A budget makeover

Now I am no carpenter. I’m not so great at DIY either, but I had a vision of something I wanted, but could not justify the budget for. We recently renovated our laundry and downstairs bathroom on a tight budget. I am very happy with it, except for the mirror, which we did not replace. Now against the smart new tiles and bright new paint, the mirror just looks wrong. Old, dated and the screws along the metal frame, which I never noticed before, are now glaringly obvious. Not wanting to chuck out an otherwise good mirror I decided I would build a white frame for it. How hard could it be?

new bathroom with old style metal frame mirror

new powder room, old mirror in need of an upgrade

My husband was not convinced. I told him I would get some architrave from bunnings and custom make a frame to sit over the top of the mirror, thus hiding the offending metal frame. He humoured me, saying it was a good idea, but mentioned the fact that we didn’t have any appropriate power tools for the job, and warned me that the hand saw I planned to use would not produce a ‘clean edge’ and was highly likely to be unstable and result in a lot of jolting during sawing and therefore result in a bad job. I decided to ignore his warnings and plough ahead regardless, saying ‘can I at least just give it a go, if it doesn’t work you can say I told you so’.

bathroom shot with white framed mirror above sink

My DIY efforts made a new frame for the mirror out of budget materials

After an hour of measuring and sawing (its quite hard work – no wonder they invented power tools) I had my frame ready to assemble. I assembled, filled the gaps in the joins (they were not perfect, but not bad for a beginner) then gave it a couple of coats of paint. Then fixed it over the old mirror. I was very happy with the result. Much better. Even my husband was impressed, saying it looked as if it had always been there. So all up it cost me 16 bucks. A new mirror would have been at least 50 bucks, with visits to several shops to get what I was after. Half way through the project when things we not going to plan, I was ready to throw in the towel and go ‘sod it, lets just go to Ikea’ but I soldiered on. Not bad for a weekend project, in between rushing off to soccer games and kids parties. I feel like Tara off Better Homes and Gardens!

Now I need to brighten up the new laundry. I love the clean lines and newness of it, but its a little bit bland. Any suggestions for cheering it up – some wall art? Photo frames? As you can see we did this on a small budget – no money for plumbing or electrics, just a cosmetic job. I did hang a crochet heart on the door, but it looks a bit lost…


new laundry with bare wall in need of some decoration



16 thoughts on “A budget makeover

  1. Wow I’m very impressed with your DIY skills!! The mirror looks great! You could buy some wooden embroidery hoops and frame some pretty ,material? That’s always a cheap decoration 🙂 You could also frame crochet motifs they’re always so bright and colourful 🙂

  2. Not sure what to suggest about the laundry room, I painted mine bright pink. I have a challenge with the bathroom mirror, but mine has a scratch in it. Do I take it down (glued to the wall), or leave it? Ugh!

  3. How about installing some shelving above the machines? It would cover the bare walls, but also serve a purpose (storage). I have even seen photos of small, colorful baskets that store laundry supplies and also serve as a container for lost socks, etc.

    • Thankyou Nicole, and yes I like the idea of shelves. The wall is plasterboard – we don’t have a very good track record of mounting shelves on these walls, but it would look look and serve a purpose too.

  4. I love your mirror Teresa. Did you glue it onto the old mirror? I think shelving would look good to, but I know what you mean about mounting the shelving. What about some framed art by your kids or something crafty by you? I also think a framed picture of how washing was done in the old days, eg by hand or an old ringer would look good. Then when the washing was annoying you, you could look at the picture and realize it isn’t so bad after all. LOL! I’m thinking of myself! I might just have to go search google images myself. xo

    • Thanks Julie – actually I didn’t glue it – it is wedged in between the shower frame and the wall! Wasn’t planned that way. I should probably glue it though, but for now its a good fix. I like the idea of an old washing day picture, you are right, we have it so easy these days we have no idea what ‘real’ washing was like!

  5. How clever are you!! The white frame looks great, good on you for attempting and persisting! And your laundry with all that bench space! Hmm I’m not sure about the wall, shelves for practicality or pretty prints to look at whilst folding washing 😉 x Dre

  6. GREAT JOB! And don’t you just get all the more determined when someone tells you it won’t work! Maybe a shelf in the laundry room with some cute jars of laundry soap and cleaners and such. Maybe an enamelware bucket to hold some rags.

    Cindy Bee

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