sunburst mirror DIY

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It has been soooo long since this first post went up and I thought it would be fun to include some updated photos of this mirror and show you how it has been used over the years.  Still using it and loving it!

Where ol’ girl currently lives in our Houston house.

And even earlier at our Kansas house.
Check out my tutorial below so you can make one of your own!


Remember the teaser of my new sunburst mirror…

Well here she is in all her glory!

She’s nice and beefy, and has lots of texture.

It’s hard to tell in these photos (because we haven’t had sun outside our windows in DAYS), but she has a really nice shine too.

Here’s how I did it!
I’m certainly not the first to make a wood shim mirror, I’ve seen several versions around blogland.  And, I didn’t take many pictures of this project because I really wasn’t sure it was going to work or even look good.  I was pleasantly surprised at the end result, and now wish I would have taken more photos.  So bear with me as I try to explain the process with few photos.
What you’ll need:
  • existing round mirror (mine was a 20″ el cheapo bought at Target year ago)
  • 8 packages of 18″ long wood shims ($3.25/pkg at Home Depot)
  • piece of wood for the back of the sunburst (mine was a scrap piece of plywood ~ 20×20)
  • Wood glue
  • Gorilla glue
  • Primer spray paint (I used white)
  • Glaze (I used Lowes Valspar metal & patina glaze in pewter)
  • paint brush for glaze
  • hanging hardware (I took the hardware off the round mirror and reused it)

STEP ONE:  Lay out your wood shims to figure out a pattern you like.  I did stacked groupings of 7 and 5.  To get the finished mirror to fit in the space above my mantel it could be no larger than 33″ so I had to cut 2″ off the thick end of the shims using our trusty compound miter saw.  You certainly don’t have to trim them if you don’t need to.   
STEP TWO:  Using wood glue, glue the individual shims in your 5 and 7 groupings together.  You won’t glue every shim together, just your small groupings.
STEP THREE:  Once your groups of shims are dry, arrange them back into the exact pattern you want them to be in once finished. 
STEP FOUR:  Dampen the side of the wood back piece that will be glued to the shims with a wet rag and apply the Gorilla glue (glue instructions say to dampen one side of the object you plan to glue together).  Lay the piece of wood glue side down to your wood shims.  Place a heavy object on top of the back piece to weigh it down (Gorilla glue needs to be clamped or weighted down to adhere properly).  Let dry for 2-3 hours.
STEP FOUR:  Flip your sunburst over and prime using white primer spray paint and let dry.  This is what mine looked like prior to spraying. 

STEP FIVE:  Brush on the glaze and let dry.  To give it more dimension, apply glaze thicker in some areas and lighter in others.  You really can’t mess this part up.
STEP SIX: Spray on a coat of clear poly and let dry.
STEP SEVEN:  Attach your mirror to the front of the sunburst with Gorilla glue.  Use the same method of dampening and weighing down as earlier.  Wait 2-3 hours or until dry. 
STEP EIGHT:  Attach hanging hardware to the back and hang up your new super chic and super cheap mirror!  And, try not to spend too much of the rest of your day staring at your new best friend πŸ˜€
My only purchases for this project were the 8 packages of long wood shims at $26.  Everything else I already had on hand from other projects.
I’ll take it!!!  Seeing as how these bad boys can go for well over $300!
Now go forth and stick it to The Man!  Make your own sunburst πŸ˜€
Linking to these parties!
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  1. Rachel Avatar

    LOVE this! Such a pretty mirror, and the whole mantel setup is great–I love the brick! Just beautiful!

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  2. Yolanda @ Miss Refashionista Avatar

    Awesome!! Love it!!!

  3. HammBone Avatar

    HOly crap woman. You are a genius. Will you bring your power tools, craft supplies, sewing machine, and glue gun and come over for a play date?

  4. Madigan at madiganmade Avatar

    This is beautiful!! I love your take on a sunburst mirror and great tutorial, too.

  5. Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted Avatar

    You're right these little mirrors are all over blogland but I'm quite sure yours is one of the prettiest ones I have seen! I've been wanting to make one of these so definately bookmarking your great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Karen Avatar

    This is fabulous and amazing. I have seen them done all kinds of ways… all of them great, but I love this. It is gorgeous.

  7. June Scott @ Inspired By... Avatar

    Wow! Shelley, looks great above your mantel! I see lot's of potential here! You could paint one in fun, bright colors for a little girls room, even incorporate it into some wall art, using the mirror (maybe smaller) as the head of a sunflower! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Jessica @ O. Alouette Avatar

    This is amazing! I am so impressed – best diy sunburst mirror I have seen!

