DIY Sunburst Mirror

I’ve been thinking about this project for a couple of weeks now. Sunburst mirrors are E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. right now, and have been for a while. I’ve seen several tutorials for them in all different variations but knew that I liked the ones made with wood shims the best. It’s a slightly rustic look, and can be left natural or painted or stained. I was going to resist jumping on the sunburst mirror bandwagon, but the empty space above the TV has really been bugging me the last few weeks so I decided that a DIY sunburst mirror would fill it up nicely.

Here’s a reminder of what the TV area looked like with the big empty space above the TV:

I started with a package of long cedar wood shims.

There were 42 shims, which was more than enough, but it was good to have extra since some of the shims were cracked or had pieces broken off.

I used hot glue to attach everything, mostly because I’m impatient, but I think other tutorials that I’ve seen have used Gorilla Glue so it’s really just a personal preference.

To create a base to glue the shims to, I broke off the thickest end of 4 shims and glued them together to make a rectangular piece. (An easier way probably would have been to just get a round piece of wood from the craft section at the dollar store or Michael’s, but why do things the easy way?)

I don’t have any pictures of the process of arranging and gluing down the shims (I was a bit too focused to take pictures I guess. Oops.) but I do have some suggestions that I think made it work better.

First I took some time to just lay out the shims the way that I thought I would end up gluing them down. Taking the extra time to do this made it easier to figure out how everything would fit together the best way. Also, putting the thinner end of the shims towards the middle worked best to avoid too much of a build up of thickness in the center. I ended up gluing down 4 pieces in the shape of a plus sign and then filling in around that. The first layer were the shorter pieces and then I glued shims in between them sticking out a bit to make them appear longer.

Here’s what it looked like after I glued everything down:

I’d also like to make sure to let people know something – if you’re going to paint or stain your wood shims, please learn from my silly error and DO NOT glue down your mirror until AFTER you’ve painted/stained. I’m not really sure what I was thinking with that one, but it definitely made the staining a bit more tedious because I had to be really careful about not getting any on the mirror. It seems like common sense, I know, but sometimes you just get caught up in the project and do stupid things :)

Also, the mirror is just from the dollar store. I got 3 mirrors for $1.25 at Dollar Tree, so I’ll have to find a couple more mirror projects!

The stain that I used was Minwax Polyshades in Bombay Mahogany Satin, which is a stain and sealer in one. This was the first time I’ve stained anything, so I don’t really have anything else to compare it to, but I really liked this stain. It went on really well and I really liked the fact that I didn’t have to do the extra step of sealing it afterwards.

Again, no pictures of the staining process (what a great tutorial, ha!) but it’s super easy. Just use a foam brush to apply the stain and then wipe it off with an old cloth. The longer the stain is on, the darker the colour will be. You can also do more than one coat if your first coat isn’t the colour that you want. Another tip – wear gloves!! Staining is a bit messy, and you’ll have gross brown fingers if you don’t put on gloves. I got 2 pairs of the yellow latex gloves at WalMart for $3.

I also popped a picture hanger off of an old picture frame and hot glued it to the back so that I had a way to hang the mirror:

I think it will hold up fine over time since the mirror isn’t really that heavy.

And here is what my mirror looks like hung in it’s new home!

(Please ignore the reflection of my legs in the TV….totally didn’t notice that when I first took the picture. Photography fail.)

I am SO SO SO happy with how it turned out! I love the variation of light and dark because of the knots and wood grain in each piece of wood. It’s a bit rustic, but blends perfectly with the rest of our decor. It was also fairly simple to make, and didn’t really cost much. The shims were about $5, the mirror was 3 for $1.25 and the stain was just under $10 but there’s basically still a full can left so I can use it for several more projects.

Who else is loving the sunburst mirror trend? Anyone else made their own version?

*Linking to Serenity Now*

Update: This project was featured at Serenity Now‘s Weekend Bloggy Link Party!

4 Responses to “DIY Sunburst Mirror”
  1. Your sunburst mirror turned out great! I have this project on my long list of to dos, so I’m glad to have a few more tips to help me when the time comes to make my own!

  2. nwbnstr says:

    Thanks! I really love the way it turned out!
    They’re fairly simple to make, and I think make a big impact on a wall. I can’t wait to see your version!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] I thought it was really cute, and perfect for a little boy’s woodland nursery. I decided that I could probably make something similar, so I grabbed an empty shadow box frame that I had and some leftover wood shims from when I made my sunburst mirror. […]

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