Farmhouse decor and pallet art are two very hot trends right now. So, when my neighbor asked me if I would build her a rustic pallet frame with a shelf for her new mirror, I wasn’t surprised. I was able to complete it in one day and since I found the pallet behind a local shop, it was basically free. It turned her plain, box store mirror into a showstopper. Here’s how I did it.
How to Make a Rustic Pallet Mirror Frame With a Shelf
- Scrap Wood
- Reciprocating Saw
- Mitre Saw or Mitre Box
- Tape Measure
- Wood Glue
- Crow Bar
- Flat Corner Braces
- Plate Joiner (Optional)
- Wood Biscuits (Optional)
- Eye Protection
- Drop Cloth
Step 1: Take the Pallet Apart
I started by measuring my mirror to make sure the pallet wood slats were long enough to frame the mirror. Then I took the pallet apart in order to free the boards I needed. I used whatever tools I had on hand to pry them free. Keep in mind that pallets can be dry and brittle, go slow so you don’t crack or split the slats in the process. Remember to wear eye protection and gloves for safety.
Step 2: Cut the Nails
I didn’t want to completely remove the nails that held the pallet together, because I thought they added to the rustic look of the frame. Instead, I hammered them and used pliers to straighten them and then sawed the bottoms of them off, so only the heads remained. This also made the boards easier to separate.
Step 3: Cut the Frame
Next, I measured each board to make sure they were long enough to frame out the mirror. Then I marked my wood and cut each end on a 45-degree angle. You can either use a miter saw or a hand saw and miter box. It’ll take longer, but it will get the job done. Repeat this step until all of your angles are cut. If any of your boards are gently cracked or knotted, you can put a few staples in them to prevent them from splitting.
Step 4: Put the Frame Together
Since the pallet wood was thin, I joined them with biscuits. I had a plate joiner on hand and used it to create two slits in the center of each corner. Then I added glue, placed the biscuits in the holes, pushed the frame pieces together and set it all aside to dry. If you don’t have a plate joiner, you can put the frame together with flat corner braces and screws. Just make sure your screws are short and won’t pop through the front side of the wood.
Step 5: Cut Out Shelf Brackets
My neighbor requested that the frame have a glass shelf, so while the glue was drying, I got to work on that part of the project. I had a leftover piece of glass to use for my shelf and used more of the pallet wood to make the shelf brackets. I measured the width of the glass and cut the top of my wood pallet bracket to that size, leaving a ¼ of an inch lip on the end, so the glass wouldn’t slip off. Then I drew a bracket shape on the wood and cut that pattern out on all three pieces.
Step 6: Attach Shelf Brackets to The Frame
First, I mapped out exactly where I wanted the brackets to be placed on my shelf and centered them both vertically and horizontally in the space. I also needed to make sure they were level, so the shelf would sit perfectly flat. Next, I placed the brackets on their sides and marked the frame, next to the brackets, so I knew where to drill my screw holes in the pallet frame. I drew matching holes on the brackets themselves and drilled out pilot holes to make adding the screws to connect the two easier.
Step 7: Frame Out Picture
I turned the frame over and centered my mirror over the hole. Then I cut four pieces of scrap wood and notched them so they would slip over the mirror and lock it into place. I mitered each corner at 45 degrees and then glued the wood to both the frame and the mirror and tacked it all together with small nails.
Step 8: Mount A Hanging Wire
When the frame was complete, I added two picture hangers to the back and a wire. I made sure the wire was close to the top of the frame, but low enough that it wouldn’t be visible when it hung on the wall.
Step 9: Add Stain to Brackets
The last step in the process was to add a little bit of stain to the front of the brackets where the fresh wood was exposed from the new cuts. I was careful not to get the stain anywhere else on the pallet wood, just small dabs with a rag on those areas. When the stain was dry, I hung up the frame and added the glass shelf in place.
It looks perfect in its new home and you’d never guess that this DIY mirror frame was whipped up with wood from the trash. My neighbor was very excited with her stylish rustic pallet wood frame and so was I. The shelf is a nice addition to hold candles or accessories and gives the frame a custom look. Best of all, this frame design can be used to accent a mirror or your favorite piece of art.
What will you put inside? Let us know in the comments!
- Plate Joiner (https://amzn.to/2NClYGv)
- Miter Saw (http://amzn.to/2EBBak6)
- Jigsaw (http://amzn.to/2GHQyMb)