July 7, 2021

I keep seeing the "IKEA Hack Industrial Mirror" posted on Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube. That mirror is basically a window frame mirror. I've seen it made from one large floor mirror from IKEA with painted trim glued on top of it to create a grid, or using individual mirror tiles glued within a grid made from trim nailed onto a large piece of plywood. Using either method, the end result resembles a paned (is that a word?) farmhouse window. Some people are calling it a grid mirror. I prefer to call it a window pane mirror.

We needed to do things differently with our mirror, however. We couldn't use one large floor mirror or plywood backing, because our window pane mirror had to weigh less than the IKEA mirror so it could be hung, rather than propped up against a wall. To lighten the load, we decided to follow a tutorial we found online that used two sizes of wood trim, lightweight 12-inch mirror tiles (instead of one large mirror) and no solid backing. While no solid backing lightened to weight of the mirror, this created new challenges which I'll explain further in this article.

For our window pane mirror, we needed about seven 8-ft pieces of 1" x 2" trim, and six 8-ft pieces of 11/16" x 11/16" trim. If you're like us, you may have trouble figuring out which aisle at your local home improvement store carries this type of trim. There are at least three separate aisles at Lowe's, not anywhere near each other, that carry wood trim. We ended up finding what we needed in the aisle marked "door trim". 

The smaller trim pictured here came primed, which is why some sides of it appear white. I don't think we needed primed, but it was the only type in that size that Lowe's had in stock at the time.

Lowe's also carries 12" mirror tiles, but only beveled. I decided beveled would look too formal for the look we wanted. Also, I was worried the beveled mirrors would be thicker and heavier. Instead, I found mirror tiles on Amazon from Murray Home.

How to Make a Window Pane Mirror
How to Make a Window Pane Mirror
How to Make a Window Pane Mirror

My partner built the frame using the larger trim for the outer part of the frame and as vertical braces in the back, which also served as part of the frame that would support the mirrors. The inner grid was made using 11/16" trim. He used a nail gun and finishing nails, which meant I had to fill in the dents using wood filler before painting it. I used Valspar satin paint in Tricorn Black. I used mirror mastic, a special adhesive for mirrors, to adhere the mirror tiles to the larger trim in the back. (Word of caution: using an adhesive not made specifically for mirrors may corrode the silver backing on the mirrors). 

Window Pane Mirror DIY
Window Frame Mirror
Window Pane Mirror DIY
Window Frame Mirror

We ran into a problem after the frame was put together and painted. As careful as my partner was with planning and measuring, about half of the mirrors wouldn't fit between the trim as intended. We suspect the trim pieces moved slightly when being fastened with the nail gun.

Using this method for creating a window frame mirror, the spaces have to be precise. There really isn't any wiggle room, as there would be if there was a solid backing painted black that would serve as camouflage for any gaps. In some places in our frame, there was too much space, leaving a gap at either the top or bottom where light or the wall color would show through. In other places, there wasn't enough room to get the mirror in at all.

But my partner, being the problem-solver that he is, used a power sander to sand down the sides of some of the trim so the mirrors would fit. In one place, we had to glue the trim directly onto the mirror and then sand it down to make it flush with the rest of the trim.

Tools and materials we used to build this window pane mirror:

  • 200.00
  • 55.00
  • 160.00
  • 119.00
  • 5.98
  • 6.88
  • 24.85
  • 63.60
  • 14.98
  • 76.70
  • 11.99
  • 10.98
  • 749.96 plus tax

As you can see, if you're not already a frequent DIY-er who owns all of these tools, it would be much cheaper to just buy one of these mirrors from a retail store. There are many variations of window pane mirrors available online. Try searching sites like Target.com and Wayfair using keywords like "window pane mirror", "grid mirror" and "window frame mirror" to see everything available.

However, if you already own, or can borrow, all of the power tools and the caulking gun listed above, the cost to purchase the materials will be around $200 (plus tax, where applicable), which is about half the cost of the least expensive mirror I could find online in this size. Plus, you'll have a lot of leftover material, such as paint and finishing nails, to use on future projects. 

Better yet, if you already have wood trim, finishing nails, paint, a caulking gun, etc., laying around, then making this window pane mirror DIY will cost you even less.

That being said, the next time I want to make a window pane mirror, I'm going to use one mirror and glue the trim on top of it rather than try to squeeze separate mirror tiles in between the trim. In fact, I plan to make several of the large, IKEA floor mirrors to use in my home staging business.

As much as a pain in the a** as this was to make, it turned out really well. What do you think? 

For those who are curious, the wall color in this bedroom is Sherwin Williams Egret White.

Black Grid Mirror

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