar.
For a mosaic table top, there are two ways it can be done. The first would be to use grout to fill in any gaps between your media. In this option you will again want to smooth out the sharp edges of your mirror before gluing them into place. We suggest smoothing out the edges of the pieces of your mirror before starting to arrange them. Then arrange your pieces how you like them, then glue them down just like you would for a piece of wall art. Grout has the benefit of allowing you to choose a color to finish with, but it tends to leave a more coarsely finished surface than our next option.
For the second option, you can skip smoothing out the rough edges of your broken mirror. Go ahead and arrange your pieces how you like them, then glue them down just like you would for a piece of wall art, but then you will add a piece of 1/4″ thick (6mm) glass (with the edges swiped already) over the top of your new mosaic table, this will protect the surface.
Broken Mirrors don’t have to be bad luck! You can safely clean up your mess or take your misfortune and turn it into a original piece of art for your home. It all depends on how much creativity you want to put into the project.