A while back, I was looking for something to do with an awkward wall between the door into our room and our closet door. I’d seen some really awesome posts on Pinterest where people took those cheap door mirrors and hung them horizontally to make a mirror wall with spaces between the mirrors. So that was my plan.
I ran into a few hiccups. First, when I turned the full-length mirrors and placed them horizontally, they were too wide for the wall. Second, I hated the cheap plastic frames.
As it turns out, I had some wood left over from when we did our fireplace install, so I decided to cut the mirrors down and make some new frames for them.
- glass cutting kit: cutting wheel, wax pencil, cutting oil
- tape measure
- razor blade
- miter saw
Remove the mirrors from their frames
Getting the mirrors out of their cheap frames without breaking them turned out to be the most difficult part. I took a screwdriver and used it to cut through the paper backing on the mirrors.
After I peeled off all the paper, I realized that the mirrors were just hot glued into the frame, so I got a razor blade and cut through the hot glue all the way around the frame.
Then, all it took was a quick pop (and a few more passes with the razor blade where necessary) to get the frame free from the mirror. By the third mirror, I got a little carried away and ended up breaking it. Whoops!
No worries though, because the larger piece of the broken mirror was longer than the dimension I planned to cut it down to anyhow!
Cut the mirrors down to size
Cutting the mirrors was super easy. I picked up a glass cutting kit from the hardware store for super cheap. I read the instructions, and took a few practice passes on the smaller piece of that mirror I broke until I figured out how much pressure it took to adequately cut through the glass. It’s all about the sound. It’s supposed to sound like sizzling bacon when you’re cutting properly. I couldn’t make this up!
The finished mirrors needed to be 3 feet long, and my frame pieces were about 1.5 inches wide, so I wanted to cut the mirrors to 33.5 inches. I measured it off, and used my metal ruler as a cutting guide. The trick for a super exact cut lengh is to make sure the blade of the cutting wheel is lined up with the center of your mark on both sides of the cut. Then, holding firm pressure on the straight edge, run the cutting wheel across the length of the mirror.
Next, I put a dowel underneath the mirror, right along the cut line, held pressure on the side of the mirror I wanted to keep and pushed down quickly and firmly on the side of the mirror I was cutting off to break it along the cut line.
Make the new frames
Next up was making the frames. I wanted the mirrors to be set into the back of the frames, so I took the pieces of the frame and ran them through my table saw a couple of times, just taking off about a blade width at a time. This gave me enough space once the frame was assembled to set the mirror into the frame so it was nice and flush on the back surface.
To cut the frames to the correct size, I measured the length of the mirror and marked that length (minus 1/4” to account for the groove I cut into the wood) on the grooved-out side of the wood. Then I set my miter saw to 45 degrees, lined up the blade with the cut, ensure the angle was going the right direction, and made the cut.
Once I had the pieces of the frame cut to size, I glued them together with wood glue and used my finishing nailer to attach the pieces to one another. I stapled the seam for good measure.
Install the mirror into the frames
The frames were still a bit wobbly at this point, the real structural stability comes from the mirror. I painted the frames, then moved on to attaching the mirrors.
To attach the mirrors, I figured that if hot glue was good enough for the mirror manufacturers, it was good enough for me. I put the mirror in place and glued all the way around, trying to fill the seam between the mirror and the frame as well as I could.
Okay, I know this next part looks suuuper sketch, but I put duct tape all the way around the mirror/frame edge. Honestly, the only person who knows there’s duct tape on the back of these babies is me.. you can’t tell at all from the front. If I wanted to go for a more ~professional~ vibe, I could’ve gotten some poster board or craft paper, cut it to size and glued it over the entire back of the frame. Meh! I was ready to get these up on the wall.
Hang them Up
Okay, real time. I was not loving how these looked on this awkward wall. I couldn’t put the mirrors as close to one another as I wanted because there’s a light switch in the way. If I put them all above the light switch they were too high… I just wasn’t digging it.
Rethink all the choices you’ve made up until this point
SOOO onto the next – I ended up hanging these vertically on either side of our bed and DUDES… this made our room look so much bigger. I can not even tell you how much of a difference this makes. #opticalillusioinsforlife
AND the best part, I put the third mirror in our closet and I use it to do my makeup. Super glam, I know.
I had been thinking about doing this project for quite a while. And honestly, I’m so glad it didn’t work out. It was kind of fun to have to change plans and we ended up with something I like way more than the original plan. Also, I made the awkward wall into a fun gallery wall, which turned out awesome. #failperks