Just because an antique platter or plate is scratched, cracked, or broken, its useful life doesn't have to end. Its patterned border can be used as the decorative frame for a mirror. Even noticeably damaged china can work, especially when paired with antique-seeming fogged-mirror glass. Cluster several mirror plates to brighten a dining-room wall, or mount an elegant platter above the bathroom sink for flattering reflections. Although our transferware-framed mirror seems to dangle from a beribboned picture nail, it's actually secured by a plate hanger.
If the platter or plate is split into several pieces, glue them together with ceramic epoxy, and allow them to dry (following manufacturer's instructions).
1. With a measuring tape, measure the perimeter of the platter's central well at its flattest point. Measure each side; old ceramics are rarely perfectly symmetrical.
2. Draw the measured shape on a piece of paper, then cut it out to make a template. Check for accuracy by laying the template on the platter; it should fit and lie flat.
3. If you're using a round plate, you may be able to find a circular mirror of the right size at a craft store. If the platter is an unusual size or shape, have a professional glass cutter use your template to custom-cut a mirror. Request a polished edge, which is safer to handle.
4. For braided trim around the glass, attach pillow piping. Cut the piping 1 inch longer than the perimeter of the mirror. Glue the flat side of the piping to the mirror's underside. With a fine paintbrush, dab craft glue onto the first few inches of the piping, then press it onto the mirror's edge. Hold this piece in place while it dries. Apply glue to the rest of the piping in 1-inch segments, and press it onto the mirror's edge. When the mirror is completely surrounded, but before pressing down where the two ends will meet, trim the excess piping. Immediately singe both ends of the piping with a match to prevent fraying, and glue the ends together; tuck stray strands into the glue.
5. To attach the mirror glass to the platter permanently, use ceramic epoxy. Apply epoxy to the back of the mirror in a big X from side to side and in a thin line just within the perimeter. Press the mirror onto the platter. The epoxy must be dry before you hang the finished mirror. If you'd like to be able to remove the mirror in the future, use mounting tape instead of glue. Peel off one side of the tape backing, and affix a grid of tape to the back of the mirror; peel off the remaining backing, and press the mirror onto the platter.
6. To mount the framed mirror on the wall, grip the platter's edges with a plate hanger of the appropriate size.