  9. Connie Avatar

    I have seen many sunburst DIY's, but this one is definately the best… I totally want to try it!! Thanks for sharing. I am your newest follower, and I would love it if you could take a minute to check out my new blog- its
    Thanks, Connie

  10. Hyphen Interiors Avatar

    Shelley, it's gorgeous! I love it! And, just the perfect size! Great job!

  11. Becca Avatar

    It is the BEST one I've seen. I have to say I heart it! Great job!!

  12. Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers Avatar

    I love this mirror! I recently made a sunburst mirror, but it didn't turn out as cool as yours. Thanks for sharing.

  13. southernscraps Avatar


  14. classic β€’ casual β€’ home Avatar

    Beautiful. You are amazing!

  15. Jessica @ My World - Made By Hand Avatar

    Hey girl…thanks for linking up this week. I've had a blast co-hosting. You already know that I'm loving this…I'm featuring it after all πŸ™‚

  16. Susan Avatar

    What a creative idea!

  17. Suesan Avatar

    That's gorgeous. I love the Metal Patina glaze. It's one of my favorite glazes. This is one of my favorite sunburst mirrors.

  18. Purnima@a creative project Avatar

    Thats awesome!!!! Love it!!

  19. Anpu Avatar

    Fantastic Idea….Love it

  20. Babs Avatar

    Wow! Who would ever know that it was made from shims. It really has a "high end" look for a great price. Well done,

  21. the cape on the corner Avatar

    FANtastic! i've been slow to embrace sunburst mirrors, but now i am loving them. great job on yours!

  22. BeingBrook Avatar

    Amazing!! The mirror turned out gorgeous!

  23. Mel Avatar


  24. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage Avatar

    This is absolutely incredible!! I love this idea! LOVE it! Would love if you would come share it at Feathered Nest Friday this week too! Well done πŸ™‚

  25. Anonymous Avatar

    This is amazing! Great job!

  26. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate Avatar

    This is GORGEOUS!!! I love the dimension & scale of it.

    But is it heavy? There are a lot of shims back there. . .

  27. Chef in Training Avatar

    this is AMAZING! I am in LOVE with it! great job! I am excited to be your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

  28. Vintagesouthernlife Avatar

    Such a pretty mirror. You did a great job!

  29. Denyse@Crazy Beautiful Life Avatar

    I've been wanting to make one of these mirrors for over my mantel but I have a stone fireplace and not sure how I would hang it…You did a great job..I love it!!!

  30. Jen-CraftOManiac Avatar

    LOVE IT YOU SHOULD BE SO PROUD. THE entire mantel looks fab. winks-jen

  31. Kathryn Bond Avatar

    That is GORGEOUS! You are so talented and inspirational! Somehow you make these projects seem do-able for the uh… DIY challenged. I loved the other commenter's idea about playing with colors and adding it to a kid's room. I might have to try that.!

  32. Shabby Cowgirl Avatar

    I am SO inspired!! Gotta go get me some shims. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  33. Jodi Avatar

    Congrats on the feature! Your mirror is fabulous!


  34. Titti @ Shoestring Pavilion Avatar

    Lovely idea and execution! Love it!

  35. Belinda Popovich Avatar

    Great idea, I think I have the perfect spot for one of these in my house….now I just need the time to make it πŸ™‚

  36. Delightful Order Avatar

    HOW adorable!

    Thanks for linking to my delightfully Inspiring Thursday party!!

    Also, stop by and enter to win our current giveaway going on now, until Mon.


  37. Brooke Avatar

    Hi Shelley! Hopped over from A Little Knick Knack. Should have known that awesome little thumbnail would lead me to you πŸ™‚ What a great project (again!)! You are so stinkin' talented!

  38. Camilla Avatar

    Gorgeous! Really great job, probably one of my favorites I've seen, love the wood!

  39. Jen @ Avatar

    So pretty!! This is one of the best sunburst Mirrors I have seen!

    I shared it on my TT&J facebook page πŸ™‚


  40. Hunted by Bear Avatar

    OK all I can say Is O.M.G. Perfect
    Well done you must have patience!

  41. StephanieCherrise Avatar

    What an awesome idea! I have also seen this done with drift wood. So cool! =D

  42. Tauni Avatar

    What a stunner! Love it!

  43. ugagirl30 Avatar

    I started making one of these 3 days ago until I ran out of shims. Yours is amazing! Love the mirror you picked for the top. It completes it more than others that I have seen! Wonderful job!

