This project started out rather humorously. I wanted to have 2 framed mirrors in our master bathroom rather than 1 huge builder-grade mirror. Kurt had the bright idea to save money by buying a glass cutter (for $7.00) and cutting the mirrors to size ourselves. We were already going to save money by framing our own mirrors but if we could break them to size for only $7.00 we would save even MORE!!! If it only went that smoothly…
First we had to take our GIGANTIC builder grade mirror down. I’ve watched the pros do this several times on HGTV and it can be a real nightmare. I was preparing myself for the worst but when we started to take it off we realized it was insanely easy! Thankfully, the builders didn’t glue the mirror to the wall so we didn’t have to worry about it shattering as we pried it off. It was held to the wall with these nifty little metal brackets that slid down and held the mirror in place. Genius.
Before cutting, we had to remove the mirrored border that was adhered to the front of the mirror. Kurt was able to gently pry it off by running a knife in between the border and mirror cutting the foam tape that held them together. Goo Gone was our best friend at this point and successfully removed all of the sticky residue left behind. (Apologies for the dirty sink – these pictures were taken before the DIYstinctlyMade blog days. I’m much more aware of what I’m photographing now).
We got our glass cutter after watching a couple of how-to YouTube videos and gave it a shot. Well… turns out we are not very good mirror cutters. It was pretty difficult to break the mirror on a clean straight line. But practice makes perfect, right? So after breaking the mirror from our master bathroom and getting 1 good piece we went for the guest bathroom mirror (HA!). We needed just 1 more good piece to have our 2 mirrors for our master bathroom. Practice didn’t make perfect… we ended up breaking that one without getting one the same size. At least we didn’t give up right?
We used 1 of our clean breaks and framed it for our guest bathroom and we framed another clean break for our mantle. For the master bathroom we bought 2 plain mirrors from Lowe’s for $24 a piece (it’s still less expensive to buy and frame your own mirrors than to buy already framed mirrors). We didn’t have a router and didn’t feel like buying one so we put our creative hats on.
Without routing an edge for the mirror to sit on behind the frame, how would it be held in place? DING! A light bulb went off… “Let’s use tongue and groove!” It was perfect. The mirror fit perfectly in the groove of the wood!
Here are the supplies we used for 2 mirrors:
- Chop saw
- 4 – 12ft tongue and groove boards (or how ever many needed to fit your mirrors)
- 4 – Eye bolts
- Wire to hang mirror (we used what we had at the house so we doubled up on the string… if you buy a higher gauged wire, one will work fine).
- 2 – 4-Pack 4-in x 4-in Zinc-Plated Flat Braces
- Power drill
- 120 grit sand paper
- Stainable wood filler
- Stain (we used Rustoleum Dark Walnut)
My sweet husband got to work in the freezing cold. I swear I didn’t make him! We don’t have a workshop or even a workbench for that matter… but we DO have a patio which is an upgrade from the condo we were in before.
He set the chop saw to cut at a 45 degree and and started cutting the wood to size. First he cut one edge at 45 degrees. Then, he placed the mirror in the groove to mark where to cut the other side of that piece. You want to line the wood up so that it hits the center of the corner of the mirror leaving enough room for another piece. At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be perfect – no one will see the edge of the mirror in the grooves so if your pieces don’t hug it perfectly, no biggie. Just be sure your wood joints match up at a 95 degree angle… minor gaps can be filled with woodfiller.
Once your pieces are cut you want to stain the inside of the groove before assembling. Why stain the inside? The mirror will reflect the inside of the groove (especially if it is flat, ours have a beveled edge) so if you want it to match the outside of the frame you’ll need to finish it… for us that meant staining. Try to be as neat as possible.
Next we positioned the mirror in the wood pieces and started screwing. THE WOOD! Get your mind out of the gutter. We found it was best to use two “L” shaped flat braces on each corner. Use a power drill to sink one outer screw into place. Move to the other end of the flat brace and sink another outer screw making sure its angled away from the corner so that the pieces of wood are pulled together. This may take a few tries. After a couple attempts with the same big gap between the wood we found this technique worked best.
After the wooden frame was assembled (with the mirror in place) we used some wood filler in the corner seams. After that dried(according to the label) we sanded them down with 120 grit sand paper to smooth them out and started to stain carefully so we didn’t get too much on the mirror. We didn’t want to stain the pieces before assembling because we knew we would use wood filler in the seams and this would require more staining and a potentially blotchy finish. We had a rag handy to wipe as we stained and they turned out great.
Once the frames were stained we screwed the eye bolts into place. We placed on on either side of the frame about 3/4 of the way up. Make sure you don’t use large eye bolts or else your frame will sit that much farther away from the wall. We used some wire we had on hand and strung between the two eye bolts to hang. I’m not sure what gauge the wire was but it obviously wasn’t enough. It immediately snapped when hung – these frames are heavy. We doubled up the wire and that worked like a charm.
What I love about tongue and groove is there are two different “Faces” to the wood. One face is completely flat were the other face has a groove in it. We used the grooved face as the front of our mirrors to add a little character. I’m also thinking about painting gold in the grooves, I haven’t poly-urethaned them yet for this reason.
DIYstinctly Made Framed Mirrors (Master Bathroom)
DIYstinctly Made Framed Mirror (Guest Bathroom)
DIYstinctly Made Framed (Mantle)
After staining, I painted the mirror above our mantle.
These DIYstinctly Made mirrors were super easy, affordable, and they make a HUGE difference.
Stay tuned for more updates in this room including painted cabinets and a new wall color!