Framed Mirror

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Project by Daris posted 07-06-2012 02:17 PM 2214 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Framed Mirror
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Completed Mirror

A framed project is just one of those projects that every woodworker has to do in their lifetime.  Right up there with a workbench, cutting board(which I still haven’t made) and an adirondack chair.  This project came to me via a family member who had a large mirror and wanted to build a frame around it.  After looking at a few different project plans I went with one that I found from the book:  The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book (Popular Woodworking).  I modified the project to fit an existing mirror.  The author recommends building the frame and then custom ordering a mirror to fit the frame.  That’s probably a good idea, and something that I may do in the future.  For this project though, reusing what I had was the name of the game.  Another thing the author used in his plan was to drill pocket holes on the front of the frame and then accent them with a different wood type.  Not all together a bad look, but I prefer to hide joints whenever possible.  I reviewed the book that I’m using for this project in another post if you want to check it out.  If you want to see more information about this project including links to materials check out my entry over at

For the lumber I used Red Oak purchased from Menard’s.  I was able to do it with only two boards.  For the hardware I purchased mirror hangers and clips from Hobby Lobby.  The hangers and clips were only a few bucks.  Having an existing mirror definitely made this project more affordable.  If you have an existing mirror that you want to reuse you can probably get this done for under $40.

  • (2) 1” x 6” x 8’ Oak Boards
  • (6) Metal offset clips to hold mirror
  • (2) Mirror hangers

Milling & Assembly

Marking Cut Lines for Mirror ShelfStress Cuts for Mirror ShelfTo start on this project I decided to work on the shelf first(seemed the easiest).  After rough cutting my shelf to length I used my handy Quick Corners Set to mark my corners on each end.  After marking the corners it was time to trim those off.  I used my bandsaw to do that.  First I cut stress cuts into the board just short of my line.  Then I cut rest of the waste off.
Rounding Over Mirror ShelfCompleted Shelf for MirrorAfter cutting my corners on my shelf I rounded them over with a 3/8” round-over bit.  The shelf turned out pretty nice, the quick corner set get’s you a perfect corner every time.
Mirror Top Frame Cove CutMirror Top Cap Routed using Cove BitNext up was the top and bottom rails on my mirror.  This is purely for decoration, so you can be as elaborate or simple as you decide.  I stuck pretty much to the plan for this and routed the rails with a cove bit.  I also did a round over on the edge of the rail to give it a smoother look.
Marking Cut Lines for Top of Mirror FrameStress Cuts for Top Frame of MirrorNext up was cutting the mirror top frame section.  To do this I needed to cut an arch in the top piece.  I used a strip of wood and bent it over from corner to corner and drew a line(an extra set of hands will keep you from going nuts on this one.  So ask for help on this part).  After I had my arch line I then went over to the bandsaw and cut stress cuts into my board.  I then finish cut the rest of board.
Drilling Pocket Holes for Mirror FrameAssembling Mirror Frame with Pocket Hole ScrewsOnce I had all of my pieces cut to their desired length’s, I drilled pocket holes to assemble the frame.  I also drilled pocket holes to hold the top and bottom rail.  If you follow the plan he doesn’t do it, but it certainly looks nicer.  After all of my pocket holes were drilled I move on to screwing them together.  I used 1-1/4” Kreg pocket hole screws to do this.  I didn’t use any glue on this project.
Marking Lines for Rabbit CutsRabbited Out Back of Frame for MirrorAfter I assembled the frame, I needed to route the back of the frame to inset the mirror.  I used a 3/8” rabbit bit for this.
I used metal clips attached in the back to hold the mirror in place.  I also attached two frame hangers near the top of the frame.  I attached these to the sides as you’ll want to put the weight of the mirror on the sides and not on the top board.  To finish this project you’ll want to remove the mirror and apply your favorite stain and finish.  Just make sure you follow the manufacturers directions.  After that re-insert your mirror and you’re all set.

You can check out more info on this project over at:

-- Daris, Indianapolis,

5 comments so far

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5110 days

#1 posted 07-06-2012 06:47 PM

You’ve save yourself some dough just by having the mirror on hand and a great looking turn out as well. Pocket hole are a nice way to save time on joinery. I sure it was a big hit with the lady as well thanks for posting nice work…Blkcherry

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27002 posts in 4392 days

#2 posted 07-06-2012 08:09 PM

Very nice framed mirror! It looks great!!
I love that Kreg fixture! It sure makes frame joining easy!!

How do you like the oak at Menards? Is it thinner than 3/4” like the mahogany?
Pretty soon a 1×4 will be 1/2×3!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Daris's profile


120 posts in 3560 days

#3 posted 07-06-2012 08:09 PM

Thanks blckcherry, yep I definitely saved myself some money by already having the mirror. I’m considering making another one. I’ll need to price out how much those things are if I custom order them…?

-- Daris, Indianapolis,

View Daris's profile


120 posts in 3560 days

#4 posted 07-06-2012 08:13 PM

Hah, you’re right Jim… The actual widths are getting a little crazy. I believe the widths were right on(if I remember correctly). My local Menard’s has an amazing selection of Oak. They carry about every size you can imagine(and can’t). I have different store favorites for different goods. Oak is Menard’s, All Plywood Lowe’s, Pine I go to Home Depot or Lowe’s.

-- Daris, Indianapolis,

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4354 days

#5 posted 07-07-2012 01:08 PM

Great job!! This is a project on my to do list.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

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