Can I just say that to buy a big fancy floor mirror today might require taking out a small loan? They are not cheap!! Trust me. I searched high and low for a designer mirror that would make a statement. But wasn’t really wanting to budget nearly $1000 for it! Whoa! So, when all else fails, make it yourself, right?! And that’s what I did. Thankfully, at way under $200, mine didn’t break the bank. And added bonus: it was a bit therapeutic–throw in the earbuds, favorite playlist going, get in the zone. Let’s build a DIY full-length mirror that is Anthropologie swoon-worthy.
Here’s the full tutorial.
Easy DIY Designer Full Length Mirror
Instructions are based on a 19 1/2″ x 68″ mirror. Adjust accordingly for different size mirrors.
- 4×8 sheet of 3/4″ plywood
If you’re having Home Depot or Lowe’s do your wood cuts, you’ll need:
1 cut at 24″ x 76″—This will be your backer board;
2 cuts at 4″ x 28″—These will be your top and bottom strips;
2 cuts at 5″ x 76″—These will be your side strips)
- Tall Frameless Mirror (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a link on a mirror that I was comfortable with the price…all of the ones I found online are very expensive….However, I bought mine at Home Depot and spent around $40)
- Wood Glue
- Black Paint
- Painter’s Tape
- Hot Glue Gun
- Decorative Trim
- 1 3/4″ Styrofoam Balls (Approximately 50)
- Mod Podge
- Baking Soda
- Paintbrushes (Variety of sizes)
- Gold Leaf Foils
- Rub ‘n Buff
Amazon Affiliate Links Included
Power Tools Needed:
If you’re unable to make your plywood cuts at a local big box store, you’ll need access to the following power tool…
Step One: Build the frame
If you don’t already have your cuts made for your backer board…Using a circular saw or table saw, rip your 3/4″ piece of plywood to 24″ x 76″. Center your mirror onto this sheet. Glue mirror onto plywood using Flex Shot (This stuff is the bomb! Works great as mirror adhesive, wood glue, anything you need to glue down)….
If you don’t already have your cuts made for your side pieces, rip 3/4″ plywood to two 5″ strips and cut at 76″. Attach to the sides of the mirror using Flex Shot. You’ll want to cover about 3/4″ of your mirror face. Side note: These side boards will stick out a few inches wider than your backer board. See picture below…
If you don’t already have your cuts made for your top and bottom pieces, rip 3/4″ plywood sheet to two 4″ strips and cut to fit in between side plywood pieces. Attach these smaller boards to the top and bottom of the mirror using Flex Shot. Once again, you’ll want to cover about 3/4″ of your mirror face. As with the side boards, these wooden boards will stick out a little bit wider than your backer board….
Tape off the mirror face and paint your DIY mirror frame with black paint. We could stop here and have a very modern (kinda boring) full length mirror, but let’s add that wow factor and make a statement mirror!
Step Two: Add the trim pieces
I chose 3 1/2″ wide trim to add a little more detail. Cut trim pieces to fit and attach with 3/4″ screws (or Flex Shot). I chose not to use screws and solely stick to the Flex Shot to attach all of my pieces….
Make angle cuts to square the end pieces together. Use wood filler to fill in any gaps between your angles….
Your DIY full length mirror should now look like this…
Step Three: Add the styrofoam balls
Cut your styrofoam balls in half, using a sharp knife (I used a steak knife), at their natural crease. You should now have 100 styrofoam balls. I did this step while watching one of my shows on Netflix. Time consuming, but a no-brainer….
Using a hot glue gun attach the half styrofoam balls to the mirror frame, as shown below….
Step Four: Prep the frame
Paint Mod Podge on all of the styrofoam balls. This gives it a protective coat for when you add primer, paint, etc…
Next mix primer and baking soda together to add texture and more protection. Paint this mixture onto the styrofoam balls….
Paint the styrofoam balls and trim pieces all black. I used Satin Finish Tricorn Black, but really any black paint will work (I prefer a satin or matte finish)….
Step Five: Add the gold leaf foil and Rub ‘n Buff
Working in sections (about 5 styrofoam balls at a time), paint a coat of Mod Podge in that 5 styrofoam ball section….
And then place a sheet of gold leaf over the Mod Podge prepared area…
Use a dry paint brush to push the foil into place….
Then add another coat of Mod Podge over it to seal the foil and keep it in place….
Keep repeating this process working in small sections. I focused on covering the styrofoam balls first. And then went back and filled in missing spots along the edges and parts of the trim my foil sheets didn’t cover.
Working with the foil definitely takes some getting used to. Not that it’s hard to do. It’s just very light and a bit challenging to manipulate where you want it to go. It falls apart very easily too.
I found that using the dry brush to move it in place was very helpful. After about 2-3 sections, I was on a roll and really had it figured out.
The key is: you can’t mess it up. If you feel like you need more gold in a spot add more foil. If you feel like you have too much gold in a spot, add more Mod Podge and manipulate the gold to another spot. Or take some of the gold off once you get it wet with Mod Podge.
To give it a bit of a softer look and fill in some spots that had too much black showing through, I used Gold Rub and Buff. I simply squirted a small amount in a styrofoam bowl and used a small brush to paint on where I felt it was needed….
So, I know it’s a lot of steps, but SO worth it. Not to mention, a much better price tag than the designer mirrors I was finding online.
I love the statement it makes! It’s more than just a mirror. It’s a solid furniture item and a great addition to our master bedroom…
Are you ready to take a plain mirror and turn it into a unique design? This conversation piece is the perfect DIY project.
I hope you found this DIY full length mirror post to be helpful. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I love helping you turn these DIY posts into something tangible. You never know what you’re capable of until you try! You’ve got this!
Before we go, let’s talk about the interior design aspect of mirrors.
Lately, I’ve been trying to answer FAQ’s and give tips on the design element of the topic we’re discussing. So, here are some frequently asked questions about mirrors, that I think you might find helpful.
FAQ’s and Tips For Designing with Mirrors
What is the interior design benefit of adding a mirror?
Mirrors provide two design benefits in a space. They make a room feel larger and brighter. A mirror causes images to bounce off of it from different angles. This in turn imparts a sense of space and depth to a room.
This same effect applies to artificial and natural light. Making a room feel lighter and brighter as the light bounces off the mirror and into different parts of the room.
Where’s the best place to position a mirror?
The previous question leads us into the answer for this one. As I mentioned before, mirrors accentuate natural and artificial lights. Therefore, it is best to place a mirror opposite of or next to a window. This will provide the right angle to bounce light throughout a room.
Make sure the mirror’s reflection is worthy
Take note of what your mirror is reflecting. Remember that whatever it is, you’re now displaying two of them. So, make sure it’s something that is a statement piece in the room and worthy of drawing attention to.
Choose a mirror design that looks like a window
This is a great hack to make a room that has little to no windows appear to have an added window. Especially if you can place it in a part of the room that will bounce light off of it. A great way to make a closed off room feel much more open and spacious.
Choosing a quality mirror
Mirrors can be very expensive. But cheap mirrors can change the entire feel of a room. When choosing a mirror, a simple rule of thumb is: the thicker the glass, the better quality the reflection will be.
An old mirror often has black spotting on it. This happens when moisture works its way in and breaks down the bond between the glass and the backing product. This in turn, creates black spots on the face of the mirror.
Until next time,
Happy Building, Friend!!
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