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How To Create a 3-D Mirror Gallery Wall

You have seen it done – the Gallery Wall – a collection of framed art or photos grouped on a wall to create impact.  It is an inexpensive and easy way to display objects on a big wall.

If you are looking for gallery wall ideas for your home décor, I have experimented with making a Frame Gallery Wall Using Command Strips, but in this post, I have a twist you’ll love on the classic gallery wall – a 3D layered mirror gallery wall that creates even more of a dramatic effect. It uses wood blocks that you can easily make with scrap wood.

Layered Mirror Gallery Wall

Finished project of a mirror gallery wall
dark wood dresser with mirror

Do you remember when I took the mirror off of the dresser in my guest room?

dresser mirror used in a dining room

I painted it black and moved it to my dining room where I thought it would have more impact.   Love it – but it left my guest room wall looking a little un-loved.

I didn’t want to just add anything as a temporary fix, so I just let it be.  Last week when I was working with a decorating client of mine I got inspiration. I am helping her do her master bedroom and bath.  She handed me the photo and wanted me to figure out how to create it – as she has lots of photos she wants to display on a wall.

Finished project of a mirror gallery wall

I looked closely at the photo and figured – no problem I can do that, but before I start putting holes in her wall, I will go put them in mine first to figure the best way to create the  3-D or layered effect.

I didn’t use art or photos, but mirrors.  I had a few sitting down in my basement and I got the smaller ones at The Dollar Tree.  Now my guest room looks loved again and my guests will be able to see themselves.

mirror gallery wall over repurposed dresser

After creating the 3D Mirror Gallery Wall, I gave the brown dresser under it a new look.  You can find out how I did this in How to Update a Hand-Me-Down Dresser.

How To Make A 3D-Framed Mirror Gallery Wall

It was not too hard to create this gallery wall of mirrors. I didn’t even make any extra holes in my wall because I made a plan first.

Follow these steps to create your own mirror gallery wall in your home.

arrangement of mirrors for mirror gallery wall

Step 1: I gathered all my mirrors and laid them on the bed to figure out the best placement.

template for mirror gallery wall

Step 2: I then traced each mirror on brown paper to make a template for each one. You could use newspaper to do this, too. My brown paper was from the end of the roll and was curling, but it didn’t matter – it still gave me an idea of where each frame was going to go on the wall.

Step 3:  To create the 3-D or layered effect, you need to create two layers.  Some frames are mounted the usual way right on the wall. The next layer of frames will be mounted on blocks.  I found some scrap wood and cut it into blocks.  The blocks need to be as thick as your frames so when you place a frame on a block it lays above or level with the wall mounted frames.

blocks to be used for hanging a mirror gallery wall

Step 4:  I then painted the sides of each block the same color of the wall.  Since the wall I created is next to the door I wanted the blocks to blend in as you might see them from a side view. You can’t but it keeps things nice and neat.

block used for a mirror galley wall
block with nail to easily hang mirrors

Step 5: I drilled a hole in the center of each block so I could screw them onto the wall.

Step 6: The block becomes the wall for the frames that are going to be raised away from the wall to create the 3D effect.  I added a nail and hung a framed mirror on it.

Process of hanging mirrors on wall

Step 7: I started hanging the mirrors by placing the largest mirror first and then worked to each side. I placed the wall mounted mirrors first and then the ones on the blocks next.

finished looked of mirror gallery wall

It ended up looking like this.

Tips for Hanging a 3D-Frame Mirror Gallery on a Wall

When it comes to hanging overlapping frames, the key lies with placing the blocks:  The frame has to be centered on a block as this is where the hangers are on the back of each frame.

Step 1: Line the top of the block up with the top center of the frame where the hanger is.

tip for hanging a mirror gallery wall

Step 2: Note that some hangers on the back of frames are right on top, others are lower. Keep this in mind when placing the blocks on the wall. You should not see the block when the frame is hanging.

mirror wall gallery with tips

Step 3: I only created two layers, but you could add a 3rd level by using thicker blocks that will hold frames on top of ones already on thinner blocks.

closer look at a mirror gallery wall

Closer view of the layer effect of the mirrors.

In case you need some help hanging heavy items on your walls, I have some tips that make it easy in this post.

Photo of layered mirror gallery wall

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113 Comments

  1. “I was going through your blogs about the different architecture firms in Delhi and found my future home designer in the process. Also, great job presenting architecture in such an interesting manner!”

  2. Hello Diane

    Wow, that looks so cute. Article, flowers, and arrangements everything is perfect and useful.

