Having a smart mirror in your home can be incredibly useful and fun. With a Raspberry Pi, you can build your own fully customized smart mirror that provides helpful information to start your day, increase productivity, and solve common problems we all face.

What is a Smart Mirror and Why Build Your Own?

A smart mirror is a mirror that displays useful information like the weather, time, calendar, news headlines, and more. It's an all-in-one productivity tool meets home decor.

Building your own smart mirror with Raspberry Pi allows you to:

With a DIY smart mirror, you decide what it does. Add only the features and information you want displayed.

How Does a Smart Mirror Work?

A Raspberry Pi smart mirror has three main components:

The Raspberry Pi runs a program like MagicMirror2 to pull in data like weather, calendar events, news, and more. It then displays all this on the monitor behind the two-way mirror.

Sensors can also be added for advanced functions like automatically turning on when you walk in the room.

Choosing the Best Monitor

One of the most important choices for your smart mirror is picking the monitor. Here are some things to consider:

I recommend a thin-bezel LED monitor between 15” to 32” for the best look.

Choosing a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is the tiny but powerful computer that makes your DIY smart mirror work. The most popular models for smart mirrors are:

The Raspberry Pi runs the MagicMirror2 software to pull in data and display it on the monitor. So you need a model that has enough processing power for the features you want.

I suggest the Raspberry Pi 4 B for the best performance and room to add more capabilities later. The faster processor speed helps run things smoothly.

Constructing the Mirror Frame

The frame of your smart mirror needs to:

You can purchase a pre-made frame or build your own from scratch using wood.

Building your own frame allows full customization but requires woodworking skills. Plywood, clad wood and barnwood are popular choices. Be sure to account for:

Another option is buying a tabletop vanity mirror and modifying the frame to embed the monitor. This takes less work.

Place the monitor at the back of the frame. Attach the Raspberry Pi and any other components out of sight.

Creating the Mirror Effect

To get the signature mirror look, you need a two-way mirror applied to the monitor.

Two-way mirrors, also called one-way mirrors, have a reflective coating on one side. Light passes through from the non-coated side.

There are a few options:

I recommend ordering a pre-made two-way acrylic mirror inserted into the frame for the most seamless result.

Setting Up the Raspberry Pi

With the physical mirror assembled, it’s time to set up and configure the Raspberry Pi.

Follow these steps:

  1. Install the Raspberry Pi OS on a micro SD card
  2. Boot up the Pi and connect it to WiFi
  3. Enable SSH so you can access the terminal remotely
  4. Install the MagicMirror2 software
  5. Edit the MagicMirror2 config file to enable your desired modules and features
  6. Set the Pi to auto-start the MagicMirror2 app on boot

MagicMirror2 has tons of plugin modules to add different information to your smart mirror. Enable the calendar, news, weather and other modules you want.

You can always reconfigure modules later as you customize further. SSH in to make changes.

Ideas for Useful Features

Here are some handy features to include on your smart mirror:

The possibilities are endless! Add the information you need to start your day off right.

Creating Custom Visual Styles

While MagicMirror2 handles retrieving and displaying your content, you can fully style the mirror’s visual design.

Experiment to find a style that matches your personal taste and home aesthetic.

Automating Your Mirror

Here are some clever ways to automate your smart mirror:

Think about what repetitive actions you'd like automated, and explore modules like MMM-ProfileSwitcher to enable modes, voice control and more.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Don’t worry if you run into issues during your smart mirror build. Here are some common problems and solutions:

Don't be afraid to tinker and research error messages online. The Raspberry Pi community is helpful for solving issues.

Inspiring Smart Mirror Projects

Need some inspiration for your smart mirror? Here are cool projects others have built:

Browse Instagram and YouTube for more unique smart mirror project ideas you can recreate or put your own spin on!


Building your own smart mirror with Raspberry Pi is an achievable, fun project for learning new skills. With customization options for the frame, glass, software and more - you can create a smart mirror perfect for your needs.

Hopefully this guide gave you ideas and the confidence to start your own smart mirror project! Use the magic of Raspberry Pi to make a mirror that solves problems and makes your life easier.