I wanted a full length selfie mirror and hacking one off an IKEA mirror was less expensive and time-consuming. It would also be a better finish than purchasing a raw mirror and building a frame.
There is no way I would have done this without the MONGSTAD mirror and outdoor string lights. The time, safety and sheer weight of a self-built mirror that large would have made the project not feasible. This selfie mirror requires very little to no electrical and carpentry skills to finish this project.
The hardest part of this hack was making sure the holes were equally spaced. All those times you thought you would never use what you learned in Math… this project will make you wish you never said that.
For best results, before drilling double check your pilot hole spacing calculations from both directions to make sure they are accurate. Make sure pilot holes along left and right frames are aligned perfectly. You don’t get a second chance once you begin drilling.
To reduce weight, the top and bottom of the frame are solid. The right and left sides are hollow. There is a support beam about halfway up the sides. Note when drilling.
Use caution when drilling with the Forstner bit. Practice on scrap wood first. You want to minimize the amount of damage it causes to IKEA’s finish.
- $99 – 1 MONGSTAD mirror
- $30 – 1 48 Foot Outdoor Weatherproof String Lights with 24 Hanging Sockets, Commercial Grade Heavy Duty Light Strand for Patio, Porches, Pergolas, Bistro, Black Wire (Bulbs Not Included)
- $18 – 22-24 40W LED soft glow lightbulbs. The electric company in our area sells LED bulbs at a discount through Home Depot.
- Strongly suggest using LED bulbs ONLY. The power required for 22-24 reg/high watt non LED bulbs can present safety issues as well as burn very hot. Not to mention is not very ecologically friendly.
- Non soft glow LED bulbs are too bright and cause photo-bleaching aka seeing “spots” when 20+ of them are turned on! Use soft glow LED.
- $7 – 2 PCS E26 E27 Light Bulb Holder to Polarized Handy Outlet Plug Converter Adapter (or other socket plug to close unused sockets) If all 24 sockets are used this is not necessary.
- $6 – Minimum 1.88” blue paint tape to mark holes and limit damage caused by Forstner bit to finish
- $3 – Child proofing corner guards (to lean mirror against wall and prevent scratching)
- $7 – 22-24 short wood screws to attach string lights
- $12 – Wireless Remote Control Outlet Switch (optional)
- $13 – Liquid sander deglosser (or sand paper)
- $12 – 3 cans wood, metal, plastic spray paint/primer
- Measuring tape, ruler or speed square
- 1/8” drill bit
- Forstner bit
- Scrap cardboard
- Hot glue gun (optional)
Time and cost
- 6-7 non-consecutive hours (paint drying not included)
- 5-6 hours if choose not to paint
- $195 (with paint)
- $170 (no paint) +/- tax.
How to hack a full length selfie mirror
1. Using scrap cardboard and tape, cover the mirror for protection from scratching and paint. Push the cardboard between the mirror and frame to ensure paint does not get on mirror.
2. Find and mark middle of top, left and right frames and align/ attach blue paint tape.
3. Find mid-point again and mark on tape as center line guide for holes.
4. Measure equal spacing along center line and make perpendicular mark ‘X’ for where you want each light socket. Unfortunately, I did not save my measurements. I believe for 22 bulbs my spacing was approx. 7 13/16”
5. Measure spacing from opposite direction to double check your calculations.
6. Use 1/8” bit to drill pilot holes. Try not to exit back side of mirror yet (it is ok if you do). The reason for this is, unless you are experienced, it is difficult to keep your drill level so that the top pilot hole and exit hole are aligned at 90 degrees. However, the flexibility of the outdoor string lights allows for quite a bit of error here. I was pretty far off on several but the flexibility of the corded sockets made it a non-factor in the end result.
7. Using the pilot holes as a guide, use the Forstner bit to drill the holes. To limit damage to the finish do not exit the back of the frame. You will want to drill “in” from both sides.
Related: MONGSTAD floor mirror makeover
8. Now that you can see through the inside of the frame, center your 1/8” bit and drill the pilot holes through the back. If you are experienced and feel comfortable with keeping your drill at close to 90 degrees you can do this at step 6 and save time.
9. Turn the mirror over, use the Forstner bit and drill through the back using the pilot holes as a guide.
10. You should now have aligned holes through the front and back of the frames.
11. Remove paint tape.
12. If you choose not to paint, skip to step 15.
13. Following the instructions on the liquid sander deglosser, remove the finish from the frame.
14. Following the instructions on your spray paint, apply 3 coats.
15. Starting at the bottom of the mirror insert each socket through the holes on the back of the mirror and fasten with a screw.
16. Work your way around the entire mirror. The eye-hole provided with the string lights and a screw are enough to hold the bulb securely in place (see picture).
17. For extra support, applying glue with a hot glue gun through the back of the hole would help. (I did not do this, I felt it was secure enough with the screw only)
18. Any unused sockets at the end of the strand should be plugged for safety purposes. I used an E26 E27 Light Bulb Holder to Polarized Outlet Plug Converter Adapter.
19. Attach child proofing corner guards to top two back corners of selfie mirror before leaning against wall.
20. We use a wireless remote control outlet switch to turn the lights on the selfie mirror off/on, but not required.
~ by Cassidy