How To Make A Garden Mirror And Change Your Outdoor Space

Do you fancy bringing a bit of interior design to your outdoor space? A mirror is a great way to do it! Using a mirror in garden decor, you can enlarge a small space, reflect some greenery, and bring that indoor homey feeling outdoors. And if you’re on a budget and love crafts– then why not make your own DIY garden mirror?

courtyard garden with white wrought iron patio furniture

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest garden of them all? Did you wish it was yours? You can now enhance the beauty of your home garden and make your mirror! This is an easy DIY project, and you only need a couple of tools. This can also cost almost nothing at all if you use reclaimed or leftover materials. So keep reading to find the best garden mirror ideas and how to make your own in no time! You’re going to love it!

Why you need a mirror outside 

Including a mirror in your garden design can offer you multiple benefits. If you haven’t caught onto this becoming outdoor living trend yet, here are the main reasons why you should add that beautiful piece of art to your landscaping.

It will seem like you have a big garden, even if you don’t

Outdoor mirrors reflect sunlight, and if you position them cleverly, they create the illusion of having more space. When your guests feel like they have more room to hang out, they will feel more relaxed and comfortable.

There so many styles to choose from

You can either use traditional garden mirrors or modern acrylic mirrors that are lighter and come in various styles. You may also want to have the optical illusion of a secret garden. In that case, an illusion mirror is the answer; it can create dramatic effects like appearing to be a garden gate in a window, hedge or wall.

Impactful lighting

You may have a beautiful chandelier hanging inside your gazebo, but do your guests notice it only when they happen to look up? Make a statement with your lighting, hanging a mirror parallel to the lighting fixture. Your lighting will become the highlight with the chandelier’s crystals refracting light into prisms of shimmering colour!

Back view of young female looking in big framed mirror mounted into garden fence

Step-by-step guide: How to make an outdoor mirror

Are you ready to start with your new DIY project? Follow our step-by-step guide and create a garden mirror you’ll love!

What you’ll need

  • Exterior plywood (12mm)
  • Wooden battens measuring 25mm x 38mm
  • 20cm x 20cm mirror tiles
  • Exterior grab adhesive
  • Screws or nails (35mm)
  • Garden wood paint
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Clamps
  • Optional: mitre saw
  • Optional: handsaw
  • Sander
  • Caulk gun
  • Drill, screwdriver or a hammer
  • Ear defenders
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask

Step 1: Measure and plan

First up, you need to decide how big you want your mirror to be, and you also need to choose what mirror tiles’ size you’ll be using. 

  1. The following dimension instructions are for a mirror to be around 75cm high x 145cm wide (go big or go home!)
  2. Select 20cm x 20cm mirror tiles

Step 2: Cut your plywood to size

You can use 12mm thick plywood for your mirror, but if you’re making a smaller one, you can opt for 9mm. Whatever thickness you pick, make sure your plywood is suitable for exterior use.

  1. Cut your plywood to size (145cm x 75cm) using a circular saw. 
  2. You may also attach a hoover to it to keep dust to a minimum.

Step 3: Cut your wooden battens

You should now cut your wooden battens to size. That means cutting:

  • 2 lengths at 145cm
  • 7 lengths at 67.4cm
  • 12 lengths at 20cm

Cut the wood using a mitre saw for quickness. You may also use a stop-block to help ensure your cuts are consistent. Check that everything fits together nicely after you’ve cut everything. If anything went wrong, you could always trim any of the cuts. By now, it should begin looking like the frame of a mirror!

wooden bar blocks materials stacked at carpentry woodwork workshop

Step 4: Sand and paint

  1. Using an electric handheld sander, sand all your wooden battens down. They should then be smooth and free from any roughness. 
  2. Then, paint all 4 sides of your battens and both sides of your plywood with exterior wood treatment. Finally, let the paint dry completely.

Step 5: Glue everything down

It is now time to glue everything down! For that step of the project, you’ll need a caulk gun and some exterior grab adhesive (ensure it’s frost/weatherproof).

  1. Lay your mirror tiles and battens out, ready for affixing into place.
  2. Start at one plywood board’s side and glue down the outer battens before moving onto the mirror and the remaining ones. 
  3. Keep going until you’ve glued down every wood piece and every mirror tile
  4. It’s a good idea to remove the film before glueing down your mirror. You can use acrylic mirrors, but it’s even better to choose mirror glass tiles.
  5. If any wood is warped, use clamps to hold it down whilst it dries, and add some nails or screws.
  6. To hide the screws, countersunk them into the wood and cover them with some filler. Once sanded back and painted, they won’t be visible at all!

