Ornate Magic Mirror




About: I love playing with random things to make random stuff!

This was an awesome project. I saw the initial version of the Magic Mirror platform a while back and wanted to make one. I decided to do this for my girlfriend's Christmas present.

I found the frame in a thrift store for $20. Seeing the frame made me jump on the project. That thing is incredible…plastic…but incredible…

For the glass, I looked around a lot and compared pictures and whatnot and decided to go with actual smart mirror glass from Two Way Mirrors. I’m really happy with the reflection/allowance ratio. It looks great! That being said, the glass was the most expensive part of the project, and if you wanted to make one on the cheap, smaller glass or even the reflective tape option could suffice.

I sourced a 32" TV from a pawn shop. Well, two of them. Ever opened up an LED TV? Yeah…maybe don’t. The first one became a great set of LED strips and some sweet thin speakers for another project. Second one I pulled off everything I could while keeping the housing intact, and it made it to the finish line.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Frame Housing Construction

I lucked out with the frame having preexisting holes that the old glass was mounted with. I created a set of rails to use the holes, then built a wall on those rails to secure a backing to.

Step 2: Masking

The light wood shows through the glass, as well as the TV logo and vol/ch button text, so I ended up painting the front of the wood black and masking the logo/text with electrical tape.

Step 3: Frame Mods

I added fans into the side of the backing I made to get airflow into the TV. I ended up going with silent fans because regular ones were way too noisy.

This thing is a beast and hard to carry around, so I installed some handles for the top and bottom of the frame. That worked really well!

Step 4: Wiring

Here is everything inside. I opted for a RPi case with a fan because it will be locked in there. I haven’t seen issues with temperature yet.

I ran power connectors for the fans through a protoboard, but I’m sure that could have been tidied up a bit with direct wiring.

Everything plugged into a 3-way plug and connected to a single extension cord running out the bottom of the frame housing.

I put a PIR sensor at the base of the frame to turn the mirror on and off based off of movement. The TV I have in it currently doesn’t support sleep mode, so when the PIR sensor would turn it back on after hiding, the RPi wouldn't know what to do with the display resolution.

I asked a friend from work, Josh Mclaughlin, to write a new module that would essentially throw a black box over everything instead of turning the signal to the monitor off completely. That definitely fixed the issue and now it hides the display as intended until you walk up to it. Super cool.

Step 5: Closing It Up

Here it is closed up from the back. I drilled holes for the existing TV mounts, and used a tv wall mount to hang it.

Step 6: Modules and Modifications

There are a lot of cool modules you can put into this, and a great dev community continuing to contribute to it.

These are the initial modules I loaded into the platform:

  • Time/date
  • Google Calendar
  • MMM-forecast-io
  • Compliments
  • News Feed
  • WatchDog
  • MMM-Remote-Control
  • MMM-PIR-Sensor
  • MM-PIR-Hide-All

The new version of the MMM-Remote-Control module allows for adding new modules and altering your config file from a smartphone (or any device with a browser on the same network,) so expanding on it and trying new modules is a breeze. The current version threw a few bugs into my config file, so keep an eye on what it is changing.

You can get full info on installation on the main Magic Mirror page here, and there is a great community interacting in a forum here that can answer any and all questions you might have around setup and modification of the software.

Microcontroller Contest 2017

Participated in the
Microcontroller Contest 2017

Be the First to Share


    • Instrument Contest

      Instrument Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest

    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Oh dear. If only it were smart enough to understand spoken commands.

    Give it a camera. Now record the backdrop. This is refreshed periodically whenever there is no movement. This allows the backdrop to be kept current.

    When someone steps into the field of view you can have several modes, that involve replacing the backdrop pixels with a scene.

    * The backdrop is replaced with the view in a church or temple, or stonehenge, with the illumination of the person adjusted.

    * Mirror, mirror on the wall and the person is replaced with a beautiful / handsome person that looks similar. (voice recognition? face recognition?) If the recognition fails, a crone face appears and says, "Not you, buddy"

    * Show me X where X is something like a webcam on Times square, one in a zoo, a falcon nest. Shimmery transition effect.

    * Play A, where A is an artist. Digs up appropriate youtube play list with videos. Your personal concert.

    * What's happening today? and you get your horoscope. Or casts the I Ching. Or rune stones. Needs face recognition for this. Asks for your birthday if it doesn't recognize you.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    A lot of this is already developed. I didn't want to put a camera and mic into the mirror for security reasons, but the modules are out there.

    Here's one for Alexa control: https://github.com/joanaz/MMM-MirrorMirrorOnTheWal...

    A few for voice control: https://github.com/fewieden/MMM-voice



    Facial recognition: https://github.com/paviro/MMM-Facial-Recognition

    Really, the sky is the limit as far as development, as it's basically just a web server. :)


    2 years ago

    This would be a great item for halloween. Think about how many different ways it could be used.

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I was thinking the same thing. How hard would this be to develop?


    Reply 2 years ago

    Not hard. I mean, you could just run a full screen video playlist on the Pi for the evening instead of the MM platform.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Definitely! Something like the mirrors from the Ghostbusters movie would be cool. Or I saw a video a while back that was a portrait of a Victorian woman that "came to life" as a ghost randomly.


    2 years ago

    Super cool


    2 years ago

    Neat! I love these :)