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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Haunted Mirror Tutorial #HalloweenDIY

So I made this Haunted Mirror for Halloween but never got around to posting the tutorial. I shared the images on Facebook and had several inquiries for instructions.

So here you go.

I found an old wooden photo frame with intact glass at Goodwill for under $1. I always look for wood frames because I can easily sand them and paint them any color I want.

I used several of the 8x10 ones I found to frame photos of my kids but this one was a little bigger 12x14 I think-  perfect for the Haunted Mirror.

You can use any size you want but I wouldn't use anything smaller than 8x10, you'll lose detail and effect.

This was relatively easy to make. The spray paint was the most expensive part of the project- around $12 for a small can at Michaels but there's enough paint to do a couple projects.

I purchased a strand of fairy lights on eBay for .99

Items Needed:

Old Photo Frame with Glass

(Optional- purchase a cheap frame that's ready to use)


Paint for frame

Glass cleaner

Scotch Tape

Krylon Looking Glass Silver Spray Paint

A rag to wipe off paint if needed

Spooky image to put in mirror (you'll need to print two copies, one regular and one in reverse)

Optional: Battery operated wire strand of fairy lights


1) Start with your frame. Is it ready to go or do you want to paint it?

If you are going to paint the frame, disassemble, remove the glass and set it aside, lightly sand and wipe the frame clean.

2) Prepare your work surface.

I work at my kitchen table so I lay out wax paper to keep paint from getting on everything, plus your project won't stick to the paper even if you get paint on it.

3) Paint- I put the frame on the wax paper and painted it a mix of red and black with blood droplets on it.

4) Choose an image for the mirror. I just googled "spooky image with hand reaching" and found what I was looking for.

5) Print 2 copies of the image. One facing the way you want it to and one in reverse. To create a reverse/inverse image open the photo in your photo editing software and simply flip it. It'll be a mirror image, completely backwards to your original image.

6) Clean your glass thoroughly and let it dry

7) Now determine the front and back of the mirror. Place your image under the glass as it will be in the frame so you can get an idea of placement. 

8) Remove your image and flip over the glass so the back of the glass is facing up. Put the inverse image under the glass and tape it. It will be taped to the outside of the glass. You are painting the inside, which is the back of the glass.

9) Find a well ventilated area or take the glass outside to paint. Make sure it is a dry day. If it is a humid or rainy day the paint will bubble and turn cloudy. 

I made this mistake the first time I tried to paint.

Shake the can well before spraying. Have a rag handy so you can wipe away paint if you spray too much.

I lightly misted the glass. It didn't look like enough, so I sprayed again. Then I had to wipe away the middle so the image could be seen.

The goal is to have a mirror surface but still see the creepy face coming through the glass. This can be tricky to do and make take a few tries.

Don't worry about imperfections. You want the mirror to look cracked, creepy and worn.

10) Once everything is dry untape the inverse image, flip the mirror over, put your real image under the glass and place in frame. You should have a creepy haunted mirror.

11) Optional - add a strand of wire fairy lights.

I had several strands of fairy lights I bought on eBay for .99 each. I had gold and blue. 

I decided to add the blue lights to give the mirror a creepier effect in a dark room.

So I opened the frame back up and stuck the lights in around the inside of the frame under the glass. Just enough so they could be seen and give the spooky image a ghostly glow.

When I completed the project and took it to my husband, he looked at it, said "Oh that's cool. Then he looked closer, his face paled and he backed away, "No, uh uh, that's creepy."

I laughed. I knew I'd done a good job if it creeped him out. That was the effect I was going for. It is a Halloween decoration after all.

I plan on making a couple more of these this year. I have this amazing creepy old frame I trash picked. I just need to get glass for it then it is going to be a large haunted mirror.