This DIY triangle mirror is a project I’ve been meaning to tackle for a long time, and my copper triangle mobile reminded me of it. I decided that triangles are definitely still cool, and this one turned out so well that I’m already thinking of more triangle projects.
Although I used my miter saw, it’s totally possible to make this DIY triangle mirror without power tools. And even if you bought the mirror new, it would cost about $13 (with leftover materials), so it’s very inexpensive if you already have the glue and tools. Honestly I’m already thinking of making two more so I can cluster them together. So here’s how to make your own!
One reason I didn’t make this mirror sooner is that I wanted to cut my own glass. There’s another tutorial for a DIY triangle mirror where they got the glass cut by a professional, but if I’m getting someone to cut it for me, at that point I might as well just buy this triangle mirror from Urban Outfitters. I’m not shaming anyone for not doing everything from scratch all the time, I just want to be clear that my tutorial is useful in a different way. Being able to cut your own glass is a skill that might come in handy again someday.
I had never cut glass before, but I already had some mirror squares, courtesy of the walls in one of our bathrooms. There were glass squares stuck to the wall above the bathroom sink when we moved in, and after we removed them, I kept them squirreled away like a true craft supply hoarder.
I was actually glad to have extra pieces of mirror, because it took me a couple of tries to get the hang of cutting it. You know in cartoons, where a character is trying to get through a window, and just slices a circle, then pushes it out? Yeah, it’s not quite that easy. I’ll definitely share what I learned in the process so that you’ll hopefully have fewer screw-ups than I did, but have extras because you might not get it right on the first try.
DIY Triangle Mirror
Mirror – I used these mirrors from Ikea.
Wood – I used 1/2″ by 3/4″ hemlock wood moulding. 37″ would be just enough for the mirror size I used.
Glue – I used both wood glue and a construction glue, but you could probably just use the Liquid Nails.
Sawtooth picture hanger
1. First, measure your mirror. I used a mirror that measured 11 3/4″ square (though the ones I used say they’re 12″ square, they’re actually not), and I didn’t have a compass, so I just measured 11 3/4″ from each corner at different angles and adjusted the angles until the points of the two equal lines met. This is a hacky but totally viable way to make an equilateral triangle, but if you have a compass, just draw 11 3/4″-length lines at 60-degree angles from the corners so that they create a triangle.
2. Next you need to cut the glass. Before you do anything else, PUT ON SAFETY GOGGLES AND THICK GLOVES.
“Cutting” glass with this kind of tool is really scoring it, then attempting to break it along the score line. It took me a couple of failures to get a result I was happy with, so having extra mirror is a good idea. (If you use the same Ikea mirror I did, it comes in a pack of four. Handy!) Based on reviews of cutting tools, sometimes people get dull ones that just don’t work as well as others. I don’t know where mine fell on the sharpness scale, so I can only tell you what worked for me.
In my attempts at it, I learned that I needed to press really hard with the scoring tool, and do the score in one long stroke. I tried to do the scoring on a table at first, but I had much better results when I put it on piece of wood on the floor, so that I could put more pressure on it while I scored. Don’t try to freehand it–you need a straightedge or metal ruler to get a straight line. You’ll need to score and break one side at a time, with a straight line that goes beyond the tip of the triangle, all the way from one corner to the middle of the opposite edge.
The packaging of the cutter I used suggested watching this video for tips. They recommend using cutting oil, but I didn’t have any, so I didn’t use it. The internet says that WD-40, mineral oil, or baby oil would also work, so I’d try one of those if I were cutting more glass.
Once you’ve scored the line, place the mirror on the edge of a table or workbench so that the score line is just over the edge. Press down on the overhang to try to break the glass along that line.
Repeat the scoring and breaking for the second line.
If your lines turn out a little bit jagged, it might be ok, because it may be covered up by the wood frame. Just be careful not to cut yourself on it while you’re assembling everything.
3. Cut the wood for the frame. I used a miter saw to cut my pieces 12″ from point to point with 30-degree angles on the ends. If you don’t have a miter saw, you can do this with a handsaw and a miter box.
4. Assemble the triangle and glue together. The best way I found to do that was to put glue on the ends and press them together, then clamp the corners down to a surface to hold them together while the glue dried. I used wood glue for this step, but you could probably use the Liquid Nails here, too.
*If you plan to stain and/or seal the wood, after the glue dries would be a good time to do it. Lightly sand, if necessary, and remove the dust before sealing. Let the sealer dry completely before the next step.*
5. On the back of the wood triangle, put a thin line of glue around the opening. Press the mirror face-down into the glue.
Flip the whole thing over, and wipe away any wet glue that has seeped onto the mirror. A Q-tip works well for getting right against the edge.
Clamp together, or weigh down with a heavy object, and let dry.
6. Add a sawtooth picture hanger to one corner. The press-in kind I used was compact enough to fit on the small corner around the mirror.