DIY Modern Sunburst Mirror

It's no secret that my love for sunburst mirrors runs long and deep - especially chunky antique ones in gold tones. So when it was time to figure out a mirror for the Pax makeover project, I thought nothing but a gold sunburst mirror would do to help break up all that dark gray paint.

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I looked around for something to buy quickly because we were short on time, but it was important to me that the mirror fit the back of the vanity space perfectly (about 36" square was just right). It was obvious pretty quickly that the only (affordable) option would be to make something myself. This image has been in my mind for a long time and I thought the look would be perfect for this project.

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Here's how I tackled this DIY for about $75 in supplies:

Depending on how big you want your mirror to be, you'll need to buy a lot of small wooden dowels from the hardware store. I used 55 dowels and I had leftovers. I bought 30 of the smallest size, 15 of the next size up and 10 of the size just bigger than that.

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I used a miter saw to cut down the dowels to random lengths between three and six inches long at a 45 degree angle. The trick is the wrap a bundle of dowels in masking tape on the spot you want to cut. This prevents any splintering or fly away pieces, which can be really dangerous, so make sure you don't skip this step.

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I wanted the mirror to look mottled and not new, so I rounded up my collection of gold spray paints. 

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I threw all the cut dowels on a drop cloth and just started spraying and tossing the drop cloth to move the dowels around. I tried not to spray the dowels directly too much. I wanted the paint to sort of float down onto the dowels so there wouldn't be harsh lines if another dowel was blocking part of a piece. I found the best method was to spray from farther away with one hand and then use the other hand to move around the dowels. I think painting with the different golds really helped add depth to the frame. Each of the individual dowels looks a little different and is a slightly different color combination. I was so happy with how this worked!

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I used my favorite gold spray paint from Design Masters to spray just the edge of a piece of plywood cut at the hardware store to 27" square. I also sprayed four pieces of flat trim cut at 45" angles to make a 26" frame.

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It's super important to use the right glues for this project. I used Liquid Nails Paneling for glueing on the dowels to the plywood backing. This stuff dries quickly so it's best to work in smaller sections - like three or four inches at a time.

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I ran a 1" wide bead of the glue down the plywood board and quickly stacked the dowels next to each other, varying the lengths and dowel sizes and the color. Pushing down really hard on the dowels makes everything line up. The glue will squish up around the sides of the dowel which helps everything stay put even better. 

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The corners are pretty much the only tricky part. I use a few thicker dowels first and then filled in with small and short pieces. I broke a few down just with my hands to make them short enough to fit in the tight angles.

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Once the frame is done, give it a day to dry out and then cover everything with a ton of mirror glue.

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I had a 24" mirror cut at a glass shop for about $20. I glued the 1/8" thick mirror right on top of the dowel frame and then used more Liquid Nails to glue the top frame made from flat trim on top of the mirror, which really finished the whole look

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I sat heavy books and other items on top of the flat trim frame and let it dry overnight.

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I forgot to take a photo of the final step, but I flipped the mirror over (which was a two-person job, as was hanging it on the wall - pokey!!!) and screwed two small D-rings into the perimeter of the plywood. Then the mirror was ready to hang! It's been up for about a month now and it looks and feels super secure. That Liquid Nails product is amazing stuff and made this project a breeze.

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43 comments:

Laney Reusch / Reusch Interior Design said...

Wow! What a great project!!! It looks fantastic!

Now I have to make one!!!


http://reuschinteriordesign.blogspot.com

Jane Gallant said...

So amazing! I remember seeing those dowels on instagram and wondering what you were up to!

Emily Davenport said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Davenport said...

Looks great!!! I love liquid nails- amazing stuff

http://www.davenportdiy.com

Mrs. Limestone said...

Love it. I think you might be starting a new trend of square starbursts :)

Courtney @PrettyCheap said...

this is just awesome! Square starburst-i LOVE it! have a great day :)

-courtney

Sara said...

You are a DIY goddess!

Sara said...

You are a DIY goddess!

Hannah said...

You're a genius.
Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

LMarkle said...

