Cathedral Mirror Wall Hanging

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Project by KevinH posted 11-26-2019 01:46 AM 974 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got the idea for this project from a piece I saw in a home decorating shop. The overall dimensions are 32”H x 28”W. Part of the puzzle was to determine how to draw the arched cathedral “window”. All the curves are simply segments of a circle – no especially difficult to draw curves. I cut a template out of plywood, then used a pattern bit in my router to cut out the 1/2” plywood. Then I used a round-over bit to ease the edges. Next time I’ll use 3/4” plywood, or piece together some hardwood. The 1/2” plywood just isn’t rigid enough to handle these thin edges under a router.

My wife loved it and thought it would look great with a mirror behind it.

Great! I’ll buy a mirror, cut it to follow the curve, attached it to the back and hang it on the wall. How hard could that be? Well, I’ve never cut glass – ever – before this project. Fear of messing up a nice piece of mirror stock by trying my hand at a huge curved cut stopped progress on this project for almost a year!

Then I had a different idea, as you can see here.

The square outside frame is 1/4” thick Red Oak with just enough of a rabbet to accept the 1/2” plywood back. The corners are mitered. I made straight cuts to fit the mirror into this frame and used mirror adhesive to hold it in place. I glued the arched frame to the mirror and added thin plywood “masks” in the upper corners to cover the parts of the mirror that I didn’t want to show. Before attaching the pieces to the top of the mirror, I laid down black tape under the long arch line to avoid having the mirror peek through where it should not.

The cathedral arch is painted white and slightly distressed. The masking pieces at the top are painted to match the wall so the effect is that they recede allowing the arch to get the visual attention.

The shelf is an additional request from my wife and allowed me to try molding cutters on my table saw.


-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

4 comments so far

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1457 posts in 2501 days

#1 posted 11-26-2019 02:39 AM

Good design. All the proportions are spot on. I can see all kinds of styles to use this on, from medieval to Arts and craft. Nice job.

-- James E McIntyre

View BurlyBob's profile


9293 posts in 3474 days

#2 posted 11-26-2019 03:23 AM

I’ve always loved the cathedral design. You’ve given me a fantastic idea for a Christmas present for my wife. Thank You!

View ralbuck's profile


6763 posts in 3475 days

#3 posted 11-26-2019 05:16 PM

Very pretty.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View dannmarks's profile


1028 posts in 1790 days

#4 posted 11-27-2019 01:07 AM

Nice job. Very lovely

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