Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DIY: Starburst Mirror

Okay, okay. I jumped on the starburst mirror bandwagon! I couldn't help it; I'd been eying them in catalogs and decor mags for a while but I refused to pay hundreds of dollars for a damn mirror. So I decided to make one myself!

With the help of some great tutorials from Crazy Wonderful and Twenty-Six To Life, I hashed out a plan and bought my supplies. This is what I used:
  • 8 packs of shims (Home Depot)
  • Gorilla Wood Glue (2 regular bottles)
  • Gorilla Glue (1 small bottle)
  • 14" round beveled mirror (Hobby Lobby)
  • D-Rings and picture wire (Home Depot)
  • 35" round piece of 1/4" thick plywood (Home Depot cut it square and my husband sawed off the corners to make it round-ish)

To get started on this project I used Crazy Wonderful's method of making shim "groupings" in groups of 5 and groups of 7. I glued each group together and clamped each group until it dried. Making these groupings was the longest process in the whole project, taking me about four days (working on it in the evenings for a couple of hours) to get all my groupings done.

Once all my groupings were glued and dried, I arranged them in a (very large) circle on my kitchen table, good sides facing down. (NOTE: put plastic or newspaper or something on any surface you're working on because I learned the hard way that glue drips and can and will take varnish off a table. I often learn things the hard way, much to Lobster's chagrin.)

Anyhoo, once you have your pattern laid out the way you want it, take the 1/4" thick piece of plywood and first make sure it is wide enough to cover most of the shims, but not so wide that the plywood peeks out behind some of the shorter shim pieces. We had to readjust the diameter of our plywood a few times to get it just right. But once that is done, put a ton of glue on the plywood. I mean a TON. I used both Gorilla Glue and Gorilla Wood glue. Overkill? Maybe. But I had tried this once before with a conservative amount of glue and some of my shim groupings didn't stay stuck. So, I'm just sayin'...

Then, stack a bunch of heavy objects on the plywood and let it dry overnight. I used cookbooks, laundry detergent, 10 and 20 pound weights and my husband's toolbox. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that scene. It was pretty funny looking.

The next day (or two...I'm a procrastinator), after making sure all my shims had stuck (and unsticking them from my kitchen table) I took two D-rings and screwed them into the back of the plywood.

I then strung picture wire between the two D-rings and made sure it was on real tight.

Then I flipped the whole thing over and spread a TON of glue on the back of the 14" round mirror.

Then stacked more heavy objects on the mirror and let it dry overnight (just cookbooks this time).

Once the mirror dried, I enlisted Lobster to help me hang our new starburst mirror on an awkward wall just beyond our living room. Here's what she looks like:

Not too shabby, huh? It turned out way bigger than I had anticipated, but I do love it. Of course it's not perfect--there were some gaps between some of the groupings because the shims are never perfectly straight, but you can't really tell unless your scrutinizing it up close.

So there you have it! Easy, peasy DIY starburst mirror! It took some time to build, but it only cost about $30 in supplies and I think that is WAY better than paying hundreds of dollars from a fancy schmancy home decor catalog, don't you?


Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

It turned out great! I love it!!

Shelley said...

It looks amazing Joy!!! I love that you left it natural instead of painting it (which was what I wanted to do with mine, but it blended in with the bricks on my fireplace too much). And, I actually like how there is a little space between some shims, I think it gives it a lot more texture. Fab, fab, fab!!!

Joy said...

@Shelley--thank you! I was going to either stain or paint it but decided at the last minute that I loved the natural wood look.

@Kate--so glad you like it! Thanks for the inspiration!

RhettDidntGiveADamn said...

The diy starburst mirror has been on my to do list for a while now. I did do the skewers one but I'm ready for something more substantial. Thank you so much for sharing the step by step!


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