How to Frame a Basic Mirror

What You'll Need
Mirror
Aluminum or wood frame
Foam-core backing
Compression clips
Hanging clips
Hanging wire
Eye screws
Framing points
Hammer

Framing a mirror is an easy way to add a personal aesthetic touch to any room. Custom frame shops can be pricey, and you can save a lot of money by doing the work yourself. Aluminum frame kits and pre-assembled wooden frames are great options for do-it-yourself framing. You'll be able to complete your framing projects with minimal expense and just a few household tools.

Aluminum Frames

Step 1 - Frame Types

Aluminum frames are inexpensive and flexible. Your local craft store will carry a variety of aluminum frame strips sold in pairs for easy assembly. Standard finishes include black, silver, and gold. If your mirror is less than two feet long, an aluminum frame will be sturdy enough to offer secure hanging.

Step 2 - Preparation

Purchase two pairs of frame strips to accommodate the dimensions of your mirror and a sheet of ¼-inch foam-core backing. Don’t forget to buy compression clips, hanging clips, and hanging wire if they aren’t already included with the frame strips.

Step 3 - Assembly

Trim the foam-core to size and assemble three sides of the frame face down on your work table. Slide your mirror and foam-core into the frame and attach the third side. Before tightening the corner joints, flip over the frame and check that the corners are properly aligned.

Turn the frame face down again and slide compression clips behind the foam-core; one clip every six inches should be sufficient to snugly hold the mirror in place.

Step 4 - Hang

bathroom with white cabinets and wood framed mirror

Secure hanging clips about 1/3 of the way down each side of the frame and string wire between them. Minimize slack in the wire; this will make it easier to locate hanging points. Knock some drywall hanging hardware into your wall, hang and level your mirror, and you’re done.

Wooden Frames

Step 1 - Frame Types

Pre-assembled wooden frames offer some advantages over aluminum frames. You’ll find a wider variety of designs to complement your room’s décor. Wooden frames will also offer secure support for larger mirrors. Unfortunately, if your mirror has non-standard dimensions, you may find it difficult to locate a suitable pre-assembled frame. In such a case, look for a slightly larger frame that includes a pre-cut mat board. The mat will conceal the edges of the mirror.

Step 2 - Preparation

After choosing your wooden frame, purchase a pair of eye screws, a roll of hanging wire, and a box of framing points. If the frame doesn’t include a backing board, don’t forget to pick up a sheet of foam-core as well.

Step 3 - Assembly

Cut the foam-core to fit the frame. If your mirror is smaller than the frame, you’ll need to attach it to the center of the foam-core backing board using spray adhesive. Lay the frame face down on your worktable and lay the mat, mirror, and backing board in place. Secure them in place with framing points; about one every three inches should be sufficient. If you don’t have framing pliers, simply tap in the points using a wooden block held flush to the backing board. Insert eye screws approximately 1/3 of the way down each side of the frame and string hanging wire between them.

Now you’re ready to hang your framed mirror.