How to Make a Compact Mirror

Written by katherine harder
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How to Make a Compact Mirror
Create your own small, portable compact mirror. (magic mirror image by kruszek from

Having a portable mirror handy is helpful for many reasons: You can check your appearance for irregularities throughout the day, look at the back of yourself when in front of a larger mirror or subtly check out what's going on behind you without even turning your head. You can create your own custom version to carry with you at all times. Embellish your completed mirror with a small image or painting on the back, or make several in different colours to match other accessories.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Mirror, at least 6 inches by 6 inches
  • Glass circle cutter
  • 1/4-inch pressed plywood, at least 6 inches square
  • Geometric compass and pencil
  • Scroll saw
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Oil-based construction adhesive
  • Craft glue
  • Small paintbrush
  • Pillow piping
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Place the mirror over a soft yet firm flat surface. Set up the circle cutter in the centre of the mirror. Pull out the movable portion of the cutter arm to a 1 1/2-inch diameter mark. Rotate the cutter arm in a full circle without scoring to test for obstructions.

  2. 2

    Apply even pressure to the end of the cutter arm while rotating it again, this time scoring a circle into the mirror. Rotate the cutter arm several times to get an even, deep score. Turn the mirror over and apply gentle but firm pressure to the back centre of the mirror; if the circle doesn't separate from the mirror easily, rescore and try again.

  3. 3

    Draw a perfect circle with a 1 3/4-inch radius on the plywood, using the compass. Cut out the circle with your scroll saw; this may take a few attempts to get right, so have extra plywood on hand.

  4. 4

    Paint both sides and the edges of your plywood circle. Allow the plywood to dry before proceeding.

  5. 5

    Attach the mirror to one side of the plywood circle, in its centre, using the construction glue. Allow the glue to completely cure, a process that takes at least a day.

  6. 6

    Dip your small paintbrush in craft glue. Cut out about 10 inches of piping. Line the edge of your mirror with glue, and then start applying the piping, inch by inch; the piping will enhance your mirror's appearance and protect you from its sharp edges. Stop gluing the piping when you have about an inch of mirror edge left, so you can trim the excess. Finish placing your piping and hold the piping down while it dries.

Tips and warnings

  • Simplify this project by purchasing a bag of inexpensive small, round mirrors from your local craft store.
  • Before attempting to cut your plywood circle, check your scroll saw blade. It should be lined up at exactly 90 degrees for the best results.
  • Wear gloves when scoring and handling the mirror.

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