Design Review- Vanity Mirror

After deciding I was going to for sure make a vanity mirror, I looked into the process and found that Youtube has come to save the day. There are many DIY Vanity Mirror videos on youtube giving me step by step instructions. Realistically, it isn’t too difficult. The idea is pretty straight forward. However, it could get more complicated depending on how high quality I want the mirror to be.

Seeing as this is my first kind of physical and functional project, I want to keep it pretty simple while still challenging myself to learn things like wiring the lightbulbs and make them have dimming capabilities.

Mainly, I am very determined to keep this under 75 dollars. (they sell for a couple hundred!) After getting the materials for the prototype phase, I believe I will reach this goal. I used a mirror I already had and removed the frame it was in, purchased vanity bars that house the lightbulbs (2x $12.00) and purchased one roll of contact paper ($8.00) to use on the vanity bars to achieve my aesthetic goals. This brings my total up to $32 dollars so far. I have to purchase light bulbs and extension cords and any other wires I might need (I have no idea yet because i don’t know how to do this! Need to research or utilize my teammates!) So I should be able to stay within my money constraint.

Despite what it showed online, Home Depot did not have marble contact paper (the aesthetic I was going for) so I went with second best. A white paper with black and grey speckles. It looks kind of like cement? Don’t know what it is supposed to be but I like it!

Below is the work I have been able to complete. I hung up the vanity bars and mirror with thumb tacks temporarily just so I could get an idea of what it would look like. I’m happy with it so far


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10 Comments. Leave new

  • This is a great project! If you use a mirror every day you might as well build one that you love and you can be proud of every time you look at it! I think using some polish on some of the metal pieces in your design could really make it look even better!

  • Ridhvik Gopal
    March 19, 2017 10:51 pm

    You made great progress so far! I like the Idea of an affordable yet good-looking mirror. I would like to know more about the aesthetic you are going for. But I guess, you will discover it over the spring break. I like how it’s come so far, the light stone finish does look really good! I look forward to see how it comes up!

  • I really like the idea of making a vanity mirror for this project. Even though the marble would have been really cool, I like the speckled grey. I’m not exactly sure what aesthetic you are trying to convey with it though… There are definitely people in this class that would gladly lend you a hand wiring the lightbulbs. Its not too difficult, but having someone help you will accelerate the process and shopping. Good luck with this!!

  • This is looking pretty good. But I’m concerned: what is the aesthetic you’re going for? Remember that these are supposed to be aesthetics-first, function-second, so I would look over more Pinterest or Google Image searches to find things similar to what you want to create and decide what artistic inspirations you can target. Right now your project—while definitely coming along—seems to be several individual pieces that result in a simple home furnishing, rather than an artistic piece. If you fit trips to ReSource into your budget to make it stretch, I think you should definitely turn your attention to the aesthetics of the piece and add features and consult high-end mirror products to decide which direction you want to go.

  • Emma Hammerton
    March 17, 2017 12:15 pm

    The aesthetic for your mirror looks really nice so far. I think the masonry kind of look is really unique and creative. I had no idea vanity mirrors could run up to about $800 — it seems like you are doing a really nice job of sticking to a low budget while also making something that looks nice. What kind of light bulbs are you planning to use? Is it important for the application to use a specific type (energy saving versus not)?

  • Gautham Govindarajan
    March 17, 2017 12:14 pm

    I like that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. The reason that most vanity mirror have light bulbs on the frame is to achieve a uniform lighting for your subject. The fact that you are going with bars on just the sides might affect the lighting. It might give a different aesthetic too. But I would suggest you look into the lighting​.

  • Morgan Ulrich
    March 17, 2017 12:12 pm

    Good job researching and price checking other vanity mirrors. Wiring the lights will be super easy, and I can totally help you if you need a hand. Will you need to put a top cover of clear paint over the contact paper?

  • Siddharth Nigam
    March 17, 2017 12:12 pm

    I love how you came at this with an engineering approach as well as an artistic approach. Making something that is functional and beautiful is always challenging, and you went above and beyond by making it economical as well. Your detailing is really good too, the process is well defined, you know your constraints and costs. Great job! Hope it turns out well! I am slightly concerned with the stability of the mirror if you’re using thumb tacks to hold it up but you said you’re still looking.

  • Cyron Completo
    March 17, 2017 12:12 pm

    I had no idea typical vanity mirrors were so expensive! It is great that your DIY mentality can be applied directly to this project.

    The marble aesthetic would work well with the vanity mirror! I suggest making your own marble pattern using acrylic paint on blank contact paper instead of looking for pre-marbled contact paper.

  • I had no idea how expensive vanity mirrors are! Making your own was definitely a good call and I like your ambitions to figure out how to wire up all the lights. You seem pretty far in your prototype which will be nice to eventually turn into the final product. I’d check goodwill for an inexpensive frame to hold the mirror and lights, there could be an easy solution waiting for you there.


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