Before & After: A Tale (+Tutorial) of a Sunburst Mirror

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Along with birds and mid-century modern furniture, I have a mild obsession with sunburst mirrors. I had been looking for one, literally for months, before I finally bought a mirror handmade just for me from rolled newspaper pages. But I wanted — nay, NEEDED — another. Alas, all the ones that were large enough to tickle my fancy were also too expensive. So when I found a beautiful sunburst mirror project at one of my new favorite decor blogs, Three Men and a Lady, I decided I would give it a try.

I started with an inexpensive vintage sunburst mirror I found on Etsy. It was gold, and only about 15″ in diameter at its largest points. Well, I’m not a fan of gold, and I wanted something much larger. What to do? Add barbecue skewers courtesy of Michelle’s fabulous idea, of course! And thankfully, we already had skewers laying around.

Supply list:

  • Small, ugly and/or outdated sunburst mirror (ie. one that you’re not afraid to “mess up”)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wooden barbecue skewers
  • Paper
  • Spray paint

Because the sizes of the sunburst points were so varying in length, I had to get creative about how to add the skewers in a way that made sense. I found the center point of the back of the mirror and worked outward from the center, attached the skewers with hot glue. I first lined them up with the smaller sunburst points, then the longer ones, finally filling in all the points in between.

sunburst-before4 sunburst-before5

Here’s what it looked like from the back and front once all the skewers were added. As you can see, I staggered the lengths so I wouldn’t wind up with a perfect circle when I was done. And if you look closely at the top left edge of the original mirror in the photo of the back, you’ll see that I was careful not to cover up the hole that would be used to hang the mirror. I LOVE the way it turned out, but at that point, it still just looked like a mirror with barbecue skewers attached.


I taped off the mirror (round mirrors are seriously a pain in the a** to tape accurately), and proceeded to cover it in spray paint. Whenever I can help it, I try to use Krylon H2O spray paint, which is one of very few brands of low-VOC, low-odor spray paints. It does tend to be a little runny, since it is water-based, so you have to be careful not to over-spray. I did 2 full coats, then one slight touch-up coat after it dried fully. Lazy lady that I am, I didn’t paint the back.


Finally, I went back and reinforced all the skewers with more hot glue. Then, I cut a circle from some brown paper and glued it to the back to cover up the clumpy glue mess that was left. Its not a perfect circle, and I did have to cut out a notch for the hanging hole, but it works. And now, it looks like this…


It is now 32″ of sunburst goodness, and I love it! If you’re wondering where I put it, look closely at the reflection in the photo below, which was shot from a different angle. You might recognize some curtains from a room that I’m still working to finish, the sunroom/office! The rest of it will be revealed soon. I promise!


Final cost:

  • Mirror: $23
  • Skewers: FREE! We already had them (although my husband did replace them with a new pack of bamboo skewers for $0.97.
  • Krylon H2O spray paint: $5.99
    TOTAL: $28.99

If you’re here from Design Sponge, thanks for visiting!  Here are some other posts and areas that I think you might like:

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5 comments… add one
  • Avatar Jessica @ The Budget Savvy Bride June 24, 2010, 9:57 am

    LOVE IT! I actually really like gold and I’ve been wanting to get one of these for our guest room! Love the way yours turned out though- the skewers are so easy and budget-savvy! 🙂 LOVE your blog, btw!

  • Avatar Camila F. June 24, 2010, 1:13 pm

    WOW, it looks amazing!

  • Avatar becky June 24, 2010, 9:30 pm

    I just found you twice tonight! Once through a comment left on a post I wrote about a modern house for sale outside of Cincinnati, then an hour later at decor demon – these things are always kismet – so happy to find your awesome blog and wanted to say hello!


  • Avatar Michelle (Three Men and a Lady) July 1, 2010, 4:03 pm

    Turned out great! Thanks for the credit and mention.

    • Avatar jennae July 1, 2010, 4:12 pm

      @Michelle Absolutely! I’m happy to give credit where credit is due! It was a fabulous idea, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out! I love the way yours pops on your dark gray wall too. I just love your home in general. If I could pick up all your rooms and drop them in my own home, I would 🙂

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