Mirror magic

Through the looking glass: Three ways to use reflective illusions in your garden

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Windows in the wall: Easy to make from mirror tiles

They look like deep, framed portholes in the fence, inviting you to peek through them. But each "porthole" pictured at right is really a foot-square mirror tile set into the back of a box frame made with 2-by-4s. The garden they reflect is your own.

COST: About $5 each

TIME: Less than 2 hours

MATERIALS (for one mirror)

• 6-foot length of rough-sawn 2-by-4
• Eight 2-inch galvanized finish nails or deck screws
• Wood stain (we used gray semitransparent)
• 1-foot-square mirror tile
• 1-foot-square piece of 1/8-inch hardboard or plywood (optional)
• Staples
• Two 1-inch eye screws
• Picture-hanging wire


To make a mirror frame, you'll need a table saw, circular saw, or router to cut a rabbet (notch) in the edge of the 2-by-4. Use a hammer and nail set or an electric drill with countersink bit to join the frame pieces.


1. Cut a 5/8- by 5/8-inch rabbet along one edge of the 2-by-4.

2. Cut the 2-by-4 into four 14-inch-long pieces with mitered ends. Position the rabbets on the inside edge of the rear of the frame.

3. Assemble frame with nails or countersunk screws.

4. Stain wood.

5. Insert mirror (and optional backing). Hold in place with staples.

6. Add eye screws and wire. Hang on fence.


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