  3. What a great idea Diane, I have concrete brick behind my house plaster walls and really hard to get picutre hooks into but I can do something similar in my sewing room. Not sure which century I will get all these things done ! – one drawback to being single.:)

  4. I love it..so so creative..Thats what I love about your post..you never know what your going to pull out of your hat. It usually doesn’t cost much if anything..Your the BOMB!!!Your always exploding with ideas..Thanks Diane for sharing that unique knowledge you have..

  5. Love how you walked us through the steps with great photos & simple descriptions that anyone can follow. Also appreciate that I can share one photo with attribution (post almost done)

  6. I love your real ideas!! Your tutorials our great – thanks for sharing and your inspirations.

  7. You are amazing! Your tutorial and pictures are down to the detail and make it actually do-able for us novice DIYers! Thanks!!

  8. Wowee. Glad I stumbled on this post. Awesome idea and brilliantly executed. I’ve got a hallway that needs some life- even one big mirror would be too plain. I’m on it! Thanks so much.

  9. I know this is an older post but I still have to comment!! You are amazing!! I have so many bookmarked blogs that I need to “un-bookmark” and just come straight to yours! Where have you been all of my life? Darn I’m going to be up all night…I have things to do tomorrow!

  10. I love love love this. Its really come out excellent. Once again i admire the color combinations. They are so classy and rich.

    I need to paint my white walls. Hey would u pls share the wall color u have?

    1. The color on the wall where the 3D gallery wall is hanging is a mix of paint. I only had a half a can of each color and wanted to use them up. I poured half a can of white paint into half a can of Ben Moore Shelburne Buff HC-28 and mixed well. If you ask for Shelburne Buff at 50% you will be close to the color. On the same color strip with Shelburne Buff is Dunmore Cream HC-29. It is almost exact to what the color ended up like.

  11. What a great idea. I tried to hang some pictures, in a similar fashion, at my son’s house. The result was not as neat or polished as yours. Now I know how to fix my mistakes. Thank you so much!

  12. Wow i love it so simple but so effective!! I have been thinking of ways to display my photos for a long time! Thankyou this is fantastic!! You are a genius xxx

  13. Your mirror display is just gorgeous! Thank you so much for the detailed, well thought out, tutorial. Now I’ve just gotta find some free wall space… oh, and some mirrors :) [Found this post via Positively Splendid.]

  14. i found something like this at anthropologie for around too much money and wanted to make it myself. here you are making it beautiful for probably a lot less than too much money and now i’m super inspired.

    i DO need a new headboard. . . .

    love your site!

  15. NICE JOB! And you didn’t have to spend a ton for the spacers at Pottery Barn to do it. I love that you did it all with mirrors, too. It makes the reflections really interesting. I may have to copy.

    1. Hi Karen

      Thanks. I didn’t even know those spacers existed, but I have since found out — pretty pricey too. Please copy – that is why we share all of our ideas on blogs – to help and inspire each other to make the most of our homes.

  16. Just popping over from The Inspired Room. It is great to see your gallery wall. Mine is #10.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    Gg – Notes on the Journey

    ps. Your mirror wall is stunning. Love the 3D and thanks for the great tutorial.

  17. CLEVER, CLEVER girl!! SOOOOOO fun! Love your mirrored look and the inspirational photo too! Just may have to imitate! Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin-

      Thanks so much. I have my client, Neve to thank for it as she showed me a photo from Philadelphia Magazine and asked me to figure out how to do it so she could do it in her bedroom. Thanks for connecting with me.

  18. lovely…. lovely… oh my… i have ALWAYS wanted to do this and now i know how – adding to my favorite link of “things to try” in our new home! thank you!

  19. I love this – I had wanted to do a layered effect on a wall and I never could figure it out, so using the blocks is AWESOME!
    Thanks so much for linking up with Saturday Spotlight!

  20. I’m certainly loving this project…how creative! I am SOOOO glad you linked this up to Saturday Spotlight! My new favorite are photo montages, and this is perfect!
    Check back on Saturday to see the featured projects and I can’t wait to see more of your link ups!

    ~Jenna, SAS Interiors
    http://www.sasinteriors.net

  21. I LOVE this! I was just getting ready to plan a wall of photos and was wondering just what I was going to do. I have to try this!!!
    Thank you! (I just found you from Thrifty Decor Chick’s FB link)
    Great ideas! Now I am a new follower!!

  22. AHHH! I LOVE THIS!! Ok, i just found your blog today but its officially going under my “view everyday” tab… love this!

  23. Thank you for those instructions.. It looks fantastic. I am a new follower.. your blog is great… Love to have you stop by mine.. could sure use your advice this week.. great to find people who can teach and have such a great eye.

