DIY Faux Daguerrotype - Old Timey Picture using a dollar store mirror! Click for more details

Daguerreotypes were the first type of photography; they were images printed onto polished silver so they are very reflective, like a mirror. For Halloween, I decided it would be fun to create a faux daguerreotype with a dollar store mirror. Using a transparent film, I was able to get the old-timey photography look for just a few bucks! Read on for instructions.

Project Materials:

  • 8″ x 10″ Framed mirror, $1
  • 1 sheet of Craft Attitude film, about $2
  • Dark acrylic paint or antiquing glaze, on hand or $1 and up
  • An old-timey photograph (I got mine at Graphics Fairy: Vintage Clip Art – Sisters)
  • Craft knife (with a sharp blade), on hand
  • Paint brush, on hand
  • Tissue, on hand

Total: $3 and up

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The secret ingredient to this project is Craft Attitude — a transparent printable film that works with your inkjet printer. (Check out another great Halloween project we made with Craft Attitude: Retro Fabulous Halloween Decorations).

How to Make a Faux Daguerreotype

1. Print your desired photo onto Craft Attitude film using your favorite photo editing program and your inkjet printer. Note: Because Craft Attitude prints on the reverse side of the film, don’t forget to flip the photo (it should be under printing options) as you print, if desired.

Fun Fact: Daguerreotypes were actually printed backward, so it’s kind of a nerdtastic touch to leave the image reversed, but if you have words in the image, you will want the image to print the correct orientation.

2. Clean the mirror with glass cleaner (or vinegar) and allow to dry.

How to make a faux daguerreotype (old timey silvery photo) - click for instructions

3. Gently lay the image down on the mirror, centering image, and avoid trapping air bubbles beneath. Usually you use glue with Craft Attitude, but I found that the film stuck right to my mirror with no adhesive. Because the film wanted to stick to the mirror, it was slightly tricky to get the film to lay perfectly flat with no air bubbles. Read the next step for a tip to deal with the bubbles.

Trimming the transparent film for a faux daguerreotype - click for full instructions

4. With a sharp craft knife (new blade is recommended!), trim the film right at the edge of the frame. Remove excess film.

Tip: Use a credit card to burnish the film, and work air bubbles out.

antiquing the frame to make it look old timey - click for full instructions

5. My next step was to antique the frame. I used antiquing glaze because it happened to be sitting on my desk, but you can also use dark acrylic paint (black or brown).

To antique: paint a thick-ish layer of antiquing glaze or paint onto the frame, then wipe most of it off with a tissue. I also added some splotches of antiquing gel around the edges and corners of the picture to dirty it up a little and make it look a little older.

wiping down the antiqued frame - click for more instructions

6. Let the frame dry, and you’re done!

DIY faux daguerreotype - that's an old-timey silvery photo -- perfect spooky decoration for Halloween

I made this project as part of the Halloween Blog Hop for Craft Attitude. Be sure to check out the other great projects!

I’m the last stop on the blog hop! Here are all the stops:

DIY Spooky Halloween Photo - so simple, and cool effect . Click for instructions

Thanks for joining me!