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How to Build a Hollywood Style Mirror With Lights

Makeup artists in Hollywood often work in front of mirrors that have lights mounted on either side. This allows them to see the actor's face properly, which make putting on makeup easier. You can create your own Hollywood-style makeup mirror in your own home with a few items from your local hardware store. This mirror requires no advanced knowledge of electrical wiring, and you won't have to rip up your wall to supply power.

Build a well-lit makeup mirror like those used in Hollywood.

Step 1

Brush two coats of primer onto the front and edges of a 28-by-34-inch sheet of 3/4-inch plywood. Allow each coat to dry completely before adding the next.

Step 2

Brush two coats of primer onto two 32-inch pieces of 2-by-2-inch board. You only have to cover the top, bottom and one side.

Step 3

Paint the wood pieces with two coats of paint in the color desired for your mirror's background.

Step 4

Set the plywood on a table and place a 18-by-30-inch mirror on it. The mirror should be centered between the left and right sides and 1 inch down from the top. Lightly sketch the outline of the mirror with a pencil and then set the mirror aside somewhere safe.

Step 5

Keyless lamp sockets are available with plug-in cords.

Place six keyless lamp sockets onto the plywood, three to either side of the mirror. Space them out evenly and lightly trace their outlines onto the plywood.

Step 6

Drill a 1/4-inch hole in the center of each traced circle.

Step 7

Hold the plywood on the wall where you will want the mirror. Lightly trace the right and left sides.

Step 8

Thread the electrical cords for the sockets through the drilled holes from the back of the plywood.

Step 9

Attach the cords to the sockets following the included instructions. Most sockets have two simple screws that the wires are wrapped around, and then tightened in place with a screwdriver.

Step 10

Pull the excess cords back through the drilled holes so that the sockets lie flat.

Step 11

Screw the sockets to the plywood with the included screws.

Step 12

Apply a bead of construction adhesive to the back of the mirror, 2 inches from the edge. Press the mirror in place on the plywood and allow the adhesive to dry.

Step 13

Screw the mounting screws for an electrical power strip under the mirror, following the instructions to ensure that they are spaced properly. If possible, select a strip that matches the plywood's paint color.

Step 14

Bundle the electrical cords with zip ties so that each plug extends only as far as needed to reach the power strip.

Step 15

Hold the 2-by-2-inch board sections on the wall, positioned inside of the lines that you drew earlier. The painted sides should face away from the center.

Step 16

Drill three 1/16-inch pilot holes through each 2-by-2-inch board and into the wall, spaced out along the length of the boards. Screw the boards to the wall through the pilot holes with 3-inch wood screws.

Step 17

Place the plywood onto the wall boards with the cords gathered toward the center.

Step 18

Drill four pilot holes through the plywood and into the wall boards and then screw the plywood in place with 2-inch wood screws.

Step 19

Plug the six electrical plugs into the power strip and then plug the power strip's cord into an electrical outlet. Set the power strip's switch to off.

Step 20

Screw six light bulbs into the sockets. By turning on the power strip's switch, all six lights will illuminate and light your face in the mirror.

Things You Will Need

  • 28-by-34-inch sheet of 3/4-inch plywood
  • Primer
  • Paint brushes
  • 2-by-2-inch board pieces, 32 inches long (2)
  • Paint
  • 18-by-30-inch mirror
  • Pencil
  • Keyless lamp sockets with included plug-in cords (6)
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Construction adhesive
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Power strip
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Zip ties
  • Light bulbs (6)

Tip

  • Use light bulbs that are made to simulate sunlight, which is the most natural form of light.

About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.

Photo Credits

  • Richard Lewisohn/Digital Vision/Getty Images
  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images