DIY Repurposed & Wood Burned Mirror Frame Memo Board

Welcome to your next exciting DIY adventure! Today I’m going to show you how I repurposed a plain mirror frame into a stunning memo board with a touch of wood-burning magic. In this project, I’m going to walk you through how to create a wood-burned mirror frame and turn it into a functional and decorative memo board!

Wood burned mirror frame displayed in a dining room. With dark pallet wood as a memo board and clips.

By combining the art of wood burning and some creative flair, we’ll craft a unique frame that’s perfect for jotting down notes, displaying photos, or adding a personal touch to your space.

To give your memo board a unique touch, we’ll also explore the option of incorporating decorative elements like a Norse design with Viking Runes, or any pattern that speaks to you.

From antique mirrors to unique frames found at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, you can infuse character and charm into your project with just a few tools.

Getting Started: Gather Your Tools and Materials

The best part about this wood frame (mirror or picture) project is it doesn’t require any power tools at all if the picture frame comes intact.

However, my vintage mirror was missing a backer board or the back of the frame and hanging hardware. So, I am going to include supplies you will need if you find yourself in the same situation.

Begining of wood burning process with wood burning tool. metal ruler, and Norse patterns for recall.

Supplies & Tools You May Need

There are many options when it comes to how you can do this project. These are products that I used, or similar, to do this project. But feel free to deviate and be creative!

If you have a vintage mirror frame

All you really need to create the wood burned mirror frame part of the project is an inexpensive wood burner, a metal ruler, a pencil, and a design.

Vintage Note icon with a quill and ink bottle.

Pattern inspiration

Here are a couple of the designs I was drawn to, but you can find more by simply googling Viking, Norse, or Celtic Patterns and looking at images.

I love to try to incorporate small things that are from our ancestry into my art. Here are some fun resources.

Watch Me Update this Memo Board

Watch this on Youtube:

Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Mirror Frame for Repurposing

When starting to repurpose and create your wood burned mirror frame, the first step is to find the ideal mirror frame to transform. This step allows you to unleash your creativity and give new life to a plain old mirror in a unique way.

To begin, consider the type of frame you desire. A wood frame can provide a sturdy and natural aesthetic, adding warmth to your memo board. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby often offer a variety of wood frames in different sizes, allowing you to choose one that fits your vision perfectly.

When browsing through the selection, keep in mind the dimensions of your desired memo board. Different sizes of mirror frames can accommodate various space requirements, whether you want a small and intimate board or a larger statement piece.

Original version of the wood burned mirror frame with pallet wood and chicken wire.
Wood burned mirror frame with the original rustic pallet wood and chicken wire. Left side view.
Side view of the wood burned mirror frame with the rustic pallet wood shining through.
I used large bull clips originally on my first version of my wood burned mirror frame memo board.

10 Best Places to Find a Vintage Mirror Frame

  • Antique shops
  • Thrift stores
  • Flea markets
  • Estate sales
  • Online marketplaces (Facebook Marketplace)
  • Garage sales
  • Craigslist or local classifieds
  • Reclaimed building material stores
  • Demolition sales
  • Architectural salvage yards

Don’t forget to look for things marked “free”. One of my very favorite mirror frame projects was one I picked up off the side of the road!

It needs to be made of wood, but…

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Look for unconventional frames that catch your eye. An ornate or vintage frame can add a touch of character and charm to your memo board, transforming it into a true conversation starter.

Remember, this DIY project is all about expressing your creativity and personal style. Choosing the right mirror frame sets the foundation for a truly unique and custom-made memo board.

So, venture into the craft store or thrift store with an open mind. Explore the options, and let your imagination guide you toward the perfect mirror frame for your repurposed masterpiece.

Step 2: Preparing the Frame for Transformation

Before you start it’s a good idea to remove any glass or mirror from the frame as well as the backer board. Set them aside and do a quick cleaning, then let’s move on to the fun part!

My frame was vintage and therefore had no backer board, it was just the mirror to remove. And I didn’t intend on using it again so it was donated. I had originally turned this into a memo board before opting to spice it up with a Norse design.

The next step is to prep for a paint job!

Plain chalk painted mirror frame with a memo board created where the mirror used to be using chicken wire and pallet wood.
Vintage typewriter icon in a grey circle.

Why Does it Need to be Painted?

In my experience, only certain types of wood actually wood burn well. Therefore, not knowing this type of wood I opted to paint the wood first which eventually made it far easier to see the wood burned mirror frame design.

two solid coats of paint

The great news is that paint is just another wonderful way to add charm and character to this frame. I used chalk paint, but another great option would be milk paint!

I did two good coats of chalk paint before proceeding. The top coat comes after the wood burning process.

Step 3: Measuring and Cutting the Wood Pieces

It’s important to get the exact measurements on the inside of your frame. It would be simple to just measure the mirror that came out of the frame if you have it. If not, just use a measuring tape and jot down the height and width.

