Turn An Old Smartphone Into A Smart Mirror

Have you got an old smartphone lying around? Here’s an easy project to get some use from your old smart phone by turning it into a smart mirror for your bedroom, bathroom or living room. You can use it to display information like the date and time, weather, traffic updates and your daily reminders or to do list.

This project should take you around an hour or two to complete and costs about $15 – $25 depending on what materials you have at home already.

If building a smart mirror isn’t for you, why not try building your own designer mirror for your home.

What You Need To Build A Smart Mirror

  • Old Smartphone or Tablet With Charger
  • Picture Frame The Size Of The Mirror You’d Like – Old or New
  • Acrylic Two Way Mirror – To Fit Into The Picture Frame (See Details Below)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or Craft Knife
  • Black Duct Tape – Buy Here

How To Build A Smart Mirror

Prepare Your Smart Phone

Start off by preparing your smart phone. You’ll need to download an app which is able to display all of the information you’d like to be able to see through the mirror as you won’t be able to use the touch screen functionality once your phone is mounted behind the mirror sheet. There are a couple of “home smart mirror” applications available in the Apple and Android app stores, you’ll just need to find one which suites your preferences.

After downloading the app, set your display to maximum brightness and prepare a charger which you’ll leave permanently plugged into your phone.

Assemble Your Mirror

Start off by removing the glass and any photos or artwork from your picture frame, you’ll just be using the outside frame and the mounting/hanging brackets or wire which is secured to this frame.

Next you’ll need to mount your two way mirror into your picture frame. The mirror should be the exact same size as the glass was to fit perfectly into the frame. Make sure that the mirror you’ve bought is a two way mirror, this is a completely different design to a traditional mirror. A two way mirror allows the light to pass from the back to the front of the mirror as well as reflecting the light from the front like a traditional mirror. Mounting your cellphone on the back side of the mirror will allow the display to be seen through the mirror while maintaining the reflection of a traditional mirror from the front.

smartphone mounted in picture frame

Next comes the mounting of your smart phone and covering the back side of the mirror. In order for the two way mirror to reflect properly, the back side needs to be as dark as possible. You can either cover it with black card or use the thick backing from the picture frame and cut out a section in an area you’d like the text displayed  the exact same size as your phone’s display. Place your smart phone into this cutout and then use the duct tape to secure it in place and cover up any gaps along the edges where light could get from the back of the mirror to the front.

Once your phone is mounted, plug in the charger and find a place to mount your new smart mirror on the wall.

Some Ideas To Take Your Smart Mirror Further

You don’t have to use a smart phone, you could use an old tablet or even an old LCD monitor or television if you’ve got a larger two way mirror.

Use a proximity sensor to switch your smart phone display on or off when a person is detected or take it one step further an use your phone’s facial recognition to tailor the information which is displayed to the individual looking at the mirror.

Since the touch screen functionality does not work behind the mirror, using voice recognition would be a great idea to change the displayed data.

Good luck with your smart mirror project, let us know how yours turned out in the comments section below. We’d love to see some pictures of what our readers have built.

Michael Klements
Michael Klements
Hi, my name is Michael and I started this blog in 2016 to share my DIY journey with you. I love tinkering with electronics, making, fixing, and building - I'm always looking for new projects and exciting DIY ideas. If you do too, grab a cup of coffee and settle in, I'm happy to have you here.


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