Starburst Mirror




This Instructable will show you how to build a custom Starburst Mirror. I found this tutorial online and decided it lacked some pictures and a few instructions so I am re-posting it.

I don't have a picture for every step as I was not planning on making an Instructable, but this is a pretty easy craft so you will understand the concept.

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Step 1: Go Shopping

You might have a few of these things around the house (as I did), but you can pick up everything from a craft store or better yet, Wal-Mart. I will list where I got mine and where I could have gotten it cheaper.

Before I list off materials, I will give you a few options. The site I got this from used silver leaf to cover the dowels and I thought that would take way too long and be a pain, so I bought metallic craft paint and applied it with sponge brushes. This was okay, but it took 4-5 coats. I think metallic spray paint would have been a lot faster, so that is up to you.

You will need:

-Scrap Cardboard (anything around your house will work)
-A pen
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Sponge brushes
-Metallic craft paint (97 cents a bottle at Wal-Mart)
-Metallic spray paint
-Silver leaf (I didn't do this so you're on your own if you want to use it)
-15 Kabob skewers (I had these at home but Wal-Mart had them for $1.97)
-15 12' wooden dowels (I found a bag of 20 at the craft store for about $3.50)
-2 packages of craft mirrors (Wal-Mart had the various size bag of 25 for $1.97)
-A convex auto mirror ($1.97 in the automotive department of Wal-Mart. My best purchase!) -Mounting hardware

Step 2: Paint

First, you will need to transform your wooden skewers and dowels into faux metal rods. To do this, I used a sponge brush and applied 4-5 coats to each dowel. The skewers needed less paint as they were kind of rough and the paint adhered better. If you're hardcore, you might sand your dowels down a bit - I didn't.

Don't worry about painting the whole dowel or skewer as the one end will be hidden - about an inch. When painting the skewers, don't paint the pointed part. Make sure you do, however, paint the top of the dowels and skewers.

Once all the dowels are painted, you should let them dry completely. The last thing you want is some little finger prints in the wood while you're applying them to the mirror.

Step 3: Pre-construction

Open your convex mirror. Again, I found this at Wal-Mart in the automotive department for under $2. It was the best buy I made for this whole project.

The back of the mirror has a really sticky stick-em. You will need to apply cardboard to the back of the mirror so you have a surface to glue the dowels on. I cut a 2 pieces of cardboard about 1/8 of an inch less than the size of the mirror and stuck one right on the back. The second one will be used to cover the back of the project.

Grab a pen and divide the mirror up into 30 ticks.

Step 4: Construction

Using a hot glue gun, apply the dowels on every other tick you just made on the cardboard piece. You can hold the edges of the mirror to keep your fingers out of the way.

Once all the dowels are glued in place, you and glue the skewers in between the dowels. I cut the pointed edge off. You will notice that the skewers don't need as much glue and they will fit right between the dowels. Don't worry if they're not all the same size - it looks better that way anyways.

Once all the dowels and skewers are glued into place, you can apply the second piece of cardboard. Use a lot of hot glue and then slap that puppy right on there lined up with the first piece.

Step 5: Decorating

To snazz up the already sweet looking starburst, you will apply little craft mirrors. Note none of the skewers have mirrors - I felt it would look way too cluttered. I followed this pattern to keep it balanced;

-Large dowels had one large mirror each.

-Starting with dowel #1, I applied a medium and small mirror.

-On dowel #2, I used a medium mirror only.

-On dowel #3, I used a medium and small mirror again.

-On dowel #4, I used a small mirror only.

-On dowel #5, I used a medium and small mirror again.

-On dowel #6, do the same as dowel #2.

See the pattern? Both, medium, both, small, both, medium, both, small, etc. Once you get to the end, you will be placing 2 mirrors next to a dowel with 2 mirrors. Just space them out so you don't notice.

I went totally random with mirror placement. Feel free to place them however you like. You're doing the craft, remember? Geez!

Step 6: Mounting

Your mirror is done! You should be proud... you just pulled off a $80 look for less than $20. Martha Stewart couldn't have done it any better.

