Here's how we did it ... (with a few tweaks of what I wish we would of done to make it faster)
We took apart this 80s chandelier (in EVERY thrift shop) and removed all the metal from the slanted glass panes.
Our chandelier had 16 (7.25” long and 5.75” at the widest point) slanted glass panes - we used 15. The finished mirror was 28.75” in diameter with 1/4" spacing between the panes.
After gathering our supplies:
1/2 sheet of 3/8" plywood (Ace Hardware lets you buy 1/2 a sheet)
15" round mirror
Rub n' Buff
We laid out the glass panes in a circle on a piece of plywood slightly larger - since our panes wouldn't work without a gap, we gradually adjusted until the spacing was equal (about 1/4" between each)
Once all the panes were equal, we marked all of the corners and outer edges so that we could easily line it back up and for the outer cut.
We painted the panes before this step, but I wish I would of done it after, since moving them around removed some of the paint, and touch ups were needed.
After the panes were marked, David cut out the plywood back following our outer pencil marks with the jigsaw and then sanded the edges.
Now onto the pretty stuff!
Next, our mirror selection ...
We ended up getting a 15" round 1/8" thick mirror cut at a local glass shop to slightly overlap the glass panes since getting it cut to meet the 15 angles created by the glass panes would be hard to get precise, and very costly!
Instead, David cut 1/8" pieces (any shape will work since it is covered) of lauane with the chop saw (slightly smaller than the panel) to glue to the back of the glass so that the glass panels would fit just over the mirror and be flat, rather than tilted (tip: ask for a scrap piece of 1/8" board, we got ours for a whopping .25 from Ace Hardware)
These were glued on the back of the painted glass panel with Weldbond glue - our paint looked discolored for about 24 hrs until it fully dried, but then evened out perfectly!
I glued the mirror with Weldbond glue to the plywood (using the pencil marks that I created earlier to center it)
Then I laid the panels out, applied Weldbond glue to the back side and allowed to a few hours so that they were firmly in place (tip: place heavy objects on the glass to hold it down while drying, I used a few books).
After it dried, I applied grout (like you would tile), but instead I would recommend putting the frame first to avoid redoing work like I did :)
I used rectangular jewelry wire to build the frame for the inside (it was slightly taller than the glass panels) First I laid out the overall shape by bending in the creases and then applied a super glue to secure it (note: to smooth out the wire as you go use something firm - I used a wood putty knife to straighten it by gently pressing against the pane to get it even. I also used tape after the glue was applied to hold in place until dry)
I would of preferred a similar metal strip for the outside, but since I couldn't find one wide enough (and flexible enough) at a local store, I purchased melamine edging, for the outer edge. Mine was too wide so I cut it to the correct width with a ruler and xacto knife. I glued it with the Weldbond glue, but wood glue would of worked fine too. I also used tape to hold it in place while it dried.
Once the outer edges are dry, its time to grout!
Apply the grout as you would to tile, make sure to fill in all of the crevices!
Once the grout is dry, I taped off the glass and mirror and then applied Rub' n Buff (I used Antique Gold) over the grout and the trim and then wiped away any exces.
After removing the tape, we used D rings and heavy gauge wire on the back to hang it, since the mirror is very heavy we also applied a little Gorilla Glue in the screw holes for added strength and wire rated for 100 lbs (just to be safe) We then used a drywall anchor like this for the wall that could handle the weight (always look for a stud if possible!)
and that's it! The mirror ended up at 28.75" in diameter. The perfect size for above the desk in the guest room!
Chandelier (already purchased for the drum shade chandelier)
Paint BM Bali (already purchased for drum shade chandelier)
Rub n' Buff (already purchased at Michaels)
15" round mirror ------------------- $14 (local glass shop)
Brass Jewelry wire ---------------- $3 (with 50% coupon at Michaels)
Melamine Edging ----------------- $5 (Home Depot)
1/2 sheet 3/8" plywood ----------- $6 (Ace Hardware)
Weldbond glue --------------------- $3 (Micheals)
D Rings ------------------------------$2.50 (Home Depot)
Heavy Gauge wire (already had)
Total --------------------------------- $31
It helped that I already had some of the supplies, but I would say starting from scratch, it could be done for under $50 easily, with supplies left over to make another!
This mirror looks high end for the price (at least I think so :), so be on the hunt for a chandelier with a massive glass shell!
Update: After hearing from a few people that the glass panes were difficult to remove from the fixture I wanted to mention that our frame was pretty loose and fairly bendable. I have seen ones that are very tight around the glass, so if you would like to try this, I would definitely recommend looking for one that is looser around the glass panes :)