Looks great! I already have a flat trim, square mirror on hand (garage sale find!). Could I just spray paint it and attach the dowels to the back to achieve the same look? Or do you think I would want to still attach the dowels to plywood first?

Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles said...

Brilliant! Thanks for the tip on cutting the dowels. I love the finished product!

Caroline Nolazco said...

This is insane! I saw it earlier but totally assumed it was from someplace expensive. It just looked like something I couldn't afford so I didn't even ask. I'm shocked and can't wait to make my own version!!

Wondering if I have room in our bathroom for this!

Laura Rasmussen said...

I had already been wondering about that wonderful mirror! Such a great job. Keep up the good work, you inspire me so much while I write my own blog here in Denmark!

Michelle Ash Latham said...

Amazing! You have the best ideas, and they turn out so wonderfully!

www.ahealthymrs.com

Tracy Laverty said...

This is the best D.I.Y sunburst mirror I have ever seen! Great instructions and amazing talent! Thank you for your constant inspirations- now I might need to make one.

Kelly said...

So impressed with your ingenuity and creativity! Love it!

colleen said...

This is amazing… i cannot believe what was used to make this mirror…. completely fooled me!

kelly mcdonnell said...

Wow. Simply stunning.

Sara said...

TOTALLY AWESOME! Going to make one for sure.

Linzy said...

I would not have guessed you made that.

{Hi Sugarplum!} said...

I'm like a broken record everytime I come over here...you are genius and amazing! And this is the first post I've ever seen where you didn't have a flawless manicure. The DIY must really be going strong over there!

I loved meeting you so much, and hope I didn't frighten you with my constant gushing. ;) I did a fun recap post here: http://hisugarplum.blogspot.com/2013/10/scenes-from-nyc-lowes-blogger-event.html

Laurie from Laurie Jones Home said...

Yea that mirror is amazing! I love it! Liquid nails is the best isn't it!

Cara said...

This looks great! Do you know the source of the original mirror? Is it custom?

Cassandra Diaz said...

This is fabulous!! Love it. I am going to try it out!

HAS said...

Super cute! I love it. But I also want to know about how your necklaces are displayed. Is that a DIY too?

Courtney Foster Shearer said...

I love this! I've been wondering where you found the mirror since your first post. Of course you made it......you're awesome!

Jess rey said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your style! Love the mirror and the whole wardrobe closet…it looks great! -jessica @ http://www.joyouseclecticism.blogspot.com

The Aspiring home said...

I love how your mind works! So fun to see a Starburst mirror that isn't a circle, brilliant. :)

Kimberly Lemmon said...

So gorgeous I love the updated shape. Make and sell those - you'd make a fortune.

Gwen, The Makerista said...

So smart with the mixing of paints. I think that really makes it pop and look rich, verses the flatness of a single color. One of my favorite projects, yet Jenny!

Home change Home said...

Amazing!! I Love your ideas... please go on, I'm ansious for the next!

Home change Home said...

Amazing! I Love your ideas! Please go on! I'm ansious for the next... :)

Cheryl said...

Jenny,
Wonderful idea!! Your necklace display also looks DIY...I'm always looking for ways to store/display my necklaces. A post or comment about that would be appreciated!!

Long time fan, love your work!
Cheryl

Leslie Stewart said...

Absolutely gorgeous…as always! My day is made when I open my email and see there's a new post from you!
Leslie
House on the Way

Ivy Lane said...

VERY clever with a gorgeous result! You are very talented. Your home is really turning out great!

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

That is unbelievable! You are simply a genius. :)

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Your DIYs are always so amazing!! This one is no exception….love the rectangular take on the sunburst.

Becca said...

Amazing! Again!

Pjwilb said...

Wow! That is ingenious and so good looking!

Rachel said...

Love love this!Thanks for sharing. Quick question: If I don't have a miter saw, could I saw them all by hand??

dervla kelly said...

jenny seriously, you've outdone yourself with this one...amazing.

Kristi Marsh said...

Love! I've made something similar before but I love the look of different size dowel rods! And I especially love the color choices! Well done! This is definitely something I will need to Do when we move!!

Jennifer BNHblog said...

Wow, I hadn't realized you made that. Clever use of spray paints, too!

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