  44. {nifty thrifty things} Avatar

    Wow! Great job! Love how this turned out!
    Thank you so much for linking this up with {nifty thrifty sunday} last week!
    I hope to see you again tomorrow!

  45. RhettDidntGiveADamn Avatar

    This is without a doubt the best sunburst mirror I've seen. I did the one with skewers and I like the look of it – but this just takes the cake! The visual heft just makes it seem so luxe. I don't know if I can pull it off – but I have to try. This is the number 1 thing I want to do for my home right now! Thank you for sharing and I'll be following your blog now. Found you via Knock Off Decor!

  46. AllieMakes! Avatar

    Wow! This is really great! Wonderful job!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  47. Anonymous Avatar

    Beeeeuuutiful!! I wonder how these sunburst mirrors would look with those convex/port hole ship eye mirrors? Might have to experiment…

  48. Ty and Whitty Avatar

    Wow that is beautiful! Thank you for sharing the step bystep instructions. I need to do this for over my bed. Wouldnt that be pretty? I found this project through TT&J linky party! Thank you for sharing. Come say hi! I love new followers.

    A mommy's life…with a touch of YELLOW

  49. Denise at PinkPostcard. Avatar

    this is really beautiful. You did a great job with the tutorial, and it still looks new a fresh! Love your take on it πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing this at Transformations and Treasures!

  50. The Tinkerer Avatar

    Just came across this lovely tutorial!!! {Beautiful}!! Thank you for sharing! Just shared with my lovelies!

    {HUGS} and Blessings,

    Facebook: Polka Dot Bungalow

  51. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming Avatar

    Hi Shelley, Your mirror turned out amazing. I love the depth the shims add to the border – gorgeous! Fantastic job. Thank you so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase Party. I featured this Sunday! Hope you have a lovely week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  52. Halo Hill Avatar

    Oh my gosh! This is the prettiest one I've ever seen! Amazing job! I'm envious… too hard for me!


  53. Ruth Avatar

    Incredible! This is the best DIY sunburst mirror I have seen!

  54. mrs c. Avatar

    absolutely beautiful!! love. it.
    thanks for sharing your diy.
    mrs c. xox

  55. Cheryl Avatar

    And to think you weren't sure this was going to work out? I hope everyone's comments here are boosting your urge to try some more of those things you aren't sure about. What an amazing piece of art you've created! Thanks for posting!

  56. michellepaige Avatar

    Just beautiful! Really LOVE it!

  57. Beth Avatar

    WOW~ LOVE THIS! Such a great twist to the sunburst! Creative! I am a new follower!

  58. Jen Avatar

    Just saw this on Tip Junkie – love it! This looks like a project that requires a lot of patience. πŸ™‚ But it paid off! It looks amazing on your mantle.

  59. Fabric Bows and More Avatar

    WOW Beautiful job! Please stop by and join our link party:

  60. Tanya @ Greetings From the Asylum Avatar

    That is a great project! I would love to try it out for myself someday! Thanks for sharing!

  61. Orange it Lovely Avatar

    gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!!

  62. Karen At Home Avatar

    Wow, I am blown away by this! How creative. Love it!

  63. Mindie Hilton Avatar

    I would love for you to link it up to my party that is running now. Any linky goes.

    Come strut your stuff.

  64. Mindie Hilton Avatar

    I still can't believe our first party had over 300 links. I have a special give away planned for linkers this week.

    Thanks again for grabbing the button, hope to see you at this weeks party.

  65. Gloria Avatar

    That's beautiful! It looks like driftwood.

  66. Erin Avatar

    It turned out beautiful!! It's hard to believe that was made from shims of all things. It looks like it came out of a high end store. Nice job! πŸ™‚

  67. Ginger Snaps Avatar

    Wow! Love it! Amazing. πŸ™‚ Following from Not Just a Housewife. Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog. The most view link will receive a set of fancy rectangle chalkboard labels from my etsy shop. Hope to see you there.


  68. Steph @ Birdhouse Avatar

    Looks gorgeous! I already have several sunburst mirrors but I can't get enough of them! I really like your version.

  69. Chiara Avatar

    This is indeed, crazy wonderful! Your decor looks so much like my home–similar styles. I love the sheen on this mirror–makes it! I featured your beautiful post on my blog this weekend. Thank you for the inspiration and project!

  70. Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys Avatar

    This is so cool! You did a fantastic job.

  71. Debbie@ Avatar

    Love it, and it looks substantial! I need one!