Step 6: Affix to a wall or fence and enjoy!

Let the glue dry for at least 48 hours. Then, you’re ready to hang your new mirror! You can add L-brackets to the top of your mirror and screw them into the fencing at the top. Hang it, and that’s it – you’re done!

beautiful symmetric part of a garden with purple flower pots, trees, green and a mirror

How to make a garden mirror out of an old window

Do you have a pile of windows sitting in our basement for years just waiting for some inspiration? Are you ready for a ‘’creative ideas blogger’’ challenge? Then it’s time to use one of your windows to create an outdoor mirror for your backyard. In this tutorial, you’ll find all you need to know!

What you’ll need

  • Old window 
  • Cleaning products
  • Sander
  • Paint respirator
  • Glass spray paint
  • Spray primer
  • Frog tape
  • Butcher paper
  • 2 D-ring picture hangers
  • 2 wood screws
  • Drill and bits

The steps to follow to complete your project

  1. Make sure to clean and sand your window before you begin. Most windows have lead paint, so take safety precautions and wear a paint respirator when sanding and cleaning. 
  2. Using your spray paint (like Krylon Looking Glass), spray on the opposite side of the glass that you want to be mirrored. Apply very light coats allowing them to dry in-between applications.
  3. Once your mirrored finish is completely dry, flip the window over, tape it off, prime it, and then spray in your choice of colour. 
  4. Leave the window overnight to thoroughly dry
  5. Then, attach D-ring picture hangers to the window frame’s back.
  6. To easily hang your frame take a piece of painter’s tape, place it between your 2 D-ring picture hangers and cut to length. Then, remove the tape piece and place more tape where you want to hang your frame. That way, you’ll know exactly where you need to drill to hang your frame.
  7. You may now hang up your new outdoor mirror and enjoy!
mirror window in bric wall with flowers in front

Where should you hang your outdoor mirror?

Wondering where to place your mirror? Keep reading to find out some interesting ideas

  1. You may hang it above a flower bed/border.
  2. Use it as a complementary addition to a water feature.
  3. Use a large mirror as a window or doorway. If your garden shed doesn’t have any windows, create one with mirrors.
  4. Have it reflect the good in the garden, like trees, sculptures, plants, garden art etc.
  5. Hang an arch mirror on your garden fence, walls or trellis to visually expand a small garden.

How to use mirrors in the garden to improve your design

Are you looking for some garden decor ideas to enhance your home’s design? Here are some ways to use mirrors to create a beautiful garden!

Add colour to a stone wall

Is there a boring old stone wall in your garden? Add a mirror to add a splash of colour and interest to it. It will act as a constantly changing work of art, changing from green to shades of amber as seasons progress.

Make a small garden space special

Maybe you don’t have a large garden, but you can make even your small yard look amazing! A mirror can cover all angles, giving you more of an overall effect. Place it strategically to double the number of plants without having to double the garden budget. In a garden space, this can also give depth to a flower bed and soften corners.

Extend your interiors style to an outdoor space

Replicate a living room and your home decor by including traditional-style furniture in your garden. Then, add some wow factor to your garden walls with an outsized mirror

Create an outdoor focal point

Is your outdoor area or garden feeling a little lacklustre? Adding a large statement mirror is a fantastic way to turn things around. Go for a big, gothic mirror with a thick frame and hang it on an accent or main wall to create a clear focal point. You can also create the same effect with multiple mirrors. Choose 3 round mirrors of equal size and stack them as you please.

Build yourself a cosy nook

Looking for ways to upgrade your patio? If you have a small patio, choose a corner and create a comfortable, cosy nook using your mirror. Go for something ornate and round or antique and square and hang it above a couch or daybed. Add a string of fairy lights or a small chandelier to reflect off the mirror for a dreamy patio.

Use mirrors as props

If you’re not sure about hanging a mirror as a permanent fixture in your garden, you can turn it into a prop instead. All you need to do is to lean it against a free wall or in an empty corner of your outdoor space.

wooden panels ,circular mirror and cactus plant pots

Are you ready for your garden makeover? A well-placed mirror can be a great addition to your outdoor living area, adding a new dimension to your garden and character to its design. Follow our instructions to create a window mirror or one to hang anywhere around your yard. This is not only an easy and fun project, but it will also add style to your outdoor design. So remember to look in the mirror; who you see is the only one stopping you from upgrading your garden!

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