Here is the list of items you will need
Feel free to substitute as needed, based on your preference. For example you can use a different size glass mirror, a larger Amazon Fire tablet or Amazon Fire TV if you want a larger screen. You can also go frameless if you like. Personalize it to your taste, that is what this DIY option is all about.
Two way glass mirror
A glass two way mirror (or sometimes also called a one way mirror), is a transparent mirror that is reflective from one side. The bright light content from the tablet comes through the glass, while all the other areas are black and result in displaying reflection to the viewer, that resembles a normal mirror. So this allows us to create a mirror that looks like the content is being displayed on it. The cheapest place to get it is from your local glass supply store.
Link to buy: Two Way Mirrors
*Note: You could use acrylic instead of glass as an alternative, and it is much cheaper. However we have found that the quality compared to glass is not as good. So we only recommend using glass.
Link to buy: Acrylic See-Through Mirror
Amazon Fire Tablet with Alexa, Black
We used an Amazon Fire 7″ tablet for this build, but you can use a larger size Amazon Fire tablet or use an Amazon Fire TV with a larger monitor/TV if you want a much larger screen area. However note that if you use a larger screen, it will be heavier and you will need a stronger frame and better wall mounting options.
Power management options:
Automatically turn on your smart mirror at specific times when you are home or when you are in the same room if you use an Amazon Fire Tablet or Amazon Fire TV by creating a routine in the Alexa app. Details along with routine templates to get you started are below.
Amazon Fire Tablet: Schedule Mango Display or use a Motion Sensor
Amazon Fire TV: Schedule Mango Display or use a Motion Sensor
Detailed steps on building a smart mirror with Alexa are listed below
Step 1: Place Mirror With the Back Facing Up
Place the mirror so that the back side is facing upwards. The back side is basically the least reflective side of the two. This is the side that will let the light go through, making it possible to see the display on the tablet.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Vinyl Backing
Roll out the vinyl and measure it to the size of the mirror and cut accordingly. Using the black vinyl will stop the light, allowing you to see your reflection.
Step 3: Mark Out the Area Where the Tablet Will Go
Put the tablet, with the screen facing down, on top of the vinyl. The preferable height from the top and the width from the side are 4” and 2” respectively.
Step 4: Cut Out a Window in the Vinyl for the Tablet
Once positioned properly, draw the outline of the tablet onto the vinyl. Draw another outline that is offset about ¼” inside the original outline. Cut the vinyl with reference to the inner outline. This is to prevent any gaps between where the tablet starts and the vinyl ends. Any gaps will allow light to pass through. Another important thing is to make sure the camera is covered. After it is cut, make sure the cut surface aligns with the screen border and is straight.
Step 5: Stick the Vinyl Onto the Mirror
Paste the vinyl onto the mirror. Make sure it lines up with the corners it was measured against. Try to smoothen it as best you can, but no need to worry about any creases or bubbles, as they will not be visible from the front. Cover the remaining part of the glass with vinyl. Cut off the excess with a knife.
Step 6: Attach the Tablet to the Glass
Cut 2 strips from the remaining vinyl. Place the tablet onto the vinyl pasted glass, making sure the charging port is facing downwards (the bottom of the mirror). Use the vinyl strips to stick it in place. Be careful not to cover the speakers.
Important Notes before attaching your tablet:
1. Download the the Mango display App on your tablet from the Amazon App store.
2. Make sure you have hands free Alexa enabled. This is how you will be interacting with the tablet after this.
3. Make sure your tablet can be removed if needed – software updates, etc. This vinyl strips allows for removing the tablet when required.
Tip: During your normal use of Alexa, the Mango Display App may be covered over by Alexa generated screens- example Album art, when you are playing songs. So when you want to see your Mango display again, simply say ‘Alexa, Open Mango Display App’. If you want to close the app, say ‘Alexa, Close Mango Display App‘.
Step 7: Attach the Power Cable to the Tablet
Insert the power cable into the tablet and use another piece of vinyl to stick it in place.This is important as it will prevent the tablet from being moved in case the power chord is tugged on or pulled lightly.
Step 8: Place the Mirror in the Frame
Place the mirror, faced down, inside the frame and secure it in its position. Make sure the clips are enclosed to prevent the glass from falling out.
Step 9: Prepare the Hanging Wire & Hang Up Your Smart Mirror
Cut out a hanging wire to a measure length and loop it around the hooks of the frame. Twist the edges to make it secure.
Make sure you have a wall hook or screw that is secure enough for the weight of the mirror.
Hang the mirror on a wall and that’s it!
You now have a smart mirror with Alexa. Simple and easy!
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate Mango Display earns from qualifying purchases.
Tips when using Alexa
During your normal use of Alexa, the Mango Display App may be covered over by Alexa generated screens- example Album art, when you are playing songs. So when you want to see your Mango display again, simply say ‘Alexa, Open Mango Display App’. If you want to close the app, say ‘Alexa, Close Mango Display App‘.