  24. I love it! They sell some brackets in Pottery Barn for $19 each that are for the same thing. Since that is out of my price range I have been bugging my husband to weld some for me but this will be MUCH easier! He may be as excited as I am. Thanks for posting!
    Misty

  25. Coming over from fingerprints on the fridge linking party….great eclectic look, I love it! I also love the layered mirror look that you did with the dresser mirror.

  26. This looks fabulous! What a fun idea to use the mirrors. You are a genius because you used the blocks to add the dimension! Fabulous! I love your blog and all of your ideas! Thanks for posting and keeping up the great work. I love stopping by and just drooling!! have a fantastic weekend!!

  27. hi Diane! popping in to welcome you to the circle of bliss! apologies it took me so long to get over here.. circle is growing so quickly now!
    really great tutorial!
    blessings, -tracie

  28. Very cool!! Saw this done in the PB catalog, but such a great idea using the wood instead of buying the special hangers. Might have to steal your idea! :)

  29. I love the way you did this, it looks great! The layering technique is clever and smart, and I’m gonna have to copy you. I love the great textural interest of the different frames and mirrors. Excellent project!

  30. I love it! I was going to do a more boring gallery wall in our living room, but I think I’m going to opt for a hybrid mirror/picture 3d gallery instead, possibly with a plate or two hung as well. Thanks for inspiring me!

  31. Oh my gosh!!! I am CRAZY about this!!! I am trying to figure out just where I’m going to do this in my own house. And if I can’t find a spot, I’m totally going to convince someone else to let me do it in theirs! Thanks for sharing the details!!!

  32. I love this! I have a wall of photo’s just inside my front door and I’m not that happy with it, I’m going to try this on my wall I think I’ll be happier with it.
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  33. That looks so fabulous! If found myself glancing around my house as I read to see where I could put something like it!

  34. Diane,

    I love this. I saw this done with a few photos in a Pottery Barn catalog awhile back. The picture hooks had projections on them that created the 3D effect, but were $16.oo each!!! Great tutorial!

  35. I am so loving this……great tutorial!! I also love where you put your mirror in your dining room. I am a new follower!

  36. i LOVE it!! CLEVER idea for the layering, I did something similar, but used 2 blocks under my frame and some 3M velcro stuff. I think I need to add more to my wall, you’ve inspired me to keep adding :)

  37. Oh, this is fantastic! It looks so good!!

    I love all of your ideas, and I appreciate how you explain what you did and show photos. That helps so much! Thank you!!

  38. This is a great tutorial! So creative and what an upscale look. I would love to try this on stairs and use family pictures. Thanks for the instructions and the inspriration.
    Yvonne

  39. Diane, that is a different idea. It looks great and that was a bit of work to do that. Thanks for joining the party this week.

  40. I love it- And…I actually like your mirrors better than the photos in the inspiration picture. Way to go…I know that was a lot of work but it was worth it! Hugs- Diana

  41. Looks great! The wooden blocks were a good idea. Pottery Barn sells the metal arms that do the same, but cost 100x’s as much!
    Dropping by from How To’s Day. Hope you’ll come see DD2’s picture wall we did for her.

    Allison
    Atticmag

  42. I’ve seen this but never imagined that I would be able to do it. YOu are so amazing. You see something incredible and your mind amazingly figures out exactly how to make it happen.

    1. Hi Ann-
      Thanks. I have to thank my parents for giving me a can-do mindset. That along with many years of working in retail display taught me the know how to make just about anything using odds and ends.

  43. Diane – really nice job at recreating that interesting depth. Really catches my attention! Hmm, so you don’t put anchors in the wall, even for some of those heavier mirrors? I hope you create another post to show the results of your client’s installation. This is an extremely wonderful idea!

    1. Hi Diane-

      None of my mirrors were heavy enough to require an anchor, if they did – I would put the heaviest ones on the first level, right on the wall with an anchor and then build from that. I used white paneling nails to hang the mirrors. You can see one in the photo of the block close-up. They have notches and act like screws. I use them to hang just about everything. Just hammer them in on an angle – not straight into the wall. I will gladly post my client’s photo gallery wall when it is complete.

  44. Very, Very interesting. Your tutorial was very detailed,I like that. Hmmmm I am now thinking I would like to do this. Great idea.Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Connie-

      My wall was the experiment, now I know exactly what I have to do on my clients wall. The hardest part was cutting the blocks on my table saw. You could probably get the guys at the home improvement store to cut a 2 x 4 into blocks – that would be easy!!!