DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Hello everyone! I’m Brittany—the creative behind by Brittany Goldwyn, the weirdest cat person you’ll ever meet, and the newest monthly contributor for Pretty Handy Girl! As a long-time Pretty Handy Girl reader myself, I’m so excited for this opportunity to work with Brittany (should I call us Brit 1 and Brit 2?) to share my projects and connect with all of you. I hope we’ll get to know each other more, but in the meantime, here are a few things about me: My dad is a licensed contractor and has taught me most of my building, home improvement, and general DIY skills—you might even occasionally see him pop in to some of my tutorial photos when he’s helping with a project. My husband and I just bought our first home—a lovely townhouse—and we’re hard at work making it our own.  My style tends to be modern. I love decorating with neutrals and plants.

Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Right now on my blog I am working on a series of entryway makeover posts: first I painted, and then I built a shoe cubby (grab the free build plans here). Today I’m sharing the next step in my entryway makeover: a tutorial for building a wooden mirror frame. This was my first time framing a mirror, so I’ll also be sharing some tips and tricks from along the way. Shall we get started?

Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Frugal Tip: Save some cash by replacing the frame on an existing mirror or by picking up a cheap mirror at a thrift shop. Most frames are attached using staples. Simply remove the frame by using pliers to pull out the staples and any other backing that is preventing you from accessing the mirror.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial Instructions:

Step 1: Cut pine pieces to fit your mirror. 

The measurements will depend on your mirror size and how you want to frame it out. You can chose to cut mitered corners if you like. Or straight corners (like I did) for a super modern look.

Lay your 1″ x 6″ pieces onto the mirror. Mark and cut each frame side to fit.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Dry fit the pieces over your mirror.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Step 2: Drill pocket holes at one end of each piece.

This is how you’ll join the frame pieces and finish your frame. If you’ve never used a pocket hole jig before, check out Brittany’s tutorial for how to use a Kreg Jig.

Tip: Use a pencil or pen to mark where the pocket holes will go. This is especially important if some pieces line up better with specific pieces or if you prefer the wood grain on one side of a board. Things can get confusing when you head to your Kreg Jig and all of the pieces suddenly look the same.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Step 3: Assemble the frame.

Use 1 ¼” pocket hole screws to join each side of the frame together.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Tip: If you don’t have a partner to help you hold your pieces, use clamps to hold the frame pieces on your workbench while you assemble the frame with screws.

Here is the front of the assembled frame:

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

And the back so that you can see how the pocket holes look. The corner with four pocket holes was my mistake, but that corner is super strong now. 😉

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Step 4: Polish and finish the frame.

Once assembled, use fine-grit sandpaper to polish the frame, smooth out rough spots, and break down any edges. Before staining, it’s helpful to set your frame on painter’s pyramids to elevate the frame off your surface.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Stain and finish the frame to your liking. (I used Minwax Special Walnut and two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane.)

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Need some tips on how-to stain and finish wood?  You can check out my tips and tutorial for wood staining here if you’re not familiar with how to finish wood.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Step 5: Cut the plywood backing.

Cut the plywood piece about ½” smaller than the frame on each side. This prevents plywood edge from peeking out from behind your frame, but it will still provide plenty of support. You can also stain the edges of the plywood backing to match your frame.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Step 6: Attach the mirror to the backing.

Before adhering your mirror to the plywood backing, dry fit the frame, mirror and backing to ensure everything lines up.

Apply clear silicone adhesive to the center of the plywood backing. (Do not use standard construction adhesive as it will mess with your mirror’s reflective side.)

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Mine looks quite messy because the tube literally exploded on me, and I ended up mashing the adhesive around like finger paint. Sometimes you just have to go with it, right?

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Center the mirror onto the plywood backing.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Apply weight evenly to ensure the mirror adheres well. Here’s where my husband’s garage gym actually isn’t a pain in my butt. His weights worked perfectly, and a piece of extra plywood helps to protect the mirror and distribute the weight. Let dry according to the adhesive instructions.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Step 7: Attach the frame to the mirror and backing.

Use Heavy Duty Liquid Nails to attach the frame to the backing, and then use a brad nail gun to drive nails around the backing and into the back of the frame.

But wait!

For full disclosure, here’s where I hid a snag, so I didn’t do step 7 as described. I had calculated my frame piece measurements so that the finished frame would cover the beveled edge that ran about 1″ around the mirror. That means that when I set my frame on top of the mirror and backing, there was a small gap between the backing and the frame, which foiled my plans to simply use Liquid Nails and a nail gun to attach the frame to the backing. Ugh! You can avoid this by making sure your frame fits snugly around your mirror and doesn’t sit on top of it. If you do that, just skip to step 8!

To fill the gap, cut pieces of scrap 1/4″ plywood to act as spacers around the mirror.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Then glue the scrap pieces down using Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive. Add more Liquid Nails on top of the spacers, and carefully place your frame on top of the spacers.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

After making sure your positioning is correct, use weights to apply pressure all around the frame. (Put scrap wood between the weights and the frame to protect it.)

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Once the adhesive has cured, flip the entire framed mirror over and drive a few screws through the backing and into those glued scrap plywood pieces.

Step 8: Screw your D-rings to the back of the mirror and hang. 

If your mirror is anything like mine, you’ll need to give the frame and mirror a good cleaning after hanging it. It’s been through a lot.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

Tip: Remember to hang the mirror on screws that are driven into wall studs or use drywall anchors rated for a weight that can handle your mirror.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

I’m really happy with how it turned out.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

What do you think? I think it adds some more dimension to a room that was in desperate need of something extra.

DIY Wood-Framed Mirror Tutorial

I’ll see you next month here on Pretty Handy Girl, but in the meantime, I’d love to have you visit my blog by Brittany Goldwyn to my entryway! I’ve painted, shared free build plans for a shoe storage cubby, and revealed the final space.

DIY shoe cubby build plans

Oh, and I’m finishing up a $100 powder room makeover next week, because apparently 2017 is the year I don’t sit still. Until next time!

Wood-Framed Mirror TutorialRead More of Brittany Goldwyn’s Tutorials ~

10 replies
  1. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Great post! It inspired us to build our own bathroom vanity mirror! We are having trouble finding adhesive that won’t ruin the back of the
    Mirror. I noticed the link in your list of things needed is for iron grip (which we ordered), but the image in your blog looks like something else. ANy advice with this?? I’m nervous the iron grip may also damage the mirror.

    Reply
  2. Theresa
    Theresa says:

    I have a HUGE mirror that has been in my basement (still in the moving crate) since I moved here 23 years ago. I doesn’t have a frame I keep trying to find the time to frame it. Thank you for the information. This is very helpful

    Reply
  3. Brenna Watson
    Brenna Watson says:

    What a stylish design. Honestly, I was searcher of different home interior design and I found this article of yours. It is totally a good design to imitate. The design is so cool. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. I like it.

    Reply
  4. Heather Grimshaw
    Heather Grimshaw says:

    I love the finished product. I also live that you made a booboo along the way to show your human. ☺
    Thank you,
    Heather – Honolulu

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I’m back to bring you another easy and stylish tutorial! Last month I shared a tutorial on how to frame out a mirror using wood. This month I’m working with wood again to build a plant […]

  2. […] mirror: DIY, full plans here over at Pretty Handy […]

  3. […] I also mentioned a few weeks ago that I was picking up a new side gig as a monthly contributor for one of my favorite blogs, Pretty Handy Girl. Last week, Brittany from PHG posted my official welcome post and my first tutorial: a DIY wood-framed mirror! […]

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