Have you ever looked at the price tag of one of those gorgeous oversized mirrors from Crate and Barrel or Antrhopologie only to be sadly disappointed? Today we’re going to show you how we made this DIY large grid mirror for a fraction of retail prices.
Before we dive into the tutorial, I want to give you a fair warning. This DIY mirror will give you the oversized grid mirror look for less, but don’t count on it to be a perfectly functional mirror.
Our mirror tiles look crisp and clear up close, but when you take a step back and look at the mirror from far away, the reflection can look a bit distorted from mirror to mirror. This is because the tiles needs to be laid perfectly to have a continuous picture. Even the slightest angle in the mirror can cause the picture to not line up between tiles.
Overall, I’m happy with the mirror and how it looks in my space, but I wasn’t intending on using it as an actual mirror. Just wanted to give you a fair warning before you dive into this DIY!
Alright, let’s make an oversized DIY mirror.
How to Make a Large Grid Mirror
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- Circular Saw (or you can see if Lowe’s or Home Depot will cut the wood for you)
- Miter Saw
- Brad Nailer
- Suction Cup (this can really come in handy when trying to move the plywood)
What You’ll Need:
- Mirror tiles (we used two packs of these 10×13 mirror plates)
- Glue (we used Titebond Quick and Thick)
- 4×8 sheet of ½” plywood (any type)
- 36” ⅜” square dowels (we used 11 on our mirror)
- (3) 1 ⅜” x ⅜” trim (we put the rounded edge towards the back to keep the front looking square)
- ⅝” nails
- 1” nails
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Wood filler or spackle
- Spray paint (we used Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Matte Black)
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
To determine the size of your plywood, lay out your mirrors and dowels, then add ⅛ – ¼”. It’s better to cut your plywood slightly too large than slightly too small. We can’t cut the mirrors if we run out of room!
I personally recommend spacing your mirrors and dowels to get the spacing, but if you really don’t want to do this step, you can cut your wood to 30 3/8 x 79 7/8.
Quick note about the plywood choice. We opted for the cheapest ½” underlayment board available since it won’t ever be seen. Our plywood developed a slight curve because it’s so cheap. If you want your mirror to be more sturdy and less likely to curve over time, you can get a hardwood plywood or opt for a ¾” plywood instead.
Once your plywood is cut, cut two pieces of trim to the same width as the plywood. For the vertical trim pieces, personally I like to install the horizontal pieces and then measure the total height. Theoretically, you can just add 3/4” to the height of the plywood if you prefer to cut everything upfront.
Next we’ll cut the dowels for the grid. I like to tape my dowels together so that I can cut them all at once. This ensures they are all the same size without me needing to precisely measure each one.
Before making the first cut, trim off the ends of the dowels so that they are all the same size. You’ll need 5 horizontal pieces that match the width of your plywood (~ 30 3/8).
Next you’ll need to cut 12 pieces that match the height of your mirrors. It should be 13″, but double-check the measurements of your particular mirrors. Make sure to err on the side of cutting these dowels slightly too large rather than slightly too small.
After making cuts, sand any pieces that aren’t already smooth with 220-grit sandpaper.
STEP 2: ADD THE MIRROR FRAME
Place a few ⅜” dowels underneath the plywood to hold it off the ground. The goal is to raise the plywood up enough so that the trim sits ⅜” (or slightly more) beyond the front of the plywood.
This will allow your grid pattern to line up with the frame while also hiding the plywood edge. Technically the frame will extend an additional ⅛” beyond the dowels, but I like the slight step down. If you really want it flush, use leftover ½” plywood as a spacer instead.
Using glue and 1” nails, secure the trim to the edge of the plywood. I first attached the short sides and then attached the longer sides.
STEP 3: ADD THE DOWELS TO CREATE A GRID
First we’ll install the horizontal grids. Place a mirror or two against the bottom trim to act as a spacer. Since we made the plywood slightly larger than needed, place the dowels above the mirrors, but not close enough where the mirrors are tight. They should still be able to slide.
Use glue and ⅝” nails to secure the dowels in place. Be sure to slide the mirror over before firing the brad nailer, just in case the nailer misfires.
Now move the mirrors above the dowel you just added and repeat until you get to the top.
Once the horizontal slats are installed, it’s time to repeat the process with the vertical slats. This is when the suction cup really comes in handy.
Place the mirror in the first “slot” and place your dowel. Before using the nailer, use the suction cup to remove the mirror. Repeat until all the dowels are installed.
STEP 4: SPRAY PAINT
Before breaking out the spray paint, fill any nail holes with wood filler or spackle and sand off the excess.
Spray paint the grid and frame. No need to spray where the mirrors are going to go, but make sure to spray all the sides of the grids.
STEP 5: INSTALL MIRRORS
After letting your spray paint dry for 15-30 minutes, it’s time to install the mirrors! I used Titebond Quick and Thick glue for this. You’ll use close to the full bottle on this mirror.
Add some glue to a hole or two and then place a mirror. Hold in place for 10-15 seconds and then repeat with the remaining mirrors.
After letting the glue dry for a few hours, it’s time to put your mirror up and style it!
There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own DIY large grid mirror! If your mirror tiles look a little foggy, try spraying them with a mixture of 1:1 distilled white vinegar and water. I tried a handful of different cleaning solutions and that’s what finally worked for me!