How to Cut a Mirror

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Things You'll Need

  • Goggles
  • Mirror
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Small towel
  • Large towel
  • Contact paper
  • Marker
  • Masking tape
  • Lubricating oil
  • Glass cutter
  • Straight edge
  • Gloves
  • Garbage can

You may wish to make decorative, free-form cuts in a mirror for some artistic project, or you may simply need to cut one down so it fits on your wall. Whatever the reason, you'll be happy to know just how easy it is to do. For most home projects, there's no need for a professional glazier; just the right tools, the proper technique and a little self-confidence.

Put on safety gloves and goggles.

Clean the mirror of any debris with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free towel, especially at the point where you will score and cut it. Even a speck of dirt along the score line can cause the mirror to break in ways you didn't intend.

Lay out a terrycloth towel on a perfectly flat surface to protect the backing of the mirror and to prevent the score line from running. To be extra cautious, you can cover the back of the mirror with contact paper.

Draw your cut line with a washable glass marker, using a straight edge as a guide.

Lay thick masking tape along the line to make it clear and to give a guiding ledge to your cutter, as it can be hard to distinguish the cut line from its reflection in the mirror.

Lubricate your glass cutter with oil.

Score the glass with the glass cutter, keeping the glass on the towel. Use consistent pressure that is just firm enough to make a thin visible scratch. Keep the wheel perpendicular to the glass.

Break the mirror at the score line over a large-mouthed garbage.


  • Shake the towel that was used under the mirror over a garbage can just in case there are any slivers on it.

    Use a new, sharp glass cutter for a more accurate score.

    If the mirror is too large to hold easily over a trash can, slide a thin, hard object that's longer than the score line under the score and apply pressure to both sides along the score. Or you can lay the mirror on a table, line up the score with the table's edge, and push down on the overhanging part while holding that part on the table firmly.

    If it's still hard to break the glass along the score line, put a drop of water at the end where you want the crack to start. Also, try using a rubber mallet to break it.


  • Don't make more than one score or go over any part of your previously scored line. The glass will break unpredictably.