How I Made a DIY Light Vanity Hollywood Mirror Dupe for Only $39

How to Make a DIY Lighted Vanity Mirror

This is the easiest & cheapest DIY lighted vanity mirror – Ever. For $40 and 1 hour of your time you can create this:

AlphaWmn AlphaWmn

Okay, so I realize this doesn’t directly relate to fitness, but I had to post about it for a couple of reasons.

  1. Building things is like a functional fitness… ?
  2. It was just too good not to share!

That being said, I’m going to share with you the best DIY project I’ve found to date, and I do a ton of DIY projects (more to come). I’ve looked at lighted vanity mirrors for a while now – I’m guilty of binge watching ‘YouTube makeup guru’ videos, and they pretty much all have some version of this mirror. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be in absolute shock of how expensive they are – up to $500 expensive – for a mirror, seriously, Google it. The cheapest I found was $150 for one DIYed by someone else on Etsy. Still too expensive for an unnecessary mirror for my tastes.

I had seen many other DIY Hollywood Vanity mirror dupes, but they mostly used actual vanity lights, required moderately working with electricity, and still weren’t very cost efficient – aka not for me. That was until I seen a clever pin. The main trick – STRING LIGHTS! The girl who made that video gets my genius award of the day.

My DIY isn’t exactly the same as that video because I didn’t feel super confident about drilling into glass 16 times with zero experience and expecting it not to shatter on me. Also, I wasn’t crazy about have unfinished edges on the mirror, I preferred it to have a frame – which is what makes this even easier.

Rant over, here’s how I did it:

What you’ll need:

  1. A mirror with a frame – $27
    • I got mine from Home Goods for $27. You can use any mirror you like as long as it has a wood frame. Unfortunately, Home Goods does not have a website, so this was the closest I could find. It’s $50, which still isn’t bad, but you can probably find something similar to mine in both look and price if you have a Home Goods, Marshall’s, or TJMaxx near you.


  2. String lights – $12
    • The string of lights I got were from Michael’s, and they’re not on the site any more, but THESE are very similar from Amazon. They are normally $19, but they are on sale for $12. They come with 16 bulbs (I only used 15 to be even). The important part is that they have removable bulbs.


  3. A drill.


  4. An auger drill bit. If you have a different kind of drill to make the hole, that works too. It needs just slightly larger than the part of the string lights that the bulb fits into. If you get the lights from Michael’s, I used a 3/4 inch bit, but it was really tight fitting the lights through, I wish I had a 7/8 inch instead.

WoodOwl 03711 Tri-Cut 7/8-Inch by 7-1/2-Inch Nail Chipper Auger Bit


  1. On the frame of the mirror, measure out and mark (with something non-permanent, like chalk) where you want your bulbs to go. I did mine on the back, but I wish I had done it on the front, because I found that the entry hole that the drill makes is much cleaner than the exit hole – as you’ll see in the pictures to follow.Since I used the 16 bulb set and I didn’t want the lights going along the bottom on the mirror, I decided to spread them evenly with 5 on each of the 3 remaining sides and just not used the last bulb.
    – First I’d measure a side, we’ll say 20″ as an easy example.
    -Mark the half way point – so 10″.
    -Make a mark on each edge where ever you want it – for example, 1 inch from each edge.
    -Measure between an end point and your middle point – our example would have about 9″ in between.
    – Mark the half way amount of the last measurement – for our example, that would be 4.5″ (9″ divided by 2 = 4.5″).
    That creates 5 points. Repeat on each side.I forgot to take pictures of this step, well, not really forget, I actually didn’t anticipate this project to be a post until I was so happy with the results. Any way, it would look something like this:Untitled
  2. Drill a hole on each mark made. A few things to note hear as lessons learned that I wish I had done differently.
    • One I already mentioned, which is to drill from the front for a cleaner hole. When I drilled through the back, it tore the paint on the frame as it made the exit, which made it look messy and chipped like this:
      Honestly, after putting the bulb in, you can barely see it, so I could have left it, but I decided to touch it up with white paint. Still not perfect, but now completely unnoticeable with the bulbs in.
      AlphaWmn AlphaWmn
    • That being said, I would try to make just your first hole from the back. I say this because the one thing you need to be cautious of in this project is not hitting the glass of the mirror when drilling through the frame. To ensure I didn’t, I ripped of the backing of the mirror – it was just brown paper. From here, I could get a good sense of where the glass of the mirror sat. Then when drilling my first hole, I went very slowly and paused to make sure I was only going to be hitting the frame and no glass. If you find you are hitting glass, you’ll need to move your holes further towards the edge. I can pretty much guarantee the glass of the mirror will not go all the way to the edge of the frame.
  3. Remove the bulbs from the string of lights and insert each bulb ‘holder’ (I don’t know what to call it, but you get the idea) into each hole drilled. Once they are all inserted, it will look something like this:
    Scribbled reflection brought to you by a huge mess made by another DIY – coming soon!

  4. Insert bulbs and plug it in!

    That’s it!! The whole thing took me less than an hour! I had the tools already, so the mirror and bulbs cost me $39, to be fair probably $43 after tax.

    If you’re thinking, “wow, that’s great, but it doesn’t have a dimmer…” problem solved!! Plug it into this nifty little guy, and boom, dimmer!

    I also ended up plugging it all into a surge protector power strip that I hooked to the side of my desk, for safety, and so I could plug in any hair tools conveniently!

I ended up putting this mirror on a desk (pictured) in the room I built my walk in closet in! If you want to see how I built this closet with no experience check out my step by step post on it here!


Hope you liked it! If you have any suggestions you’d like to see, let me know by leaving a comment below!

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