How to Hang A Mirror (and Make Your Life A Little Bit Better)

A brief guide to hanging a mirror

“Smile in the mirror,” Yoko Ono once famously said, “Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life”.  

The artist, musician and style icon is not wrong.  It is well documented that mirrors in the home can have numerous positive effects on our lives.  In addition to giving us a tool for self-reflection and a way to reinforce our own positive self-image, mirrors can be a way to generate more light and make our homes feel more spacious.  

Before you can have a mirror to smile in, however, you’ll have to figure out how to hang it.  Unfortunately, hanging mirrors can be difficult.  Because they are so fragile, you’ll want to be sure that you know how to hang a mirror the correct way.  This will prevent future accidents and ensure that your mirror hangs as long as you want it to. 

In order to hang your mirror correctly, follow these steps:


Step 1:  Assess Your Mirror

All mirrors are different.  Some of them have frames and some of them don’t, making certain mirrors more difficult to hang than others.  If your mirror has a frame, you’ll be able to attach eye-hooks and wire pretty easily.  If it doesn’t, you may want to find another way of displaying it, such as leaning it or attaching it to the wall with double-sided tape.  If your mirror is too heavy to hang by yourself, find a friend to help you hang it.


Step 2:  Find a Spot to Hang Your Mirror

Figure out where you want the mirror to hang.  Oftentimes, people hang mirrors across from windows or in places where light will be reflected.  This enables you to use the mirror to bring more light into the room.  Additionally, you may want to hang the mirror across from decorations like paintings or decorative shelves.  Looking in the mirror will be a more pleasurable experience if you enjoy the objects in the background.

Step 3:  Hang the Mirror

If you are hanging a heavy mirror, you’ll need a wall stud to support the mirror’s weight.  While studs are usually installed every 16”, you may want to use a stud finder to locate them in the wall.  Once you’ve found the stud, you should pre-drill two small holes side by side (making sure they are level).  These holes will prevent the stud from cracking.  

If you are forced to hang the mirror directly on drywall, you can purchase plastic anchors (available at every hardware store) that will enable you to hang your mirror without studs.

After you’ve pre-drilled, use your drill to install two screws (2-3” screws) into the holes.  Allow each screw to protrude at least 3/4” out of the wall.  These will be the screws that you’ll hang the mirror on.  

At this point, you (and your helper, if you have one) should lift the mirror and hang it by the wire on the screws.  You can level the mirror with a leveling-tool or by eyeballing it to make sure you’re happy.  

Step 4:  Smile is a furniture studio that builds custom wall mirrors. We are in Los Angeles.