Banana Leaf Mirror
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Banana Leaf Mirror

Use white foam board to create this elegant framed mirror!

Designed by Craft Marketing Connections, Inc. for Elmer's®.

Craft Time: 60+ minutes
Uses Recycled Items: No
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Material List

  • Elmer's® Foam Board, White, 20" x 30" x 1/2", Two Sheets
  • Elmer's® CraftBond™ All Purpose Glue Stick
  • Elmer's® X-ACTO® Designer Series 12" x 12" Self Healing Cutting Mat
  • X-ACTO® #11 Craft Knife
  • Elmer's® X-ACTO® Designer Series 12" Metal Ruler
  • Painters® Paint Markers, medium tip: Brown and Black
  • Eight 8 1/2" x 11" tan, handmade paper
  • 12" Square Mirror
  • Low Heat Glue Gun & Glue
  • 1/2" Chisel Paint Brush
  • Water
  • Paper Towels
  • Palette or Plastic Lid
  • Masking Tape
  • Two Large Paper Clips
  • Hard Cover Books (for weights)

Project Instructions

Use Metal Ruler and pencil to measure and mark four 15" x 15" Foam Board squares. In each square, measure in 3" all around and mark. Use #11 Craft Knife (with new blade) on Self Healing Cutting Mat to squares and inside openings first. (Hint: Score lightly first and then press more firmly to cut deeper, with several passes of the knife. Replace blades often.)

Stack, align and use All Purpose Glue Stick to attach four squares, making a 2" thick frame. Carefully weigh down with books. Let dry.

To prepare handmade paper, dip paint brush into water and "draw" water lines about every 2" on paper. (Run lines the long way.) Carefully tear along water lines, creating an irregular look. Repeat with all sheets.

Before gluing, read entire step to see how to vertically wrap strips all along top of frame, then bottom of frame and last fill in sides with strips. Note that four corner areas will need to be done first so that cut ends are covered by strips that wrap around sides. Apply Glue Stick as you go: Starting on front, at top left, place short end of one strip 3 1/4" down from top of frame with rest of strip extending up beyond top edge. Wrap strip around top edge and onto back, going down 3 1/4". Tear away excess strip. Repeat to cover corner and edge of frame. Continue wrapping strips across top of frame, wrapping through frame opening onto back. Finish top of frame by doing top right corner as you did top left. Repeat process with bottom of frame. Then wrap strips on sides of frame. (Note: Handmade paper is “forgiving” so piece as needed.)

To paint markings, pump Black and Brown Painters® onto palette. Mix together and thin with water. Dry the brush with paper towel and dip just bristle ends into paint and create dry brush look on scrap paper first to practice. Then on frame gently "rub" brush along irregular paper seams on front and both inside and outside edges. Also dry-brush shading along all edges, feathering up onto surface. Refer to photo to randomly add a few darker areas and spots similar to banana leaves. Let dry.

Decide top of frame and turn over onto back. Center mirror over frame opening. Remove and quickly apply hot glue all long outside edge of mirror, and press back down into place. Let dry. (For added strength, run nozzle of glue gun along edge of mirror to create a bead of glue all around mirror. If desired, cover glued mirror edge with four long strips of masking tape.)

For hangers, on back measure and mark 2 1/2” down from top and 1/2" in from each side. At each mark use craft knife to make 1/4" long, shallow horizontal slits. Carefully insert knife blade into each slit, angled up toward top and remove. Slightly separate curved ends of paper clips 1/4". Insert shorter rounded ends up into slits, creating hanger loops with longer ends of paper clips.