DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own Rustic Chunky Frame Mirror!

And so it began.  My staircase was flat out BORING.  I was planning on creating a picture gallery up the stairs to fill in the blank walls but something just didn't feel right.  I love me a beautiful gallery wall and had one in my apartment but visually in my mind it felt too cluttered since this space is also part of the dining room. 

The new plan was to create a large mirror with an aged look for the bottom of the stairs and then just a few pictures and prints going up the stair wall to keep things simple. 

The mirror was completed and hung yesterday and I am head over heels for this baby.  Yes I could have gone out and bought a mirror, been done with it and had it hanging weeks ago but there is no way I would feel the amazing sense of pride I get right now looking at it knowing I created this with my own two hands. 

I scoured Craigslist looking for mirrored closet doors that I could take the frames off of and use just the mirror portion for this project, I got that idea from this inspiration picture:

Anyway, finding closet doors was not happening so I turned to my trusty friend, Ikea.  This place never fails...except on a Saturday when everyone is off work and seems to take up residence there.  I found the Stave mirror for $49.99 and examined it to make sure I could get the frame off before purchasing.  All the glass was held in with was some glue/silicone and staples.  I snatched her up and headed home.  I admit, this part scared me because even though this mirror was incredibly inexpensive for its size, I did not want to break it while taking the frame off.

All I can say is to take your time.  I used a razor blade to cut around the back of the frame and separate the glue from the mirror and used a flat head screw driver to bend all the staples back. 

That worked to an extent but I had to get out the hammer.  Yes a hammer and glass to do not mesh well but that was my only solution.  I went very slow and tapped all around the frame and it came apart pretty quickly and much easier than I had anticipated.

After sweating and praying that this would all come out in one piece, this is what I had.  I used a bathroom rug to set it on so it would have a soft pad and so it wouldn't slip on the floor. 

I decided to go with pine boards and individually chose each board to make sure they were super knotty.  You will see how these knots look stained in a little while but let's really get into the steps of bringing this monster to life.

What you will need:

-Inside frame: four 1x6 eight ft. pine panel boards
-Outside frame: four 1x6 eight ft. boards
-12 L brackets
-Wipe on stain, color of choice
-Ikea Stave mirror
-Miter saw (make sure you have one that can cut all the way through the width of the wood

#1: Purchase four 8ft 1x6 pine paneling boards.  They have this groove in them that I figured would be perfect to slide my mirror into.  I liked this idea much better than trying to glue the mirror to the wood and hoping it doesn't fall off.  This groove would make sure the mirror stayed secure for all of eternity (sorry I know this is slightly blurry, the next picture should help give you an idea of what it looks like).

#2: Break out your amazingly stunning chop saw.  Finally I get to put her into action!  Thank you Uncle John for giving this to me, I will take very good care of it and cut everything in sight!

#3: 45 degree angles galore.  That is all the cutting for this project consisted of, I was happy with the ease of measuring for my first woodworking project.

If you don't have a saw yet, let me recommend one with a laser, it helps out in so many ways.  You can be confident you are cutting exactly where you measured.

#4: Attach all corners with L brackets.  I did not use any glue on the actual wood.  The L brackets were strong enough to keep everything tight and secure.
#5: I connected three sides first and ended up testing the mirror quite a few times to make sure that everything lined up once the mirror was installed.  This is where I hit a little hang up.  Once I slid the mirror into place the top piece that looked perfect without the mirror now looked like this:

The issue?  The bottom piece that the mirror sat in was uneven.  A co-worker of mine recommended using my Dremmel sander to sand inside the groove, ummm genius!  Yes!!  So I did exactly that and the mirror fit like a glove.  Thank god because if I have to buy another piece of wood and start over you may have been seeing this Swoon girl on the news..... and not for anything good.

#6:  Once all three sides are connected and the mirror fits you can start working on the outside frame.  I used regular 1x6 pine boards.  I went through the same steps of cutting all three on 45 degree angles and attaching them to the inside frame.  I just laid the outside frame on top of the pine panels and used finishing nails to secure them together (you don't even see them after staining and if you do it just adds to the rustic feel).  Once you have the top and bottom frame nailed together I just used L brackets on the outside frame as well:

Here is a shot from the front of the frame:

#7: All I did here was make sure the fourth side that was not secured yet (remember, you still have to slide the mirror in) still matched up with the two shorter sides.  Good to go!

#8: Carefully, ever so carefully slide the mirror into the frame, you need two people.  Thank you husband for coming down to the basement every time I needed to check and double check what I was doing.

#9: You are in the home stretch!  I used silicon for the back of the mirror to make sure that it didn't wobble inside the frame.  I didn't want to hear it shake every time someone shut the front door or just walked by.  This was super easy, just load into your caulk gun and fire away.  It doesn't have to be super neat because no one will ever see this side.

#10: Get staining!  Thank you all for your advice last week, I took it!  The walnut stain was perfect and looks gorgeous against my rice grain wall.

The rag must have been happy with it too because this is what I saw after I opened it up!  Exactly how I felt too friend :)

Staining complete!

#11: Last step is to hang the mirror.  I used this hanging system to make sure the mirror would be secure to the wall.  It ends up being pretty heavy and this hook will hold up to 200 lbs.  A little excessive I know but I would rather go overboard than come home to a broken mirror.

Are you ready for this?  Now you can step back and admire.  This is all I have done since it went up yesterday.  It adds so much to this room and cost just about $100!

What do you think?  If I left anything out that you have questions about let me know!  Shanna and I are going to do a repeat of this project very soon for her bedroom :) 

See you swoon,


  1. It looks awesome! I have always wanted a chunky mirror like that. Good job :)

  2. Thank you Heather! The best part is now you have the play by play so you could totally build one if you didn't know how to do it before :)

  3. Wow!! I'm super impressed! You should link this up with some link/blog parties!!

  4. Looks amazing!! Way to go DYI swoon chick!

  5. I've been wanting a full body mirror but just can't find one that suits me and my husband's rustic taste. So this is the solution for me! Thanks so much for sharing!


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