Right about now, several of my friends are on vacation in different parts of Mexico. And I’m home. But hey, I can still craft with the spirit of my motherland! These soldered tin mirrors are inspired by a trip to San Miguel de Allende a couple years ago. We visited Artists Alley and watched tin artists work their magic! I knew I wanted to dabble with the style and that’s how this month’s Bernzomatic Torch Bearer project came about!
Here’s an example I found on Pinterest that served as inspiration.
See what I mean? Gorgeous!
The real deal involves thick, hard tin and a lot of craftsmanship. Of course, those artists’ work went above and beyond what I’ve come up with here. I have a way to make things a bit easier. This is a trick I learned from the craft convention one year – use soft tin and hot glue. The end result of this project will make you happy and is the perfect launching pad for a larger scale mirror, box, planter, whatever you can come up with!
To make these purse mirrors, I used my Bernzomatic tools, copper tape, and flux for the soldering to make it all come together!
A lot of people think torches are only for plumbers, welders, etc. And mini-torches are only for chefs. Actually, there is a LOT you can do with a mini torch! All kinds of crafts, jewelry making and more. This one is my fave, the ST500. It works as a solder iron, or remove the tip and it can be a micro torch or a mini heat gun.
SUPPLIES for a DIY soldered tin mirror:
Gloves and goggles
Paper thumb (used in tin work)
Small purse mirror (you can find them on Amazon)
Craft tin or you can cut up a disposable cookie sheet or pie tin
Craft foam or a magazine
Ballpoint pen or stylus tool
Permanent markers or enamel paint pens
Cut a piece of tin to fit the shape of the purse mirror.
Place the tin on a piece of craft foam and draw your design. Flip it over and use the paper thumb to create crevices in the designs you drew. Fill those spaces with hot glue and let cool.
Place on the back of the mirror and add copper tape all the way around. Use a burnishing tool to seal down the edges of the tape. Now use the paper thumb again to press down the areas of the design that are not filled.
Coat with flux and set the mirror within the clamps.
Put on your goggles and gloves. Turn on your tool according to manufacturer directions. Make sure the exhaust hole is facing up and away from you, as well as the mirror. Heat up the tool, then touch it to the solder wire until it melts and let it drop on the copper tape area of the mirror. Carefully and with an even stroke, glide the tool across to spread the melted solder.
Once it’s all covered and is cooled, you can coat with black paint over your design and then wipe it off to create a grungey kind of look. Or you can use permanent markers, enamel craft paint, or nail polish to add color. I did both on the skull mirror and only the pen on the other. Eventually, it will wear off, but simply color it in again as needed!
I love how these turned out!
Okay, now I’m motivated to try a bigger mirror! These purse mirrors are cool because you can make them to give to friends, or just to keep for yourself. It’s kinda hard to tell from the picture, but they have an embossed look to them and they won’t lose that because of the hot glue filling the space.
From the Bernzomatic site:
“Find Your Fire. There’s a fire in each of us. Waiting to ignite. We believe in carrying the torch ignited by our founder in 1876—whose quality craftsmanship and progressive mindset are what blazed the trail that got us here today. We believe in awakening the innovators in all of us—inspiring a culture of creators who can break boundaries, mark new territory and go where no flame has burned before. We believe in empowering those who’ve found their flame and dare to follow it. Because the ones who do are the catalysts of bold transformations that redefine the limits of what we can achieve. We believe in our fire and in your fire. It’s time to ignite.”
Thanks so much for checking out my project!
This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Bernzomatic. All ideas, opinions, and the excitement to work with this new art genre are 100% my own.
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