How to Hang a Door Mirror, the Perfect Functional Decor for Small Spaces

published Aug 31, 2023
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bedroom with peach or pale terracotta walls, bed with pale green bedding, framed art and guitar on wall, arched full length mirror, wood dresser with jewelry, other decor

If you live in a small space, you probably have to get creative with both your storage and furnishings. One way to fit more in is to maximize vertical space; another is to make your belongings do double duty. Door mirrors do both. Hanging a mirror on a door is a great way to squeeze some extra function, and also takes full advantage of upward space without sacrificing an inch of floor space.

Quick Overview

How to Hang a Door Mirror

  • For lightweight, shatterproof mirrors, you can use adhesive strips.
  • For frameless mirrors on wood doors, you can use plastic clips.
  • The easiest option is to buy a mirror with over-the-door hooks built in.

Hanging a door mirror is a perfect project for anyone who prizes wall real estate. Plus, hanging a mirror on a door can give you the perfect runway effect, as it will allow you to stand farther away, notes Jean Prominski, certified professional organizer and owner of Seattle Sparkle.

As you’re deciding where you might want to hang a mirror on a door, consider the following spaces:

  • A bathroom, which typically has good light for getting ready.
  • A mudroom or entryway, which will allow you to check out your outfit before leaving home.
  • A bedroom, which is where you probably get dressed.
  • A closet, which is where you keep clothes or coats.

Hanging a mirror on a door can open up a room by creating an illusion of a larger area, as it reflects its surroundings. One thing you’ll want to keep in mind, however, is what the mirror shows. “Don’t reflect trash or clutter,” Prominski advises. “Reflect things that you want to see more of, such as plants or artwork.”

When it comes to selecting a door mirror, you can go for a simple model that costs less than $20 or a piece that can store jewelry, or even one that can hold cosmetics. Once you make your pick, there are a few ways you can go about hanging your mirror on a door. We tapped Morgan Olsen, interior design expert at Thumbtack, a home care app, for step-by-step details.

Method 1: Use adhesive strips.

The simplest way to hang a mirror on the door is by using adhesive strips — as long as the mirror in question isn’t too heavy. Always check how many pounds the strips can hold before you buy them. Something that works for a picture frame might not hold up an entire mirror.

“Using adhesive strips is a great option for mirrors under 40 pounds,” Olsen recommends. Gorilla’s Heavy Duty Double Sided mounting tape can hold up to 60 pounds. Still, you want to be cognizant of the mirror and avoid slamming the door, which can compromise the adhesion.

It’s best to use adhesive strips for mirrors that are both lightweight and shatterproof, like this one. Skip this hanging option if you’ve chosen something made from heavy glass or that features storage.

“You also need to consider the type of door you’re putting the mirror on,” Olsen says. “Is it hollow, solid wood, MDF, metal, glass, or a PVC door? Adhesive strips are a great option when you don’t want to drill into the door, but the downside is if you’re using them on a painted door the strips have the potential to peel the paint.”

Here’s how to use adhesive strips to hang mirrors.

1. Figure out placement.

To apply, first determine where the mirror will go. Olsen recommends placing the top fourth of the mirror at eye level. Mark the spot with a pencil on the door.

2. Apply adhesive to the mirror.

Carefully place the mirror face-down on a soft surface (like an area rug or blanket), and apply four pieces of adhesive tape to the back. Center the pieces on each side of the mirror.

3. Place the mirror on the door.

Carefully pick up the mirror and place it on the door. Press firmly on the area with the adhesive strips.

Method 2: Use plastic clips.

Frameless mirrors, such as the IKEA LÄRBRO, work well with plastic mirror clips. Depending on the weight of the mirror, you may want to have four (one at the center of each side) or six (two clips holding the top and bottom). Generally, clips can accommodate up to 20 pounds.

Keep in mind that plastic mirror clips come with a screw. “The more weight the clip can hold, the larger the screws and the potential for the screws to poke out on the other side,” Olsen says. 

Not only do you have to be OK with making holes in your door (you can always patch them up later with wood filler, if you decide to remove the mirror), but if you are using plastic clips, the door itself also has to be made out of solid wood or MDF.

“Plastic clips won’t work on glass, PVC, or hollow doors,” says Olsen. “The point of using a screw as a fastener is that it’s grabbing the material around it to create a secure connection. If there’s nothing inside the door, your mirror won’t be supported.” Olsen says that she doesn’t recommend this application for metal doors, either.

If you have the right mirror and door for plastic clips, though, here’s how to use them.

1. Find the center of the mirror.

To install, find the center of the mirror sides, and mark on the door. Use a level to check your marks.

2. Screw in the clips.

Screw the clips into the door one at a time. A screwdriver should work or you can use a drill for a faster process. Don’t screw these all the way in — you’ll need to leave some room to slip the mirror in.

3. Slide the mirror into the clips.

Insert the mirror into the clips. Tighten the screws to fully secure.

Method 3: Hang an over-the-door mirror.

An over-the-door hanging mirror is an excellent option for someone who would rather not DIY or deal with any measurements. This type of mirror is exactly what it sounds like: a mirror with hooks that are already attached and will clip to the top of the door.

Before you click the buy button, though, check one thing: How big is the gap between the top of the door and the door frame? The thickness of the mirror’s hook should not be more than said gap. Otherwise, the door will get stuck or rub against the frame, leaving a mark, Olsen notes. The door should open and close as if the hooks aren’t there.

You also don’t want the hooks to be too loose and slide around, which could cause the mirror to bang against the door. Make sure to buy over-the-door hooks that can accommodate the thickness of your door. The hooks should fit snugly over the door’s top. 

Another thing to consider is the thickness of the actual mirror. While a mirror with a storage compartment is extremely handy, make sure that anything you install still allows the door to open fully.