Totally awesome HUGE mirror made from shims (DIY mirror project)

How many projects have you pinned and actually followed through and finished? I can probably count on one hand how many projects on my Pinterest to-do list I’ve actually done. Well I’m here to report I actually followed through and made a project I pinned on pinterest. I am as shocked as you.

My friend Kristi from Addicted 2 Decorating made the most awesome mirror almost TWO years ago. And almost two years ago I pinned that sucker so quick. I just had to make one. It only took almost two years, but I’ve made the mirror and I’m thrilled to bits about it.

Here’s my HUGE 4-foot in diameter wood mirror made from wood shims.

It is huge. And it is swoon worthy.

When I started the project I wasn’t really sure where I was going to hang it. I was leaning towards putting it above my bed. However, I also wanted to make the mirror as huge as possible, so when it clocked in at 4-feet wide, it became too big to put above my bed. This huge bare wall in my dining room fit the bill perfectly.

This dining room wall used to house my orange color-backed bowls

I still love these orange-backed bowls, but they always seemed a little small for the massive expanse of wall. Replacing them with the big honkin’ shim mirror seemed like a smart change. Plus, the mirror matches the table and brings more of the darker wood tone into the room.

Kristi did a really great tutorial on her blog, so I don’t want to just repost hers, but I will highlight the areas I changed.

The inspiration mirror was a little more than 3 feet in diameter. I wanted mine super-sized (because everything is bigger in Texas?) so I opted for a 4 feet in diameter frame. I purchased a full 4’x8′ piece of 1/2″ MDF and had the hardware store cut it in half for me (for 2- 4’x4′ pieces). By doing this, when I trimmed it into a circle, I made it as big as I could; into a 4 feet wide mirror.

Also, I used 12″ shims and just cut them in half so I had a huge pile of 6-inch long shims.

I pretty much didn’t take any pictures until after all my shims were glued on, so we’ll have to start from there. I found the exact center of the board, used a pencil, nail, and string to draw the circumference (see a few pics below for a picture of this). I also started gluing the shims starting at the center point instead of the outside. This ensured that I would have the same amount of shim squares on either side of the actual mirror.

Because my shims were 6 inches long I opted to make each of my shim squares 6 shims wide. (Kristi’s shim squares are 4 shims wide). I wanted bigger squares because the mirror was so huge.

Once all my shims were glued on I cut out the huge outer circle with my jig saw and gave the edge a good sanding with some 60 grit sandpaper and my palm sander. This is the exact sander I own and use.

To cut out the smaller center circle I used the nail, string, pencil technique to make a jumbo compass and traced a new circle. Make sure you measure this against your mirror so your mirror fits!

When the center hole was cut I gave the inside edge another good sanding then did a quick once-over on the top of all the shims. Now it’s time to stain! I used the color Minwax Dark Walnut 2716 which is generally my go-to stain color for a rich dark brown finish.

I had a few spots that wouldn’t take stain because I got some wood glue on the shims, so when the stain was dry I hit those spots really well with the sander, then re-stained them.

I let the mirror frame dry for a few days in the garage. It’s already looking so good! Eek!

To finish it off, I gave it several thin coats of my favorite clear top coat – Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2x in a clear matte finish. I pretty much buy this by the case-full and use it on all my art projects.

Now it’s time for the mirror! I flipped it over once it was totally dry…

And glued the mirror on with some Liquid Nails. Then I used some heavy paint cans on top to hold it in place while it dried. *I used Liquid Nails for paneling because that’s what I had on hand.

As for the mirror, I had a really hard time finding one big enough! I looked at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Home Depot, Lowes, and even Target for a mirror and there were none. Finally it dawned on me to try ikea. Of course they totally came through and I got this Kolja perfect sized vanity mirror for only $15. (Most vanity mirrors at other stores are a lot more expensive than that!)

And that was that. A few hooks on the back and she’s good to go.

I really love the texture. The shims start big at one end and get smaller at the other, so when you alternate them all over the mirror it creates a really awesome rustic texture. I also really like the color and how each shim really soaked up the stain differently from the other shims.

I can officially say I recreated a pinterest pin. One down, 3,400 pins to go!

Before and after:

Price breakdown:
3 packages of shims – about $12
1/2 sheet of MDF – $13
Mirror – $15
Stain, glue, etc I already had
Grand Total: $40

I bet a mirror like this would sell for hundreds of dollars in a little custom eclectic shop.

