I like making gifts for family and friends. These days, that comes in very handy since money is tight in today’s economy.
One of my favorite gift ideas for women is to create a decorative brush, comb and mirror set for a vanity. There are several different ways to accomplish this, but each one of them is fun and unique.
The first idea is to make a tapestry set. To get started you will need the following:
A hand mirror,
A large comb,
White or brown paper,
Hot glue gun,
In searching for a mirror, comb and brush set, keep in mind that all you need are items in the same color group with approximately the same shape. I am often able to find the supplies I need at Dollar Tree.
The mirror can be round, oval, square or rectangle as long as there is a big enough backing to support the fabric and trim. Look for brushes with a solid back rather than a heat ventilated open system. Those are virtually impossible to cover. Comb choices should be large and have at least a ½” rim.
Choose tapestry fabrics that are related to the person the set is being made for. For example, choose a floral pattern for women who love flowers; paisley for women who prefer something unusual; stripes or plaids for those who are more traditional.
Trim is advised if you do not intend to pre-sew the tapestry before application. That method can be difficult because it can leave an indentation where the fabric is doubled under. Trim allows you to cover the raw edges easily. I like using braid trim with tapestry; however, ribbon, lace or beading are also good options.
Keep in mind to choose trim that will fit on the rim of your comb so that you do not have to cut it. That can destroy its decorative effect as well as lessen its stability.
Decorations could include almost anything. I like using cameos, broaches or other broken jewelry, miscellaneous jewels, beads, sequins and ribbon or silk flowers.
Here are step-by-step instructions for putting your set together:
Step 1. Using white or brown paper, make the pattern of your mirror and brush surfaces. For smaller surfaces like on the rim of the comb, it may be easier just to write down the measurements.
Step 2. Cut the patterns out of the paper and place them on the fabric chosen. Pin the pattern in place before cutting them out. This will help you avoid making any major errors.
Step 3. Cut out the fabric. Place each piece on the back of its corresponding surface to make sure it fits properly. If not, keep adjusting until it does.
Step 5. Glue the fabric into place using craft glue or a glue gun and hot glue. I prefer using craft glue in the center and hot glue around the edges.
Step 6. Add trim to the mirror and brush fabric to cover all of its raw edges. Make certain everything is tacked down so that it won’t work its way loose from the item. Trim can also be added to the comb but it should not hang below the combing surface.
Step 7. Use lace, ribbon or tapestry the right width to trim out the rim of the comb.
Step 8. Add any additional decorations. Examples are listed below;
Make a lace circle in the center of your mirror by gathering the lace and then pulling it into a circle and tacking it together. Glue the lace circle into place. In the center add a piece of cameo decor, which can be found in any craft shop. Make a ribbon bow to place at the bottom of the cameo to hide where the ribbon comes together. Better still, add a few ribbon roses, jewels or pearls instead.
Glue one or more broken pieces of jewelry to the center of the mirror back. Broken broaches or large pendants are good for that purpose; however, you can also mix and match smaller objects like earrings.
Add individual jewel or sequin accents to the fabric pattern in random spots or put on small pieces of flat applique lace.
Make streamers of 1/8″ ribbons in various colors and tie them to the handles.
Step 9. Clean all of the items, making sure there is no excess glue, fingerprints, etc.
Step 10. Scotch Guard the fabric and trim to prevent staining.
Making vanity sets of this sort are a lot of fun and they carry a personal touch that your friends and family will love.