Empty wood burned vintage mirror frame without the wood memo board part.
The wood burned mirror frame with pallet wood and chicken wire installed to create a beautiful rustic memo board.

You can use any kind of wood for this part of the project. I originally used pallet wood when I was going for a rustic look and it was perfect and free!

Vintage Note icon with a quill and ink bottle.

Individual Pieces of Wood vs One Big Piece

Cutting individual pieces of wood is trickier because you have to take into account the width and height of the wood and the total height or width of the space.

However, they are easier to cut by hand without a power saw.

Example: My height was 30 1/8″ x 28 1/8″. Therefore, all of my individual boards stacked up needed to exactly measure 28 1/8″ to fit.

Installing the wood to the frame

When installing the wood to the inside of the mirror frame you may need to try different methods and see what works.

Liquid Nails or Other Adhesive

This will work great with newer wood that can be installed perfectly flush. Just ensure you’re staining pieces before you install so any wood or adhesive that may get on it won’t affect the staining process. (Glue doesn’t stain)

Staples or Screws

I opted for staples which worked great until it didn’t. It’s hard to get them in at an angle without going through the face of the frame. I ended up putting holes in the front with screws.

Wood Recommendations

Pallet wood is rough and not perfectly straight, therefore you would need to use a good amount of adhesive like liquid nails to make sure it makes contact when sitting inside the frame.

Use good wood that is straight and can be installed flush in the inner frame. You can stain using a darker stain like Minwax special walnut or my favorite, Early American. To give it a rustic look.

Step 5: Unleashing Your Creativity with Wood Burning

This was the most fun part for me. Thought time-consuming. Buckle up for some focused creativity!


  • Pencil
  • Wood Burning Tool
  • Metal Ruler
  • Artist Eraser
  • Printed Out Designs
  • Objects to Make Perfect Circles

Step One: Map out your designs

Measure the four sides of your mirror frame. Then pencil out your design one section at a time.

I used objects to get perfectly straight circles, like my bottle of furniture wax.

And used a metal ruler (being metal is important) to ensure all of my lines were perfectly straight lines.

You want to have the entire mirror frame mapped out before you start wood-burning anything. Wood burning is permanent, pencil marks are not.

Penciling the Norse designs on your wooden mirror frame.
Wood burned mirror frame with penciled designs beginning the creative process.

Step two: Start Wood Burning Your Design

You want to have your mirror propped up somewhere where you can get good arm leverage. Also, where the process won’t be a strain on your back to sit and patiently burn your design.

Once you have your design completely penciled in for the entire frame you can start your wood-burning process.

Start with the simplest form of your design, then go back in and fill it in with more complexity.

When you have wood burned an area you can go back in and eliminate any leftover pencil marks with an eraser.

Vintage typewriter icon in a grey circle.

To get the straightest lines use your metal ruler as a guide. Press it down firmly while you move the wood-burning tool down the side. But be aware, the heat will transfer from the wood-burning tool to the metal.

Beginning of the wood burned mirror frame actual woodburning process. One section started.

Create Wood Burned Art from a Wooden Frame

Share this story with friends and family for a quick tutorial on how to Woodburn a wooden frame to create art.

Photo Credit: Capturing Wonderland


Measure, cut, and assemble wooden boards into a rectangular shape using screws or nails. Attach a backing board for support.

Select weathered or reclaimed wood. Cut and assemble boards into a frame. Sand, stain, or distress the wood for a rustic look. Attach mirror to the frame.

Remove existing wood frame. Sand the wood surface. Apply stain or paint as desired. Allow it to dry. Attach new wood frame around the mirror using screws or nails.

Use a wood burning tool to create burn patterns on wood. Use a pencil to draw, or a use a transfer method to apply a pattern. Move the tool across the wood surface, creating desired patterns. Experiment and practice for desired results. Use caution and follow safety guidelines.

Choose a suitable wood and a woodburning tool. Practice on scrap wood first. Sketch design on the wood, then slowly burn the lines using the tool’s tip. Experiment with different heat levels and techniques for shading and texture.

It is generally recommended to wood burn before painting. But I personally think the wood burn detail sticks out more if you burn after painting. Then apply a top coat finish if desired.

Softwoods like pine, basswood, or poplar are ideal for beginner wood burning. They are easy to burn and provide a smooth surface for detailed designs. Avoid resinous woods like cedar, as they can produce toxic fumes.

In Conclusion

By repurposing a plain mirror frame and infusing it with your artistic touch through wood burning, you’ve created a unique and functional piece of home decor.

This project allowed me to unleash my creativity, explore different techniques, and transform a simple mirror frame into a captivating memo board.

I love that I’m able to use it to display all my most important papers (my children’s artwork and notes) and enjoy the beauty of this simple DIY creation for years to come.

Keep exploring, keep crafting, and let your imagination continue to bring new life to old treasures!

Thanks for stopping by!


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→

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