So believe it or not, I actually DIY cute projects occasionally. ha! And if you feel so inclined, I would love for you to pin this project onto your own pin boards for all your friends to see. xo

You can follow me on pinterest here. Find Kristi’s original post here.

This post contains amazon affiliate links.


Check out the kids’ teal and grass green bathroom makeover

Guess what? I am done.

D-O-N-E with the kids’ gender-neutral bathroom makeover! Well, done enough. I still need some art for a wall or two, but for now, I’m calling it.

I stayed pretty true to my original plan, but I did change a few things which I’ll get to in a minute.

Before-and-Afters are my favorite, so let’s just start off there. No point in dragging it out and keeping you in suspense. You are welcome. I am super obnoxious and labeled each before and after photo just in case any of them pop up on pinterest.

I am so stoked with how this room turned out. And I’m even more stoked that I was able to pull this room together in about a week. Fastest makeover ever. Pat on the back to me.

So, what the heck did I do? First off, I painted the walls a Martha Stewart color called Heavy Goose. It’s the same gray that I painted our office. I chose this color because it’s a really light gray and I already had some in my garage. Win/win. Double prizes! I also hung all the beadboard and framed out the mirror.

I started with the shower curtain as my main color pallet and inspiration for the room. It’s hard to find a curtain that is gender-neutral that isn’t too boyish or girlish. Fortunately my daughter is crushing on blue at the moment, so she loved the curtain.

On my original inspiration board I chose some teal towels from ikea, but after I stumbled on these two-tone blue and green towels at Target, I quickly snagged them instead. Now the kids each have their own color of towel which is great for me because now I know who to yell at when I find a wet towel on the carpet. :)

I found the wooden block letters at least a year ago either at Target Dollar Spot or HobLob. I can’t remember. Eventually I’ll paint them some fun bright colors, but they are cute none the less sitting on the little ledge. Great easy way to label who’s towel is who’s.

And I’m still geeking out over the robe hooks. I just love the little white beads on them. They go so well with the beadboard.

I added a bit of moulding around the window above the tub just to frame it out and make it more finished. I don’t plan to put a curtain on this little window, but the moulding really helps to make it pop.

I still can’t get over how much of a difference this mirror frame has made. And it was such a simple DIY project.

The white frame and white beadboard and white counter look so crisp and fresh against the pale gray wall with the pops of teal and grass green.

The room is such a fun space now, especially considering how much of a dungeon it looked like before. It was dark and boring and depressing, but with a little color it’s now fun and ready for kids to splash around in.

The toilet area is still a bit unfinished. I was going to hang some rustic floating shelves above the toilet, but the more I think about it, the more I feel I should hang a cabinet with doors. As the kids get older they will need somewhere to store all the toilet paper and hygiene products. I don’t want them to feel embarrassed by having personal stuff like that sitting out. Getting a cabinet is now on my to-do list.

As for all the posts leading up to this, and all the stuff purchased for the room…

Original mood and inspiration board for the room.
Hanging beadboard and trim tutorial.
How to frame out a mirror.
Painting beadboard and a hardware source list.

Shower Curtain: Target
Fluffy two-tone towels: Target
Teal towel in shower: ikea
robe hooks: Home Depot
Rug: ikea
metal shelf: ikea
light blue jugs: ikea
silver and blue bead box: husband purchased in India
plant and case: ikea
soap pump: Target
Hardware: Home Depot
clock: ikea
wooden K and T: craft store?
basket on toilet: Marshall’s
Trash can: Target

And just because I’m so dang proud of this room, here are the before and after pictures again! Yippie!

I hope you enjoyed this little makeover. If you have any questions ask in the comments and I’ll answer them in the comments section as well.


The kids’ bathroom mirror gets framed

The past few weeks I’ve been working on renovating the kids’ bathroom. Today I’m going to show you how I framed out their mirror. I have never framed out a mirror before so I ended up putting it off in our house for more than two years. After completing one all I have to say is, dude, this is pretty darn easy. Expect me to go on a tangent and frame out all the mirrors in this house over the next month.

Such a huge difference. I can’t even believe how much of a difference this simple update has made. Just to recap, so far I’ve shared my plans for the bathroom complete with a moodboard and I’ve shown you how to install beadboard.

