Are you wanting learn how to frame a bathroom mirror but can’t figure out how to get around those pesky mirror clips? In this post, I’ll show you how to DIY a bathroom mirror frame the EASY way…without ever messing with those plastic mirror clips!
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So a couple of weekends ago I decided to do something that I’d been wanting to do for awhile: frame our builder grade bathroom mirror. I’ve been putting it off for so long because, honestly, I was intimidated by how much work I thought it would be. One thing I kept reading when researching how I wanted to do it was “This was the easiest DIY I’ve ever done!”
Ok, this DIY bathroom mirror frame wasn’t the easiest DIY ever…but it wasn’t hard. There was just a little bit of a learning curve and a few things I had to improvise on (curse you plastic clips!)…which I will share with you and hopefully will make this the easiest DIY ever for you!
DIY Bathroom Mirror Frame (without removing the plastic mirror clips)
Ok, if you’ve been considering making a frame for your bathroom mirror, then you’re probably here for one reason…and one reason only. How do I get around those stinking plastic mirror clips?
Probably like you, I’ve read many different DIYs on how to navigate around this clip problem. And let’s just say I went into this project with one plan (involving Liquid Nails and glueing the frame right to my mirror), and I ended up going rouge and doing something totally different (and wayyyyy easier).
Basically, those clips were ruining everything! I couldn’t get my frame to lay flat against the mirror so I could glue it on….because of the clips. So I went a completely different direction, got rid of the whole “glue frame to mirror” plan and instead ended up hanging my frame over my mirror.
That’s right. The frame is literally….a frame, simply laying on top of the mirror, and is not attached to the mirror in any way, shape, or form. Basically with the help of 2 sawtooth hangers on the back of the frame and 2 screws in the wall right above the mirror, I just hung the frame over the mirror like I would hang a picture on the wall.
Clip crisis averted!
Honestly, I felt like this was the easier way to go. And I’ll take you through step-by-step showing you exactly how I did it. But first, let’s look at some before and after pics!
Before and After
So the before: nothing special. As in, just your standard builder grade bathroom mirror.
It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes in our guest bathroom! Love! Oh, and spoiler alert: we made a huge one for our master bathroom too. 😉 You can see that at the very end of this post.
Mirror Frame Supply List and Costs
For the frame:
- 4 pieces of 1x4x8 wood: cut and measured to fit your mirror (see below to see how I measured) $5/board=$15 **You can find cheaper wood, but you’ll most likely have to do a ton of sanding.
- Wood stain or paint (I use Dark Walnut on pretty much all of my projects!) $7…and you will have TONS left over for projects to come!
- Staple gun: Nothing crazy…just a hand-held one like this.
- Sawtooth hangers $2
For the brackets:
- 4 L corner brackets (this is not just for decor…it actually helps hold the frame together) $1.70/bracket=$6.80
- Black spray paint (I had this on hand)
Get the Stuff
How did I measure?
Ok, so the one thing you want to make sure of is that the edge of your mirror doesn’t show once you hang your frame. I’ll show you how I measured mine to make sure that didn’t happen. Also, I did not miter the ends of the wood….which eliminated a whole step! I also got all of my wood cut at Home Depot with my measurements in hand.
Horizontal Boards (←→)
To get the wood measurement for the 2 horizontal boards, I measured the width of my mirror and added 1 inch.
So my mirror measured 28″ across, and I got 2 pieces of wood cut at 29″.
Vertical Boards (↑↓)
To get the wood measurements for the 2 vertical boards, I measured the height of my mirror, added 1 inch (just like I did for the horizontal boards), and the subtracted the width of the two 1x4x8 boards that I would be using for the horizontal boards (about 7 inches). (See picture below for reference).
My mirror measured 42″ high, I added 1 inch to get 43″, and then subtracted 7 inches (the width of two 1x4x8 boards) to get a measurement of 36″.
So my final cut pieces of wood for my 42″x28″ mirror were 36″(2)x29″(2).
How to Build and Hang Your Bathroom Mirror Frame
Like I said earlier, I got all of my wood cut at Home Depot…AND I didn’t miter the edges. So that eliminated a few steps already.
