How to Frame a Basic Mirror

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

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 2 feet long, an aluminum frame will be sturdy enough to offer secure hanging.

Step 2 - Preparation

Purchase 2 pairs of frame strips to accommodate the dimensions of your mirror and a sheet of 1/4 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 3 sides of the frame face down on your worktable.
  • 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; 1 clip every 6 inches should be sufficient to snugly hold the mirror in place.

Step 4 - Hanging

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 1 every 3 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.