I pretty much followed the tutorial from The House of Smiths. I have looked at several dozen framed out mirrors and the frame of hers is my favorite, so I tried to replicate it. I did a few things differently and I’ll get into that below.

To frame out the mirror, I first had to gather my moulding of choice. Shelley used a baseboard and quarter round glued together so I did the same thing. Home Depot didn’t have the same baseboard that Shelley used, so I purchased this one instead:

I also purchased some quarter round to sit on top of the baseboard to create the outer edge of the frame.

Before I headed to Home Depot for my supplies, I measured the mirror and got some rough measurements. This way I could cut my moulding at Home Depot so it would fit better in my car. I added about 6″ or so to each of my measurements and did rough cuts at the store.

When I got home the first thing I did was glue the quarter round to the baseboard. This is one of the steps I did differently than Shelley, but either way works just fine. I glued mine first so that I only had to cut each section once, and also to make sure both pieces of moulding (the baseboard and the quarter round) fit perfectly together with less room for error.

To attach the quarter round, add wood glue to the back then use some painters tape to secure it while it dries. Pay close attention to the outer edge and make sure the quarter round is flush with the baseboard.

Methodically go through and glue all of your pieces together. Notice that I haven’t made any angled cuts around the edges yet.

Here’s a better picture to see exactly how they are attached.

While the tape was still attached to the moulding pieces, I made my 45 degree cuts on either end of each board. This is where they will meet at a 90 degree angle to form the frame. I used a little scrap block on the clamp to protect my moulding from getting damaged from the clamp. Also, in case you are wondering, it is totally okay to cut through the painters tape with your saw.

Once the pieces were cut I laid the frame out on the floor of the garage to make sure it all fit together. Looking great! (I did not attach the frame together beforehand, I just did a dry run).

When you are attaching a frame to a mirror you will be able to see a sliver of reflection of the back of the frame through the mirror. Make sure you paint about 1/2″ of the inner side of the back of your frame before you attach it to the mirror.

While the paint was drying I left the pieces upside down on the floor.

*edited to add: if you have clips on your mirror (as opposed to the mirror being glued to the wall), Remodelaholic did a tutorial showing how to install a frame around this type of mirror.

Normally I attach moulding with a nail gun, but you can’t put a nail gun through a mirror or it will shatter. :) To attach the frame to the mirror I used Liquid Nails. Don’t forget to remove all the painters tape!

While the Liquid Nails dried I held it on with painter’s tape.

I hope this doesn’t confuse you, but I chose to make my frame extend wider than the outside of the mirror on the right side and the top. I didn’t want to take away too much mirror real estate, so I just made sure that about 1/2 the width of the moulding covered the mirror on both of those pieces. Because my moulding hung off the outer edge of the mirror by about 2″, I used my nail gun on the outer corner of those peices to attach the moulding to the wall. If you do this just be extra careful that you don’t put a nail through your mirror.

I also made sure I had the beadboard added before I attached the mirror so that the beadboard edge would sit under the frame for a cleaner look.

Even though the frame is full of gaps and nail holes that need to be filled and painted, you can already see how great it’s going to look.

I filled all the nail holes with wood putty, and then I filled all the raw seams with caulk. When all that was dry I taped off the inside of the mirror and began painting. My favorite trim paint that I use exclusively on all trim in my house is a Sherwin Williams color called Alabaster. I mostly use semi-gloss.

Because the walls are going to get painted I didn’t bother taping them off.

I know there are dozens of tutorials online for trimming out a mirror, but each is unique and offers different tips. If you want to do this I encourage you to go out and read other tutorials and tackle this project the way you feel most comfortable.

After doing one mirror now, in the future I would most definitely glue my quarter round to my baseboard before cutting. That made it so much easier. However, I would probably glue my frame completely together and paint it before attaching it to the mirror. That way all my corners are perfect and tight. All in all it was an easy project and I am absolutely doing it to the other 4 bathroom mirrors in this house (3 more bathrooms – one with 2 mirrors).

What’s left?
*Paint all beadboard, trim, and baseboards
*add moulding around small window above tub
*attach hardware (hooks, tp holder, hand towel ring)
*paint walls – still undecided on a color

Have you tackled a mirror and blogged about it? I would love to see it! Please leave your link in the comments and I’ll try to pin it.

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