  72. Joy Avatar

    Just wanted you to know I made my own mirror with the help of your tutorial and I love it! Check it out:


  73. Kristin Avatar

    I love your sunburst mirror, it totally gave me the inspiration for my own sunburst mirror.

  74. Shaunna Avatar

    Absolutely awesome. LOVE this one more than any other I've seen in the blogosphere…going to tweet out this link!

  75. NYCLQ Avatar

    Stunning and great idea! I just shared this post over on my FB wall. Have a wonderful weekend!

    xo Lynda

  76. WhyCuzICan Avatar

    Adorable and your tips and photos are helpful if I can manage to get one done for myself (I love the wood used for these)

    Visiting from ShabbyNest Linky Party today πŸ˜€
    ~Suzanne in Illinois

  77. Katie Avatar

    This is fabulous! And very informative! Thank you! I may just have to do something like this myself.

  78. courteneykay Avatar

    This is the best DIY sunburst mirror I have seen!!! If you don't mind I would like to post a pic or 2 of it in my post for tomorrow on my blog.

  79. Erin Avatar

    I love this! I have made them before, but I love this one.
    I am your latest follower! I can't wait to check out more of your ideas! I only have a few posts since I just started blogging last week.

  80. Sherika Lovett Alston Avatar

    I love the mirror! If you don't mind I would love to post this on my blog! I, of course would link it back!

  81. Jemsmom Avatar

    Just found it!!! I asked on your mantle post! That is stunning!!! I may be bold and go for it!!!!

  82. Dani Marie Avatar

    I just wanted to let you know I included this in my 2011 Ultimate DIY Gift Guide (101 tutorials/recipes)! πŸ™‚

  83. Duffy Avatar

    Awesome Tutorial! I have been looking for a way to get this exact result! I think those shims look to be the same size as the large paint stirers that the home improvement stores give away. I think if I start collecting now, I may have enough by spring! Perfect timing for revamping the house! Then I would just have to find a round mirror – will keep a look out at the thrift stores!

  84. AntiqueChase Avatar


  85. Renee Avatar

    I love this mirror! Just found it via Little Green Notebook. Amazing job!

  86. Danielle Avatar

    Super cute idea!

  87. Anonymous Avatar

    Are you sure it is 8 packs of 42? Or do you need more? Someone did it and said 17.
    That would bring up the cost for me because they are 5 a package here in hawaii. 8 I can handle, 17 not so much.

  88. ACHanson Avatar

    Awesome DIY, I may try this, although not many pictures were taken, you did a good job at explaining details. Thanks for the tutorial. I hope we can be friends πŸ™‚

  89. Ashley Hathaway Avatar

    Love this! I am collecting Home Depot paint sticks one by one! πŸ˜‰

  90. Ellora Avatar

    I am just finding this after becoming a follower and I think this is the best looking DIY sunburst mirror I've seen so far! I love it and the price is even better! I may just have to find me a cheapie mirror and create one for our mantle!

  91. Avatar

    I'm so glad I finally tracked this mirror down- I LOVE it! What a gorgeous variation on the mirror! I would love to link to your tutorial if you didn't mind.

  92. Krystal Nolan Avatar

    I bookmarked this posting 2 years ago, and I'm finally getting ready to use it! (Squee!). I linked to you on my blog tonight.

  93. B Neli Avatar

    Love your sunburst! I am trying to make my own but I cannot seem to get it to fit together in a circle the way yours does without huge spaces. Is there a trick to it? Please help!!

    1. Shelley | Crazy Wonderful Avatar

      I had to cut my shims down because it would have been too large to fit over my fireplace. If you don't need to cut your shims down you might need more in order to get them to come together without large gaps. Also, the center points will meet closer together when they aren't cut down. Hope this helps!

  94. George Mathew Avatar

    the inner diameter of my project is big, what could I be doing wrong ? I have 8" shims and am using stacks of 5 and 7

  95. Pieced Pastimes Avatar

    Hi Shelley,
    After a long search for a mirror and coming up empty handed, I found your post and was inspired to make my own. I posted about it on my blog with a link back to this post.
    Thanks so much for the inspiration,
    Pieced Pastimes

  96. Anonymous Avatar

    Did you mix your glaze, or buy it premixed? I am having trouble finding the Valspar glaze. It is gorgeous, great job!

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      Thank you! I purchased it premixed from Lowes in store, but that was over 5 years ago. They may no longer be making it as I am having a hard time finding it online. It might be worth asking them in store if they have anything similar.

  97. Sunburst Mirrors Silver Avatar

    Thank you so much for the inspiration, they are beautiful!

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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