DIY inlay mirror - 2 ways

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I've been really excited to share this DIY inlay mirror with you!  I mentioned my love of them and the inspiration for the mirror in my last post.  

I made this one for Izzy's room.  There is still some work that needs to be done before the room is checked off the list, but you can see just a little bit of what's going on in the mirror.  For starters this dresser (which served as a changing table in both of the kids' nurseries) badly needs to be repainted.  Since Sam no longer needed a changing table I swapped out their dressers.  Once it was in Izzy's room it was crying out for a mirror.  I kept thinking about a plain sheet of mirror I had stored away and thought it would be the perfect size for this project.

  • 1x6 strips of wood
  • scrap wood or plywood for the upper decorative piece
  • 6 flat braces (or 4 if you're not adding the upper piece)
  • mirror clips
  • primer, paint and brushes (Gray paint - Martha Stewart Zinc)
  • plastic cup with a little water (I watered down my gray paint a bit)
  • Indian Inlay stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils and brush
  • compound miter saw or miter box and saw
  • jigsaw
  • sandpaper
  • safety glasses
  • screw driver

STEP ONE:  Determine the size of your mirror and cut your 1x6's at a 45 degree angle with a compound miter saw or miter box and saw.  Don't forget to use your safety glasses!  Attach the pieces together at the corners with flat braces.

STEP TWO:  Sketch out your design for the upper decorative piece and trace it onto your scrap wood or plywood.  

Carefully (and with safety glasses on!) cut out your design.  Use your sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges.  And just so you know, this was my first time using a jig saw and it was much easier than I expected and actually really fun.  Don't let this part scare you!

STEP THREE:  Prime and paint your frame letting it completely dry in between coats.

For the gray paint, I ended up watering it down so a bit of the white primer would show through.  To do this I just poured a little bit of paint into a plastic cup that had some water in the bottom.  No particular measuring, I just messed around until I got the consistency I wanted.

STEP FOUR:  Bust our your inlay stencil and start stenciling!  Pardon the phone, I quickly snapped this picture to send to my mom and then later forgot to take a nice picture for the tutorial :)

I'm the queen of indecision, so I decided to keep the decorative piece off while I stenciled so that the top of the flat piece would also be stenciled just in case I should ever change my mind and decide to use the mirror someplace else.  If you decide to use the top piece, you just attach it to the frame using two more of the flat brackets, in the same way the mitered corners were attached to each other.   

STEP FIVE:  Once your stencil is dry you can flip the frame over and attach the mirror to the back using the mirror clips.  I used 10 clips for my mirror.  3 along each sides, and 2 along the top and bottom.

You're done!  So, here are the two versions:

With the decorative top piece.

And without.

In her room I definitely prefer the piece on top, but it's nice to know I have options!

If you like this, you should also check out the other mirror I made using this stencil a while back.

I don't think you can have too much of a good thing.  Nope, I do not!



  1. this is AMAZING!!!!!!!! i am in love, shelley!

  2. Shelley this is an incredible DIY!!! I love it!!!

  3. I seriously need to make this happen.

  4. Hi Shelley. I just adore this mirror and need to make one of these for my guest room that I'm making over!

    1. That's awesome Suzy! You'll have to let me know how it turns out!

  5. Hi Shelley - just found your blog through Instagram. This project is gorgeous! I've been trying to figure out what to do with an old mirror in my daughter's room and I think this may be just the thing. Now to find the time to work on said room... ;) Very excited to follow along with your beautiful work!

  6. Please can you tell me how you attached the mirror to the frame?

    1. Oh my gosh, I left that step completely out of the tutorial!!! So sorry about that, and thank you for catching that for me. I've just updated the post with that step. That's what I get for blogging late at night!

      I used mirror clips to attach the mirror to the back of the frame :)

  7. I found you via Cassie. I just love what you have done with these mirrors. I had seen this stencil used in several places, and so now I have it in my workspace, just waiting. I want to use it on an armoire, but I am a bit daunted by size of the project. Your project just reminded me to just get with it!

  8. Would you be willing to share the curved piece template?

    1. Oh gosh, due to the size I have no clue how to do that :(

    2. What paint did you use for the stencil...did you need to seal it as well?
      Really beautiful work!

    3. Thank you! It was white interior latex paint (leftover from another project) and I did not seal it.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, you guys totally make my day!


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