Fun Magical Mirror

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There is a simple way to make this!

I created this optical illusion mirror for my garden, but it would also be fun indoors in a child's room or at the end of a long hallway.


I made mine from a plain mirror and some wood. You could also use painted cardboard for a lightweight indoor version.

And, good news: there are no special measurements or calculations needed. It's much easier than it looks.
Time: 4 HoursCost: $20Difficulty: Medium
  • diy secret garden optical illusion mirror
Make a life-size drawing of your plan on a big sheet of paper or cardboard. There are more design ideas for this project here on my blog.
  • I used 1x2 pieces of wood and used a piece of the wood to draw the plan, tracing it on the paper.
  • Start by drawing the outside frame. This should be slightly bigger than the size of your mirror.
  • Next, draw the inside section. Again, draw the outer frame, then add the inner pieces.
  • Label every section so you can tag each piece of wood as you cut them out.
  • diy secret garden optical illusion mirror
Place wood on top of plan, and cut out each piece. Tag each wood piece to keep track of them.
  • diy secret garden optical illusion mirror
Assemble the pieces with wood glue and metal joiners on the back. Then prime and paint the entire thing, front and back. You want the back painted because it does show in the mirror reflection.
  • diy secret garden optical illusion mirror, crafts, diy, gardening, how to, woodworking projects
Add hinges and a door handle to complete the effect.
  • diy secret garden optical illusion mirror, crafts, diy, gardening, how to, woodworking projects
Here it is in my garden. And yes, never place a mirror where birds fly or where it will directly reflect sunlight. Mine is in a quiet, dark corner, giving a magical effect.
  • diy secret garden optical illusion mirror
It's a really neat effect. I hope you'll make one!

Suggested materials for this project:

  • Mirror (frameless)  (thrift shop)
  • 1x2 wood  (home improvement store)
  • Paint (exterior latex)  (home improvement store)
See all materials
Empress of Dirt - Melissa

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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    • Brenda Alferes Anderson
      Brenda Alferes Anderson Oakland, CA
      on Apr 27, 2015

      I love having a mirror in my garden. Although I do have a funny story. Due to some unfortunate circumstances we had the police in our yard one night. At one point I was returning to where every one was standing and an officer caught my reflection in the mirror and thought the suspect was returning, he had his gun halfway out of his holster before he realized it was a mirror and my reflection in it! Needless, to say we all had a very nervous laugh about it.

      • From My Front Porch To Yours
        From My Front Porch To Yours Humble, TX
        on Apr 27, 2015

        Great project!