13 January 2012

A DIY Sunburst Mirror to Beat the Winter Blues!

You know you’re a crafter at heart when you’re on vacation in sunny Orlando and it’s all you can do not to think about the unfinished DIY sunburst mirror you have waiting for you at home :) To be honest, I thought about taking it on the trip with me, if it weren’t for those pesky baggage limits!

Sunburst mirrors come in all shapes and sizes, and they’ll make almost any wall look so good you’ll want to hug it. Store bought versions can cost you a pretty penny though, but luckily there’s no shortage of DIY versions all over the net :) Well I have no problem with bandwagons, plus I just wanted one, so here’s my easy breezy beautiful version :)

I planned to use paint stir sticks originally (I liked the shape and plus they’d be FREE), but that plan didn’t go so well…I picked up a few more than my fair share on one paint shopping trip, and I swear, after that, every store within 30km was ON to me! I was going store to store, lurking suspiciously in the aisles trying to get a good visual of the paint counter (seriously, all I needed was some camouflage gear :) But suddenly all the stores were keeping the sticks behind the counter! It's like they knew I was coming :) To be fair, one store was super sweet and said to take whatever we wanted, but those sticks had grooves on both sides (double the trimming, double the work, no thanks).  

It was pretty clear it wasn’t meant to be, so I scrapped that plan and decided to use wood shims instead - not free but still super cheap!

I started off lightly sanding the ones that weren’t smooth. Unless you’re going for a more rustic look, be careful to buy these smoother shims – I saw some at another store that were really rough, basically a zillion splinters waiting to happen.

Then I painted them (sides included!) with a metallic gold craft paint I picked up at Dollarama. Spray paint would be much quicker and probably give you a better finish, but my apartment doesn’t have a balcony…or a basement..I know right?!

For the base, I used a pot mat made of cork and mdf that I found at Dollarama for 2 bucks. Any scrap of plywood in the right size would work too.

Attach some hanging hardware to the back of your base. If you’re smart, you’ll do it before attaching the other pieces. If you’re a little less smart like me, you’ll be in too much of a hurry to get started with the pretty parts before remembering to do this, so the honey helped me out :)

Before attaching the shims, I traced my mirror onto the centre of the base. Umm did I mention that we drove all the way to Michaels for a craft mirror only to find they didn’t have any? And then we came back home and found a 3-pack right at Dollarama? Seriously, Dollarama is amazing!

I played around with the layout of the shims for a bit and then got started on the first layer. I used wood glue to adhere them onto the base a little bit inside of the traced circle (to do this you might need to keep your shims propped up with some books or magazines). 

Then I placed some heavy stuff on top while the glue cured. An hour or so later I attached the second layer of shims right on top of the first, keeping them in place while the glue dried with more heavy stuff.

Next I attached the mirror in the centre. I’m not exactly a glue connoisseur, so I just us some super glue I had at home :)

Lastly, I wanted to give the mirror edge a finished look. I thought about framing it with an old faux pearl necklace, but I couldn’t figure out how to paint the pearls :) So I picked up this gold cord from Michaels instead and glued a simple ring of it around the mirror. 

It turned out fab! Like seriously, I want to make more in different sizes for every room!

I’m totally in love with this look. It’s a little bit glam without being over the top.

With the weather being so dreary lately this was the perfect way to bring a bit of sunshine into our home :) And you can't beat the price either! All the supplies I had to purchase came up to about $17, although given how much I have leftover the total cost was more like $10! Plus you just can't put a price on all the DIY fun :) 

If you're looking to DIY your own sunburst mirror, here's what you'll need:
  • 26-28 shims (found in hardware stores - you could also use paint sticks or skewers, I've even seen a great version outdoor version using chicken wire!)
  • a round mirror
  • a wood base 
  • cord for framing (an old necklace would do too, other versions also use an embroidery hoop)
  • hanging hardware (take one off an old frame!) & a hammer
  • paint in the colour of your choice & a brush
  • glue
I still have a bunch of paint sticks that I'm wondering what to do with now...maybe I can DIY another smaller sunburst mirror :) 


  1. I DO want to hug that wall! :)
    I just picked up a round mirror at the dollar store myself, but I'm going to do a silverware sunburst I saw on Pinterest! I can't wait to show you. I hope it turns out as great as yours!

  2. SHIMS! I've been wanting to make one of these but didn't want to have to snag all those paint sticks lol Came out great. Especially like the added detail with the rope...very crafty :) I just pinned this and it is now on the top of my DIY list for 2012. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing at my party. Can't wait to see what you link up next week!

  4. It looks so good and your tutorial is amazing! I really like your pillows too : )

    on a side note, a while back I suggested using water-based poly....don't take my advice. Well, just don't use it on white paint! I sealed something with it today and it yellowed and I thought of you!

  5. um....did you change your blog design? I like it!!!

  6. I love that orange pillow paired with the lime green pier 1 velvet pillow. And this sunburst mirror is amazing! Great job!

    1. Thanks soo much Kahli! You've got such amazing taste so I really appreciate it :)

  7. This is gorgeous! I love it. You've done a great job and now I HAVE TO make one for myself. HAVE TO. Thanks for the great instructions.

  8. Oh my goodness! That's so pretty! Thanks for sharing your steps. I'll have to try this at some point. Maybe I'll make it into a flower or something :).

  9. What a gorgeous mirror :) I just saw one like it in the new Ballard's catalogue. Thank you for the instructions <3

    I have awarded you the Liebster Blog Award <3 Stop by http://misstoristreasures.blogspot.com/2012/01/liebster-blog.html for the detail {{hugs}}

  10. I have been wanting to paint my mirror in my room and the cord definitely adds a beautiful touch. Thanks so much for inspiring me!!!

  11. LOVE sunburst mirrors!! You put a unique twist are yours with the paint and metallic rope!! Awesome job and thanks so much for linking up!!!

  12. Pretty mirror! I love the touch of metallic paint.

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  13. Thanks for sharing a tutorial for this. You did a fantastic job! Love the gold shimmer and the cording was a great idea!

  14. Hello, I'm popping over from Vintage Revivals where someone listed you as their favorite blog. I enjoyed my visit & I love your beautiful style - especially this cool mirror. Nice to "meet" you!

    Warmly, Michelle

  15. This is perfect! Those mirrors are usually a very scary price.

    Thanks so much for taking part in our Pin'Inspiration Party. Hope that you are having as much fun exploring as I am and that you'll take part in helping the "Beat the Winter Blues" on Saturday.

  16. SO cute! I have been wanting to do this. I have a bunch of paint sticks I stocked up on over the holidays. I have noticed that stores ARE keeping their paint sticks behind the counters!! LOL It must be all of us DIYers and pinterest projects that have put them into short supply! LOL

  17. Love this idea! And Dollarama is awesome!!