I wanted a full length dressing mirror with lights and hacking one off an IKEA mirror was less expensive and time-consuming. It would also be a better finish than purchasing a raw mirror and building a frame.
There is no way I would have done this without the IKEA MONGSTAD mirror and outdoor string lights. The time, safety and sheer weight of a self-built mirror that large would have made the project not feasible. This selfie mirror requires very little to no electrical and carpentry skills to finish this project.
The hardest part of this hack was making sure the holes were equally spaced. All those times you thought you would never use what you learned in Math… this project will make you wish you never said that.
For best results, before drilling double check your pilot hole spacing calculations from both directions to make sure they are accurate. Make sure pilot holes along left and right frames are aligned perfectly. You don’t get a second chance once you begin drilling.
To reduce weight, the top and bottom of the frame are solid. The right and left sides are hollow. There is a support beam about halfway up the sides. Note when drilling.
Use caution when drilling with the Forstner bit. Practice on scrap wood first. You want to minimize the amount of damage it causes to IKEA’s finish.
Materials for a dressing mirror with lights IKEA hack:
6-7 non-consecutive hours (paint drying not included)
5-6 hours if choose not to paint
$195 (with paint)
$170 (no paint) +/- tax.
How to hack a full length IKEA dressing mirror with lights
1. Using scrap cardboard and tape, cover the mirror for protection from scratching and paint. Push the cardboard between the mirror and frame to ensure paint does not get on mirror.
2. Find and mark middle of top, left and right frames and align/ attach blue paint tape.
3. Find mid-point again and mark on tape as center line guide for holes.
4. Measure equal spacing along center line and make perpendicular mark ‘X’ for where you want each light socket. Unfortunately, I did not save my measurements. I believe for 22 bulbs my spacing was approx. 7 13/16”
5. Measure spacing from opposite direction to double check your calculations.
Making holes for the LED lights
6. Use 1/8” bit to drill pilot holes. Try not to exit back side of mirror yet (it is ok if you do). The reason for this is, unless you are experienced, it is difficult to keep your drill level so that the top pilot hole and exit hole are aligned at 90 degrees. However, the flexibility of the outdoor string lights allows for quite a bit of error here. I was pretty far off on several but the flexibility of the corded sockets made it a non-factor in the end result.
7. Using the pilot holes as a guide, use the Forstner bit to drill the holes. To limit damage to the finish do not exit the back of the frame. You will want to drill “in” from both sides.
8. Now that you can see through the inside of the frame, center your 1/8” bit and drill the pilot holes through the back. If you are experienced and feel comfortable with keeping your drill at close to 90 degrees you can do this at step 6 and save time.
9. Turn the mirror over, use the Forstner bit and drill through the back using the pilot holes as a guide.
10. You should now have aligned holes through the front and back of the frames.
11. Remove paint tape.
12. If you choose not to paint, skip to step 15.
Painting the IKEA mirror frame
13. Following the instructions on the liquid sander deglosser, remove the finish from the frame.