I also did almost 0 sanding… mainly because I hate it and have no time for that nonsense. 😄 The wood I chose was just common wood (cheap), and it was already smooth on one side…so that’s the side I used for the front. I did sand the ends of the wood a little bit that were rough from being cut.
1.Lay your boards out and fit them together face down how they will be assembled.
2. This step is easiest with 2 people: have one person hold 2 of the pieces together while the other uses a staple gun to attach the pieces together. Keep going until your whole frame is put together. Remember: You are stapling the back of your frame.
Note: I originally hadn’t planned on going the staple route at all. I first used wood glue to hold the pieces together, but once I tried turning the frame over, it just came apart. That’s when the staple gun came out!
3. With a partner, CAREFULLY turn the frame over to where the front of your frame is facing up, and the stapled part (the back) is face down.
4. Now it’s time to stain! (or paint…your choice). Dark walnut is my go-to stain, and it was super easy to apply. I did 3 coats, allowing just 15-20 minutes of dry time between each coat because it dried quickly in the sun.
Note: I held off on staining the edges until after I put the L brackets on. Since the only thing holding the frame together at this point is the staples on the back, I tried to move it as little as possible.
5. While you’re waiting for your stain to dry between coats, you can go ahead and spray paint your L brackets. The type of spray paint you use isn’t really that important since they won’t really be getting wear and tear sitting on your frame….just make sure you don’t get the cheap bottom shelf kind.
Note: You’ll also need little screws to attach the brackets….these come with screws! If you can find black screws to match your spray painted brackets, more power to you! Otherwise, you can spray paint those black as well!
6. Once your stain is dry, now it’s time to attach your L brackets. I literally just eyeballed the placement and screwed them in with the small screws. Again, this is actually what’s helping to hold the frame together. So don’t skip this step by just gluing the brackets on.
7. Once you have all 4 L brackets screwed in, you can move your frame around freely! It should be sturdy! Now you can stand it up and stain the edges of your frame.
8. To hang the frame, I nailed 2 sawtooth hangers to the top back of the frame. Now it’s ready to hang!
Honestly, this was 100% the worst part for me. I’m not good with the small details…like measuring, lol! So measuring the placement of the hangers, the screws in the wall, and all that mess took me forever. It’s not that it’s hard…it’s just that the fun part is over and now I have to adult and do annoying stuff like measure, level, etc. And like I said: I’m more of an eyeballer. I got it done this time, but luckily our friend and neighbor hung our big master bathroom frame, so I didn’t have to deal with it.
And That’s a Wrap!
Y’all…that’s it. Once you have your cut pieces of wood in hand, putting the frame together is simple. And hanging it is SOOOO much easier than messing with those mirror clips.
A few days later I did the same thing and made a frame for our large bathroom mirror in our master bathroom. The only thing I did differently is skip the wood glue and start right with the staple gun. Oh, and rallied my neighbor to hang the frame for me. 😄 I love it!
Complete the Look
Ok, have I convinced you yet?? If a DIY bathroom mirror frame has been on your to-do list, just do it! You won’t regret it, and you’ll be surprised how easy the “hanging frame” route is! If you follow this tutorial, I’d love to see the finished product! Tag me on Instagram @herhappyhome (and follow along while you’re there!) to show me how awesome it looks!
Wendy Verdon says
I made my frame and it was so perfect, looked amazing. Not too much longer after my boards started to warp from the paint I assume and finally fell off the wall. I cannot straighten them out. Someone told me to use a different wood. Can you tell me what will not warp – I just love the look.
Her Happy Home says
I’m sorry to hear that! Having only tested the frame with the wood used in the blog post, I’m not sure what other wood you could use.
Mark Holmes says
Last week my wife said she liked a mirror hanging in the empty space in the living room, she said the mirror she likes is frameless and I’ve been looking for ways to hang it on the wall. The first way, which seems easy, is to use a frameless mirror hanger. Some things I need to prepare are our Pipe & Wire finder Ruler, pencil, tape, frameless mirror mount, drill, and gloves/goggles. And follow some simpler steps.