How to Do Faux DIY Fretwork on a Mirror Using Washi Tape

Julien K., Hometalk Team
by Julien K., Hometalk Team
6 Materials
1 Hour

You know those full-length, back-of-the-door mirrors everyone seems to have owned during the College years?

Well, those $2 mirrors can be completely transformed into a much more sophisticated look with a little washi tape! This fretwork mirror will give that inexpensive mirror a complete makeover!

Taping the inside of the mirror

Step 1: Tape the inside

Tape off the mirror inside the frame using painter's tape.

Painting the frame gold

Step 2: Paint the frame

Paint the wooden frame of the mirror gold and let dry.

You may need a few coats. I wanted mine to look a little more "antiqued" so I roughed it up and let some of the white show through.

Peeling off the tape

Step 3: Peel off the tape

Once the frame is dry, carefully peel off the painter's tape.

Measuring the sides

Step 4: Measure the sides

Using a ruler, measure 1" in from the frame. Use a light-colored crayon and draw a straight line from the top of the mirror to the bottom.

Measuring the bottom

Step 5: Measure the bottom

Measure 1" up from the bottom of the frame and use your crayon again to draw a line across the bottom.

Drawing lines for the fretwork design

Step 6: Continue the lines

Continue drawing your crayon lines in the pattern of the fretwork design.

Fretwork sketched out

My lines were always 1" inward or upward and my squares were 10" from one another.

Fretwork design template

This is the fretwork design I used for my mirror. If following the same pattern, you can use this as a guide to help you draw your lines.

Applying the washi tape

Step 7: Apply washi tape

Apply your washi tape over the crayon lines.

Cut each piece straight, so that they line up with the edge as perfectly as possible.

More Washi Tape Ideas

Looking for more things to do with washi tape? Read our full guide on how to use washi tape, how to remove it, where to buy it, and other washi tape ideas.

DIY fretwork

Continue applying pieces of washi tape, overlapping each piece as you go along.

Hanging the mirror

Step 8: Hang the mirror

Hang your awesome new mirror in the place of your choice!

Mirror with DIY fretwork

How to do DIY fretwork

DIY fretwork

I gave mine a more antiqued look by roughing up the edges with sandpaper and letting some of the white show throw.

Suggested materials:
  • Washi Tape   (Michaels)
  • Mirror   (Walmart)
  • Crayon   (On-Hand)
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Jun 07, 2017

    How many rolls of washi tape did you use on the long mirror? I have that $2 special hanging on my wall and it came in gold. I may use some wood stain in a few places on the frame. But the washi tape fretting would be perfect. I have to clean the grandchild stickers and fingerprints off first! Best wishes 😇

  • Bar26296937 Bar26296937 on Aug 07, 2017

    Hi! Great idea. I`ve got an old cottage here in England so it wouldn`t be suitable but I`m sure my daughter would accommodate it!! One question, does anyone know if they sell Washi tape over here?

  • Rit28735138 Rit28735138 on Sep 26, 2017

    What is washi tape

Join the conversation
3 of 24 comments
  • Rita Rita on Oct 29, 2017

    I have a shell shaped mirror any suggestion for that it hangs in my bathroom

    • Mel28834726 Mel28834726 on Oct 15, 2018

      Were you ever able to find something to do with your bathroom mirror?

  • Kay Kay on Jul 29, 2019

    Can you just use Washi tape to frame mirror. We have one of those large mirrors over bathroom sink and is not framed. Tried to frame it and it did not come out well. Thanks. Kay