Salvaged window mirror - after

Salvaged window mirror - before

I saw this window frame at a salvage yard and coveted it for a few months before finally buying it. Instead of the opaque Plexiglass it came with, I inserted mirrors. I love mirrors because they can make a small space feel airy and bright. This one offers an added bonus: the illusion of an additional window. I planned to paint the frame, but decided that I like the natural, rustic look of it. Plus, it matches the wooden doors in my apartment.

How to make a mirror out of a salvaged window frame

Supplies

  • salvaged window
  • 1/8-inch-thick mirrors
  • paper mailing tape
  • 2 keyhole fasteners
  • 4 washers
  • 4 small wood screws
  • 2 felt pads
  • 2 drywall screws
  • corrugated cardboard

Tools

  • drill and drill bit
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • screwdriver
  • utility knife
  • self-healing mat (optional)
  • stud sensor (optional)
  • level (optional)

plexiglass_fit

1. Choose one of the Plexiglass sheets, and make sure it fits in all nine openings.

plexiglass_measure

2. Measure the piece of Plexiglass, and call glass stores for price quotes on mirrors the same size. Most glass stores in my area charge $10.50 per mirror, but I found one place that agreed to charge me $6.50 each. It pays to shop around—I saved about $40! You can usually pick them up 24 hours later.

mirror_panes

3. Insert each mirror in an opening.

stack_of_cardboard

4. Using a utility knife, cut pieces of cardboard the same size as the mirrors. Protect your surface with spare sheets of cardboard or a self-healing mat. Depending on the thickness of your frame and the cardboard, you may need two pieces for each opening. My cardboard was thick, so I only used one piece each.

cardboard_backing

5. Insert the cardboard piece(s) on top of the mirror in each opening.

taped_panes

6. Tape along all the edges of the cardboard with paper mailing tape.

hanger

7. Drill pilot holes on the back, starting about one inch below the top of the frame. Screw on the keyhole fasteners. Make sure they’re facing the right way. I inserted washers under each fastener to give a little extra space underneath for the screw head to fit.

felt_pads2

8. Adhere one felt pad at each of the bottom corners.

window_mirror

9. Measure the distance between the keyhole fasteners. Find the studs in your wall (by knocking or using a stud sensor), and drill drywall screws into the studs (or use a drywall anchor or molly bolt). Use a level and measure twice before drilling. Hang the mirror on the wall.