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  • Small, ugly and/or outdated sunburst mirror (ie.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.



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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