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Man Reveals How to Build Your Own Futuristic “Magic Mirror” in Helpful DIY

DIY Magic Mirror

You’re probably familiar with the famous phrase, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall…” Uttered by the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the line prompts a face to appear within the reflective surface and speak to her. The iconic scene, with its striking visual, has continually intrigued us; before modern technology, however, it was just a fantasy. But with some ingenuity and coding, Redditor Toothie96 has produced a magic mirror and shared the DIY on Imgur. His hi-tech creation displays information like the time, date, weather forecast, and news all on its face—a contemporary riff on the fairy tale.

Toothie96 built the DIY magic mirror as a gift for his significant other. “She uses it every morning and night when she's getting ready,” he explains. “The whole idea was to spend less time on her phone, and at a glance she has most of the information she'd need without the distraction of notifications on her phone.”

To begin this project, Toothie96 chopped pine wood and secured it into a frame that was deep enough to hold all of the technology. After that was perfected, he moved onto the electronics. “Due to the limited depth of the back housing, everything had to be modified to ensure it would fit,” he said. This required a bit of desoldering parts and rearranging them so they would lie flush with the back housing.

So, how did Toothie96 get the information to show up on the mirror? After all, he wrote, “Normal mirrors don't let light through them.” He obtained a custom-cut piece of two-way glass that allowed some light to shine through. For additional illumination, he wrapped the frame in LED lights. He also added a Bluetooth speaker and a sensor so that you can swipe your hand over the mirror to turn it on and off. Then, a small Raspberry Pi computer was fitted into back; this vital piece of technology controls all of the information on the front of the mirror.

The most time consuming part of the whole endeavor was the coding for the mirror's user interface. Toothie96 had never coded before, so he looked to the open source MagicMirror2 framework for guidance. While daunting, many hours later, he got it working. “On a scale of 1-10 [of difficulty], I’d give it a 6,” Toothie admits. “Honestly, even with the Magic Mirror framework, there's still so much code to get your head around when things don't work out first time, especially for someone with no coding experience.”

Redditor Toothie96 created the type of mirror you'd see in a fairy tale. This DIY magic mirror displays helpful information on its face. He started by building a wood frame.

Magic Mirror DIY Magic Mirror DIY Magic Mirror DIY Magic Mirror DIY

After the frame was complete, Toothie96 rearranged and desoldered some of the electronics to ensure they'd fit flush with the back of the mirror.

Magic Mirror DIY DIY Magic Mirror DIY Magic Mirror

The parts were secured with insulation tape. LED lighting was added for an additional illuminated effect.

DIY Magic Mirror Magic Mirror DIY

The Redditor even added a small Bluetooth speaker.

Magic Mirror DIY Magic Mirror DIY

A sensor in the bottom of the frame allows the mirror to turn on and off with the wave of your hand.

Magic Mirror DIY

Once that was complete, the Raspberry Pi computer was added. This crucial element controls the information that appears on the mirror's screen.

Raspberry Pi Magic Mirror

Prior to this project, Toothie96 had no experience with coding. He used the MagicMirror2 framework to help him through it.

Raspberry Pi Magic Mirror

The mirror displays helpful information, such as the time, date, weather, train times, and news.

Raspberry Pi Magic Mirror

Once the coding was complete, the back was sealed.

Raspberry Pi Magic Mirror

Created as a gift for his significant other, he says: “She uses it every morning and night when she's getting ready… The whole idea was to spend less time on her phone, and at a glance she has most of the information she'd need without the distraction of notifications on her phone.”

DIY Magic Mirror

Toothie96: Reddit

All images via Toothie96.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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