An intelligent mirror can display your calendar, weather and news like something from a sci-fi movie. Powered by a Raspberry Pi, you can create your own with simple tools and hardware.
Beautiful, configurable and customized
Smart Mirrors have been around for a while, and the most popular version is by Michael Teeuw. The idea is pretty simple; They build a frame and a box. The packaging contains disposable glass (often seen on television in police dramas), a monitor, a raspberry Pi, and the cables needed to power your set-up. Michael and other contributors have created an open source Magic Mirror platform that you can install. Once installed, you can customize it to view your calendar, weather, news and more. Installing the software is easy – only one line of code is required.
The harder parts create the Frame Box, set up the Raspberry Pi, and customize the software to display your favorite information. But even someone with little or no experience in woodworking and code can create this DIY project with a little patience in a week or two. The longest parts are passive, like waiting for glue and stains to dry. You will spend about three to five hours actively working on the framework and installing the software.
And we'll show you exactly how.
What materials you need.
Depending on what you already have. This project can be either cheap or expensive. If you bought every item in the list below, you would spend about $ 700. But because we had everything but glass and wood at hand, we spent only $ 140. And remember, you do not have to buy the tools. If you have a friend who owns some, ask if you can borrow them.
To get started, you need the following:
- One monitor: Preferably at least 60 cm, and one you do not want to lose. Slimmer and lighter is better, but this Scepter monitor would work. You must remove the stand. It is also helpful (but not necessary) to remove the frame from the monitor.
- Two-way glass: your glass should be slightly larger than the dimensions of your monitor. The product we link to Amazon has a generic size, but we were lucky with a local glass supplier.
- A Raspberry Pi 3
- A Raspberry Pi case
- Wood stain or paint
- Polyurethane (if available) stain)
- Wood spatula (when stained, stained wood spatula)
- 80 grit sandpaper , 120 and 220 (omit 220 if you want to paint)
- Miter Saw (or Handsaw and Protractor)  Wood Glue
- Tape Measure.
- Ruler or other straight edge (for drawing straight lines).
- Rubber Ropes
- Short wood screws
- Nylon belt
- A screwdriver
- High performance frame hook (when hanging)
- Ear, eye and respiratory protection. Add a vapor filter if you apply polyurethane without ventilation.
- Timber for building the frame and the box: We recommend hardwood like maple or walnut with a thickness of at least 2.5 cm. You also want something thin like plywood to form the back of the box if you do not hang the frame. How much wood and how wide it is depends on your monitor (see the section on creating the frame for more information.)
For a simpler setup, we have some advanced options. These are not required, but they do help:
Creating the frame
To begin, make the following basic frame (like the one you might see hanging on your wall). Then add a simple box that houses the mirror, monitor, raspberry Pi, and cabling. Upon completion, the structure may resemble a very flat medicine cabinet.
Disassembling the monitor
The first step in building your frame starts with your monitor. The size of your monitor determines the size of your glass and the length and width of the wood you need. If you plan to remove the frame from your monitor, you want to do it now. Each monitor is different so we can not give any specific instructions here. You should look for seams along the edge to pry them apart, and you should be careful every step of the way. When you're done, you should have the following:
Determining the Wood Dimensions
Once you have removed the frame (or if you skip this step), measure the length of the monitor and the width within the edges of the screen. Measure either along the metal frame on the inside or along the inside edge of the frame if you have not taken it apart.
Record this information and double the numbers. This last number indicates the total length of the wood you need. For example, the width of this monitor is 11 and a half inches, and the length is 19 and a half inches. Doubling means 23 inches or 48 inches of wood. It's best to buy a few inches more than you need to consider cut parts and bugs.
To determine the width of the wood to be purchased, place your monitor face down on a flat surface. Now measure from the flat surface to see how thick your monitor is. The wood you buy must be at least as wide, preferably wider.
The box requires a similar length to the frame, so you can double the amount again.
In this project, we bought four boards that were three inches wide and one inch thick. Two boards were 36 inches long and the other two were 48 inches long. The extra length offers plenty of room for mistakes. If you have a large vehicle, you can buy two long boards (84 inches in this case).
Miter cuts for a picture frame
This marker indicates the angle and length for your cut. Slide your board down to perform the next cut. It is important that you do not try to cut exactly the line you have drawn. Your blade is thicker than the pencil line, which means you get a shorter piece by cutting on the line than you want. Swipe the board along the blade as shown in the picture above, so that you can easily cut into the remaining wood. You can always lose a bit more weight if you have too much left, but you can not cover wood anymore.
You repeat this process to get the rest of the frame boards. Turn the board, measure the length, cut and repeat. Now you should have four angled pieces of wood that fit into a frame shape. If you find that some of your cuts have dropped off gradually, you may need to cut them off. Just take it slowly and cut off less than you think necessary. It is better to move to the right length than to cut too much to move quickly.
If the boards match, they should look like this:
Gluing the frame together
Now it's time to glue the boards together. You may be wondering why we do not use nails or screens. Wood glue is incredibly strong and gives us a firmer and firmer connection than nails. It looks cleaner thanks to the absence of nail and screw heads.
It is true that miter joints are not as strong as other joints, but for our purposes we do not have the next strength, we wanted the decorative look.
Applying wood glue is a straightforward process, and if you've ever used a different type of glue, you already know most of what to do. You need to apply glue to the edge you want to join, spread it over all the wood surfaces and then press against the other piece.
But unlike paper glue, you can not just let go – to give you time for perfect placement, the wood glue has a slow drying time. If you let go of it too soon, it may slip or fall apart. To solve this problem, you can use corner clamps to hold the angled wood together. If you have no corner clamps, we have a tape trick that does the job.
First grasp a piece of length and width (in the picture above a horizontal and vertical part) and place it on the back with The angle cuts barely touching. Then cut off a piece of Malerband so that it holds both pieces of wood and place it next to your frame pieces.