September 8, 2020

How We Made A Tri-fold Mirror + Video Included


It was either this or a custom cut mirror to place on the dresser…guess which one we went for?! 😉 Funny thing is, as I was reminding Leo to get a quote for the dresser mirror, he suddenly remembered that he has strips of mirror stashed in the garage (that he was going to throw out!). Well, the sizes of the mirror slivers were oddly the exact size that I wanted them to be, in order to create this tri-fold floor mirror. So of course, the One Room Challenge reveal was just a few days away and we added on another project (oh gosh, of course)! A few late nights, and we got this baby done just in time! I love how unique the mirror is and the fact that you can fold it any which way adds a fun element! We gave it a routered cut on the edges so that it could go with any “design style” but also it makes it look less “DIY-y” and more like…where’d you get that?! That’s the way we like to roll here hehe. Despite the quick paint spray paint job that we gave it (as we literally had no more days left until the reveal), I’m pretty happy with it! 

Watch an overview of how we made the tri-fold floor mirror (which fyi, you can do this with any size mirrors, floor or not) and get all the details below!


Music: See You by Ikson

  • 3 (or more if you want) separate mirrors, cut to sizes you need
  • 6 mini hinges
  • poplar
  • router & router bit (optional)
  • table saw
  • miter saw/circular saw
  • pin nail gun
  • wood glue
  •  primer/paint or stain
  • 12, 2 in. screws
  • sandpaper
  • decorative wood trim for a vintage look (optional if don’t have a router)

1. Measure, Measure

  • measure what size the mirrors are
  • figure out the width of the frame you would like to add to mirrors (ours is 1.5 in. on each side with the mirror itself being 4 1/4 in.)
  • the thickness of the frame can’t be smaller than 1 1/4 in. as then the mirror won’t be able to stand on it’s own – it’d even be better if you used a 2 in. thick frame if you can find it for extra sturdiness
  • the height of the frame obviously needs to be taller than the mirror itself so that you can miter the frame (the mirror + frame equals to 64 in. in height)  

2. Cutting the Frame

  • we ripped down poplar material to 1 1/2 in. wide to about 4 in. taller than the mirrors
  • cut a notch in the center of the poplar, shown above, at about 1/16 of an inch by using a table saw (depending on thickness of the mirror – just make sure it’s 1/16 thicker than the thickness of the mirror so that it would be able to slide in) on the thickness
  • after cutting the notches by putting it through the table saw a few times, place a mirror into one to measure where you need to cut for height
  • cut the poplar to the height you need at a 45 degree angle
  • miter the bottom at a 45 degree also
  • cut the top and bottom pieces, shown above, also at a 45 degree, one left and one right so that it can bring the two sides together at a miter cut (ours is at about 6 1/2 in; top and bottom)
  • sand the frame pieces at this time, if you need to

3. Painting the Notches

  • paint the notches with the color you will be painting the frame as the mirror will reflect the inside color (use a mini brush or spray paint, whatever is more convenient for you)

4. Attaching the Frame

  • once the paint dried, place wood glue onto the sides of the top and bottom frame pieces and attach to side of frame
  • place the long side of the frame, upwards, so that you can slide the mirror into a notch easier (you will need some help with this, if your mirrors are as large as ours)
  • you might have to put some force into placing it in the notch so be careful
  • place the top side on (if you’re having a hard time placing it on, sand the inside of the notch some as something might be uneven)
  • clamp the corners as the wood glue dries (optional)
  • use an 18 gauge brad nail gun for the corners to keep the miters tight
  • for a secure hold, make a pilot hole first then use a 2 in. screw for each mitered corner (make sure you don’t hit the mirror)
  • before routing and painting, you can attach your hinges to make sure that the mirror can stand on its own (make sure you place them on pre drilling a whole first, then screw and also make sure you place them in a way where you can actually have your mirror fold! See step #8 for how)

5. Routering (Optional)

  • choose a router bit that you would like to use for the frame
  • lay the mirrors down so that you can clamp them to router, being careful with the corners
  • go over with the router again if there are any nicks that you might have made
  • you can even go an easier way and purchase decorative wood trim like this from your local improvement store to give the mirror some detail
  • just use a pin nail + wood glue to place on top of poplar frame

7. Painting

  • prep for paint by masking off the mirrors with blue tape
  •  wipe down the frame with a dry, lint free cloth
  • prime (we didn’t prime bc we didn’t have time and used what we had on hand but priming beforehand is better since it’s a poplar frame or just use a paint + primer combo)
  • let primer dry then paint
  • let paint dry

8. Creating the “Tri-Fold”

  • use a total of 6 hinges, with 3 in between each mirror 
  • lay the mirrors down so that you can predrill the holes where the screws go for the hinges
  • start with the center hinge then go about 8-10 inches from the top and bottom to add the other 2
  • do the same thing for the other mirror except these hinges need to go the opposite way in order to give the mirrors that tri-fold effect shaped like a “Z” (we accidentally placed all the hinges on the same side and we couldn’t fold the mirror outwards but you can do that if you want it to be shaped like a “U”)

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