How to hang a display of vintage mirrors

13 Aug

At last, the forest green walls in my bathroom have been transformed into a nice cool grey. Time to finally hang the 1930s mirror collection I’ve had in the cupboard under the stairs for the last five years! Creating a frameless mirror display is harder than it looks so I thought I’d put together a little ‘how to’ with some tips and tricks.

Boring before…

Beautiful after…

How to hang a display of frameless vintage mirrors


  • Mirrors
  • Roll of parcel paper or large offcuts of wallpaper
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Heavy duty picture hooks with at least two screw holes
  • Screws and rawlplugs suitable for your wall type
  • Tape measure / ruler
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver

1) Check the fixings on the back of each mirror are secure (frameless mirrors can be very heavy) and tighten them if necessary. I thought my display would look neater if the chains were hidden so I shortened some of them by adjusting the positions of the fixings and clipping off the excess chain with wire cutters.

2) Trace around each mirror on the parcel paper and cut out to make a template. Sketch on the position of any patterns and mark the top/bottom if necessary.

3) Lay all the templates out on the floor and move them around the create an arrangement you like. Take a photo to act as a reference.

4) Use masking tape to fix the templates onto the wall in the same positions, tweaking the arrangement if necessary. I  swapped the bottom right-hand and left-hand mirrors over as I could see that would fit better once I had the templates up on the wall.

5) Start with the mirror that will hang in the bottom centre position. Lay it face down on the floor and loop your hook under the chain. Pull the chain taught and measure how far down the lower screw hole is from the top of the mirror.

6) Place the hook on top of the corresponding paper template, measure the same distance from the top and mark the position of the screw hole on the wall. You should be able mark through the paper with the template still in place. Then mark the position of the other screw hole, using the hook as your guide.

7) Remove the template and drill holes in the marked positions. Tap in rawlplugs and securely screw in the hook. The easiest way to do this is to start the screw off with a manual screwdriver then finish it off tightly with an electric screwdriver if you have one.

8) Repeat for all the mirrors making any small adjustments to the positions as you go along. Stand back and admire your handiwork!

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and my bathroom looks so much lighter and more spacious now.

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23 Responses to “How to hang a display of vintage mirrors”

  1. Lynnie April 10, 2013 at 12:17 #

    LOVE the look and the detailed how to, thank you! That mirror over the sink is a particular beauty.

    I wonder if you’d mind sharing where you picked up these mirrors, or maybe recommend some sources that you rate? I’ve been trying to amass a collection on and off for literally years through fleaBay, Gumtree, etc and am finding them surprisingly (IMHO) expensive.

    • Decorator's Notebook April 11, 2013 at 15:08 #

      Hi Lynnie – yes you’re right, these mirrors are getting more and more expensive. I too amassed my collection over several years and used to pick up really nice ones on eBay for around £12 but now you’d be lucky to get them for under £40. You can still get some bargains though… the one above the basin that you like was bought in Somerset from a really shabby secondhand shop for £11 I think. It needed a good clean up and the glass is in pretty poor condition (don’t even try and do your make-up in it!!) but the shape is very pretty. So, my tips would be to look further afield and check out car boot sales and charity shops as well as eBay and antique fairs where you’ll pay more. Good luck!

  2. Nicole January 4, 2013 at 20:34 #

    It looks beautiful! I came across your pictures because i wanted to know if I can hang my art deco mirror in the bathroom without risking damage to the silvering, so it would be great to hear how you mirrors are looking now?

    • Decorator's Notebook January 4, 2013 at 21:05 #

      I don’t think they’ve got worse since they’ve been in the bathroom, but they weren’t all in perfect condition to begin with. I quite like the distressed look!

  3. Ellie November 18, 2012 at 00:08 #

    Hi.. Can you tell me the make and colour of the wall paint in this photo please?

    • Decorator's Notebook November 19, 2012 at 09:54 #

      Let me dig out the tin and come back to you in a day or so. It’s Crown mix-to-order so has a long code rather than a memorable name so I need to check.

  4. Sara Gundlash August 28, 2012 at 12:28 #

    I love this post, they look amazing, what a great idea and perfectly done.

    • Decorator's Notebook August 28, 2012 at 12:52 #

      Thanks Sara – I was really pleased how it turned and the templates made it sooo much easier. Well worth putting in a little extra preparation time before you turn your wall into a pincushion!

  5. MiaFleur (@MiaFleur_home) August 16, 2012 at 12:26 #

    Such a great idea of how to arrange them and LOVE the finished look!

  6. NordicBliss August 15, 2012 at 22:34 #

    Love that you took the time to document each step. Really helpful guide and the end result is fantastic!

  7. Laura August 14, 2012 at 12:40 #

    Great post! The mirrors look AMAZING, especially without their chains…much neater effect like you say!

  8. Dee at the Carlton August 14, 2012 at 09:16 #

    The end result is stunning ….

    • Decorator's Notebook August 14, 2012 at 09:37 #

      Thanks for the comments everyone! Who’s here from My Friend’s House?
      Say hello!

  9. louiserastall August 14, 2012 at 00:46 #

    Well done lovely!!! It looks great!

  10. Sian August 13, 2012 at 15:22 #

    Those templates are a genius idea – I love the end result too.

  11. Decorator's Notebook August 13, 2012 at 12:42 #

    Thanks Michelle – I think that having other interest in the room also helps deflect attention from the plastic bath too. Still would like to paint the outside of it though. One day!

  12. Michelle August 13, 2012 at 12:15 #

    Love the mirror display. Looks really great (and you can’t even work out from the photos that it is a plastic roll top bath)


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