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Wood-Framed Mirror

Try a new slant on mirror frames with this surround you can make from a single piece of wood in only one day.

One-Board Mirror

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Cut the Frame Parts

Step 1

From an 8-foot-long pattern stock board cut two 35-inch-long blanks (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram). From each of the blanks you will get four angled parts and one corner piece.

Step 2

Cut a 45-degree miter on each of the blanks going opposite directions. Then cut four 5-inch long pieces. The four pieces from each blank will form the frame top/bottom (A) and frame sides (B) (Project Diagram, Cutting List).

Good to Know

Cutting pieces to identical length will speed up assembly of this project. For consistent results, use stop blocks with mitered ends on your saw.

Step 3

The tongued corner (C) and grooved corner (D) will need to be fitted together with the other parts to get the final dimensions (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Place a frame side and a frame top/bottom against the remnant blanks with the tongue and groove engaged and the tips of the side and top/bottom touching each other.

Step 4

Use a combination square to mark the shape of the corner of the mirror.

Use a combination square and pencil to extend the edges of the frame onto the corner blanks. Use these marks as a guide to cut the part to final size using a miter saw.

Step 5

At three of the corners a small section of the tongues need to be removed (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Dry assemble the parts shown and use a pencil to trace the sections of tongue that need to be cut away.

Step 6

Mark the corners where the tongue needs to be removed.

Reset the frame side and frame top/bottom against the corner and mark the small section of the tongue that is exposed on the inside corner of the frame. Remove the parts and, using a small handsaw, cut the section of tongue away. Sand the faces and ends of these parts with 150-grit sandpaper.

Assemble the Frame

Step 1

Apply glue and use tape to hold the parts secure while the glue dries.

Apply glue to the grooves of each part and assemble the frame with all of the edges aligned. Secure the pieces with painter’s tape while the glue dries (Project Diagram, Drawing 1)

Step 2

From the remaining section of pattern board, use a jigsaw to cut the board along its length to make blanks for the rails (E) and stiles (F)  (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). A table saw will do this quickly, but these parts don’t need to be perfect. Then cut the rails and stiles to length.

Step 3

The stiles and rails will reinforce the frame (Project Diagram, Drawing 2) and create a pocket for the mirror. Mark a rectangle on the back of the frame 2-1/2 inches from the sides of the inside opening for the stiles, and 1-1/2 inches from the top and bottom of the opening for the rails. Lay the mirror on the back between the marks to check that it fits.

Step 4

Secure the mirror to the back of the frame with mirror clips.

Nail and glue the stiles and rails to the back of the frame. Avoid driving nails at the joints of the tongue and groove connections of the face frame.

Step 5

Secure the mirror to the back of the frame with mirror clips.

Center the mirror in the opening and secure the mirror to the frame using mirror clips and the screws provided.

Complete the Mirror

Step 1

Remove the mirror and clips. Prime and paint the stripe on the front of the frame (Framboise shown) and allow it to dry. Mask off the painted strip with painter’s tape and apply Summer Oak stain to the remainder of the frame. After the stain has dried, remove the painter’s tape and apply semi-gloss polyurethane to the entire frame to protect the finish.

Step 2

Lightly sand the polyurethane with a fine-grit sanding sponge and apply a second coat of the semi-gloss finish.

Step 3

An inexpensive pine board cut into pieces with mitered ends creates a novel mirror frame. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Install a screw eye into both stiles (F), three inches down from the top rail. Cut a 36-inch length of picture-hanging wire and thread it through the screw eyes. Center the wire, wrap it around the eyes, and then back on itself several times.