At this point, you can use whatever you like to mount it. I used double sided foam tape (found at the dollar store), or you can use a hook, a nail, anything really. Well, probably not anything, but you know what I mean.

You're done! Enjoy.

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    34 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I really like this project. I want to make one now.

    Thank You so much for posting this! I've been looking FOREVER for a DIY tutorial on how to make one of these! Every sunburst I've seen to purchase is SO EXPENSIVE!!!! Now I can make one for 1/3 of the price! Can't wait to post my creation. Oh and by the way I will be using the gold leaf since I have it already. Will post and let you know how it went.

    I had always played with mirrors a lot and never thought of making such a beautiful starburst mirror. Your ible is so perfect that I made mine without a hurdle. Thank you so much. Its a bit smaller as I only used skewers and added few ornaments to it. Here is what i made


    Thanks so much for sharing! I finished mine, and I absolutely love it! Everyone that sees it is so impressed that I made it myself!


    9 years ago on Step 6

     Thank you so much! This is absolutely gorgeous and mine is now hanging in my apartment!! :)


    This is awesome! I'm going to attempt to make some mini versions of these to decorate my office space with. Thanks for a great tutorial that achieves the look of an expensive item without draining your wallet.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    We had tons of fun doing this! It was our first instructable to make!


    10 years ago on Step 6

    an idea i had, take it or leave it. the craft store i went to had a bag of uniquely shaped mirror pieces, including squares, diamonds, and teardrops. they were small enough that i could put them onto the piece amongst the skewers, and they didnt give it a cluttered look.


    10 years ago on Step 6

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I just finished mine and I love it! I forgot to pick up something to hang it on the wall with, but will be running to the store soon. I can't wait to see it up on the wall. I've already had requests to make more.


    10 years ago on Step 6

    I have done leafing projects before and its really not too difficult or time consuming. You can substitute aluminum leaf for silver, it is shinier and less expensive. The leaf comes in a pack of 25 sheets called a book with each square separated by a piece of tissue paper. To apply you would paint your dowels w/ a special glue called (size) that is sticky after it sets up (after approx 15-30 mins). The hardest part is handling the leaf, it sticks to your fingers easily and is very lightweight so you want to be sure there is no draft in the room while you are doing it. I sometimes wear clean cotton gloves to avoid it sticking to my fingers. You could cut into strips before adhering to the dowels just be sure to use really sharp scissors or craft knife. Once your dowels are covered use a soft dry paint brush to brush away any excess where it overlaps and to smooth it out. Great project btw, I have always wanted to make a mirror like this.

    1 reply

    I am doing the project a bit easier. I plan to get a block of styrofoam and stick the dowels and skewers into it and use regular metallic paint to paint them, that way there's no fuss about making a mess with the paint. The part sticking into the styrofoam wouldn't need to be painted since I would be gluing them directly onto the back of a larger round mirror I got at IKEA years ago. I found small round mosaic mirror tiles on ebay for pretty cheap. I am trying to make a very large version of this mirror, with the main mirror being 20" in diameter. Good thing I had the wherewithal to even think that this could be a DIY project and searched for it - I almost purchased a $200 starburst mirror online that was much smaller than I wanted!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! This is a cool project! I had a bunch of brass rod stock lying around, so I did it in brass and used two-part epoxy to hold the rods to the main mirror. Thanks for the idea/instructions!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    That is so cool. I'll be making one this weekend! Thanks!!!


    For years my wife has wanted the mirror is the JPEG attached this comment. Unfortunately it was (a) 3 inches too wide (b) $600+ (c) gold YUCK! So I set out to make it. I traced out a pattern of it in Adobe Illustrator (Mirror2.pdf attached) to get the proper scale. Then I tried to be more symetrical because that is my perfectionist way (Mirror.pdf attached) and we both hated it. I intended to buy a convex hall safety mirror, aluminum or stainless TIG welding rods, pre-cut 1 inch and 2 inch mirrors, JB Weld (because it is AWESOME!) Unfortunately I never could find a source for 2 inch mirrors. I drew these plans in 2006-2007 and never got to act on them. I would LOVE to find a reliable source for the 2 inch mirrors.