I'll show you how to make a jewelry cabinet out of a thrift store mirror by making a simple box construction to attach to the mirror.
I love to pick up old dresser mirrors at thrift stores for 5-7 bucks. There are so many options. I’ve made them into chalkboards, and sometimes, I just update their look with some fresh paint. Many of these mirrors are plastic faux wood. This one happens to be real wood. They are all VERY heavy when you leave the mirrors intact.
This project was suppose to be a quick and easy makeover. It took much more time and effort than I ever imagined it would.
Years ago I made my daughter Jamie a jewelry armoire that hangs on the wall. I made it from scratch and bought a mirror for the front. That project inspired me to make this repurposed mirror jewelry armoire.
I think this wooden dresser mirror was around $5 at the Peddler’s Mall. It is very heavy.
How to Construct a wooden frame
I made a simple box by ripping some 1x6’s down to about 5”. I cut some shelf boards. This is where I got totally mixed up and added all those pocket holes thinking that I needed to attach the mirror. Well, I KNEW I was going to hinge it, but for some reason I drilled all those holes (that I later had to patch)
Need more details on using a Kreg Jig? See my article How to use a Kreg Jig Pocket Hole System
Cut Piano Hinge to Size
I purchased a piano hinge at Home Depot, but it was too long, so I used my jigsaw with a metal blade to cut the hinge down to the right size.
At this point, this was still an experimental project. The mirror is so darn heavy, I wasn’t sure the piano hinge would support the weight.
Add supports to jewelry armoire for hanging
You can see I’ve begun to patch all those pocket holes. I knew that this cabinet would have to be secured very well on the wall, so I decided to use mounting rails just like the ones that hold your kitchen cabinets on the wall. I attached those mounting rails at the top and bottom of the box with more pocket holes.
If you use your Kreg jig to make pocket holes and don’t have one of those handy Right Angle Clamps I highly recommend that you pick one up.
At this point I mount it to the fence to make sure that the hinge will indeed support that massive mirror. Using the mounting rails at the top and bottom of the box really will hold this thing on the wall!
Here’s a close-up so you can see how this jewelry cabinet installs.
Looks good eh?
Paint Jewelry Cabinet
Time for some paint. I mixed up some DIY chalk paint, and gave it a few light coats, then sealed it with my favorite Minwax Polycrylic.
I hung the jewelry cabinet back on the fence so I could do some more work on the inside.
Add hooks to hanging jewelry cabinet
I ripped some small pieces of 2x6 on the table saw to give a little thickness on the door. I had to be very careful installing these into the door so that I didn’t break the mirror. It took a little trial and error to get the perfect size. They needed to be long enough so the Ryobi Airstrike nails/staples would go into the “meat” of the mirror, but short enough on the right hand side to allow the door to actually close.
I purchased these on L hooks (100) on Amazon. If you want to get some, follow the affiliate link. On the top row, I spaced them 2” apart on the even numbers.
For the next row, I spaced them 2” apart on the odd numbers. I did this so that long chains or necklaces will hang in between the hooks below them and not get tangled.
You can see that I pre-drilled small pilot holes being VERY careful not to go too deep and break the mirror.
Look closely and you can see how I attached those little pieces of wood with a staple on the edge.
I did that on all four sets of hooks, never placing any directly above the ones atop of them
Hack for screwing in L hooks
You may think that all that installing of the L hooks would make your fingers sore….I found a hack! I used the small piece of piano hinge that I cut off worked great to turn all those hooks into the wood with no problem at all. AGAIN, being very careful not to turn them in too deep, so that I didn’t break that mirror. I had worked way too hard on this project for that to happen!
The back of the cabinet is a piece of thin plywood that I attached with my nail gun.
Here she is hanging on the fence for yet another test drive. My poor fence sure gets put through the ringer with holes, screws and nails! But that’s better than testing it in the house on my WALL!
Plenty of hooks for necklaces and bracelets and such, with lots of shelving to hold earrings and other trinkets.
And again, I’ll say nooooo it’s not meant to hang on a fence. I simply use the fence for staging purposes in order to get good lighting for photos.
So, all in all the cost breakdown is about $40 for everything. The piano hinge was the most expensive component, but I honestly don’t think regular hinges would have supported that heavy mirror.