Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weekend Project: Make Your own Starburst Mirror

It all started after falling in love with this mirror while working on my last living room makeover challenge.

With only a tiny budget to work with, the $300 for this mirror was out of the question so I thought about making my own instead. I headed out to pick up a few supplies. This is what I got:

1 pack of large wood shims - $4.50
Wood Glue - $2
12" Mirror with beveled edge - $3.50!!

Other items I used but already had was:
1/4" birch plywood
Hanging hardware
Various Wood Stains
Scrap piece of foam core
gorilla glue (or another strong glue!)

**I'm apologizing now for the ugly photos! haha. When I work its messy, and real. No staged Martha Stewart craft pics here!

The first thing I did was lay all the shims out and stained all of them. I used 4 different colors of stain - from light to dark - and stained all the edges and faces of the shims.

While the stain was drying I created a large round template and traced it onto the 1/4" plywood then cut it out. The plywood circle was 24" in diameter. Once it was cut out, the edges were sanded and then I stained it a medium stain color in case any of it peeked through the shims in the finished product. 

Once everything was dry I began gluing the shims onto the round base making sure to get them straight across from each other. I started this way because I wanted them to be even all the way around. They overhang by about 5" with the thickest side out on the ends. You can see in the middle the ends started to curl up a bit. I set heavy things on them to keep them in place but really it didn't matter that much since the inside edge would be covered by the mirror anyway.

You can see that the inside circle is closed so I started on a second layer of shims by gluing one exactly in the middle of two on the first row. 

Like this!

Almost done........Before I glued the mirror in place. I turned it over and added the hanging hardware - didn't want the mirror to break from the hammering. This is similar to the hardware I used except mine you hammered directly into the wood - no more dealing with the ridiculously tiny nails that cause you to smash your fingers while hammering!

I added two of these, one per side, about 1/4 of the way from the top of the round panel.Also, visually, if you prefer one side to be the top or the bottom, take that into consideration when you put on the hardware.

After the hardware was in place, I flipped it back over (Yes, it is awkward to handle so be careful!) and glued a scrap piece of foam core into the center to give the mirror added support. Once that was dry, I glued the mirror in the center using gorilla glue - I wanted to make sure it was held on really well.


Yeah, the $300 one still looks cooler. But if they weren't side-by-side you would never notice!! :)



  1. it looks great, thanks for the tutorial!

    ps i enjoy "real" vs martha. ;)

  2. Your starburst mirror looks fabulous! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!


  3. honestly I think I like yours way better... thanks for sharing~

  4. I like the DIY one so much better! Cheap, easy, more life-like and something that can be fun to do with your loved ones :)

  5. I like the DIY one so much better! Cheap, easy, more life-like and something that can be fun to do with your loved ones :)