Friday, March 2, 2012

Cedar Sunburst Mirror For Under $10

I KNOW you have all seen the gobzillions of sunburst mirrors all over the decorating scene. No need to point out the HUGE trend they are right now. If you are on Pinterest, you've seen the hundreds of  very creative ways people have reinvented them. I myself absolutely love them. They are large so they can fill a big space well, they are fun, they are stylish, and you can really be creative and find unique ways to make them your own. LOVE.

I have been keeping my eye out for how I wanted to make my own. I love the idea of using bamboo sticks, but I have yet to find all the supplies to make it on a budget (a rimmed framed mirror for one). The other variety that I really like is made out of cedar shims. Shims are cheap and natural and full of great texture! The first one I ever saw was HERE . I really liked the general idea, but I wanted to make one with A) a larger mirror and B) less perfectly round.

Also, this is not my first shim sunburst. I actually made another (larger!) one last month but I have yet to completely finish it (it is super heavy so there are some technical details that need to be ironed out). I had a ton of shims leftover, so I made this:

I am really happy with how it came out! I haven't decided how I want to finish it yet though. Depending on where the final placement is, I'll decide based on that. Either natural cedar, sealed cedar, white, or silver. I don't know. If we put it above our bed, I might go with a white and silver combo. We'll have to see how that goes.

The great thing about this mirror is that it is quite simple to make and really inexpensive. I made the entire thing for under $10. Bargain! If you've shopped around, you've no doubt (is this 2001 again??) seen how pricey they can be. Especially if you want one this large. It measures just about 40" in diameter. It really can hold it's own on a big wall!

Want one of your own?? Well then, let's get started!

Mirror (Mine was $4 at Michaels with a coupon)
Wood Board to glue it all onto (We had peg board so that is what we used. You can use anything)
Wood Glue (I ended up using the Titebond & Gorilla Glue)
Hot Glue Gun (not pictured in this shot)
Mirror Adhesive (shown later) or super strong double sided tape

Step 1) Figure out how you want to arrange your shims. I did this by just mixing them up and playing around a bit. I knew that I didn't want it to be completely round, so that was my starting point. I came up with this:

(Sorry, it was a seriously DARK day so the lighting is a tad off)
I liked it, but I felt like I needed more than just the 2 lengths, so I figured I would do this but add in a 3rd length as well.

Here is my first layer:
Step 2) Now that you have your arrangement down, start gluing your first layer. I wanted to make sure I did them all the same-ish length, so I measured and then marked each one where I needed to glue them down.

Make sure you use enough glue so it will go right to the edges when you push it down. It's ok if a little bit squeezes out even.

Step 3) Put some heavy objects on top and let it dry for about 30 minutes (or however long your glue tells you to). That fruit bowl is deceptively heavy!

Step 4) Figure out your next layers. I liked the way this looked:

I like the 3 different lengths (tall, medium, short, then back to tall). but geez, look at the center!

What to do, what to do.... ah ha! Cut them! Since the shims are designed like this:
The one end is so thin that you can just cut it with scissors.

Step 5) Once you decide how long you want each length, cut one of each size, then use the piece you cut off as a guide for all the rest. I cut mine so they would all meet at the same spot in the middle (there is a photo in the next step).

See, here are the "templates" for cutting all the others:
Step 6) Start gluing your next layers. I did the remaining 2 layers at the same time. I also switched to Gorilla Glue for the second layer. I did this because, since I am gluing on top of the first layer, the shims would not be 100% flat on the board. Gorilla Glue foams up and expands to fill gaps. So if you use a smidge of that, it will fill in the space between layer 2 &3 and the board. Don't use too much because it expands! (Now that I think of it, there is no reason not to use Gorilla Glue from the beginning. So go ahead and do that if you want.)

See how I cut the shims so that now they are all meeting up at the same spot in the middle? That will eliminate the big huge pile and will also give your piece some dimension. You can also see how I chose 3 different lengths to layer.

Step 7) Use heavy objects to set the glue. I did this while I glued just to keep things where I wanted them.

Let is set for 30-60 minutes.

So far:

Oohhhhh nice!

Step 8) Add your mirror. This mirror adhesive was $4 at Lowes. You could also be daring and try heavy duty double sided tape. You could try other adhesives like Liquid Nails or epoxy, but we used this. It is for more heavy duty applications, like a big bathroom mirror, but it worked well for this too. That epoxy, E6000 I believe it is called, would work I'm sure.

Step 9) I didn't want my mirror to look like it was just floating, so I added some trim to the edge. I just cut the thin part of the shims and hot glued them on since they are so light and thin.


I  love how three-dimensional it is! I think the trim around the mirror was exactly what I was looking for to make it seem more finished. Now I just have to decide how to finish it and where I want to put it!

UPDATE! Here it is once I stained it and hung it, see HERE for more:

1 comment:

Thanks for your feedback!