DIY Sunburst Mirror Tutorial

 Want to make your own DIY Sunburst Mirror? It really is easier than you think! Remember I said I tweaked two other tutorials to create my mirror? Feel free to read thru them both and come up with your own version!

For this particular project you will need:


  • Glue (Wood glue, hot glue, or both!)
  • 2 packs of Wood Shims (found at Home Depot, $2.50/pack)
  • a wooden letter ‘O’ (found at Jo-Ann’s, $4.99)
  • a 12″ mirror (found at Jo-Ann’s, $4.99)
  • a 12″ embroidery hoop (found at Jo-Ann’s, $1.99)


  • a stapler (to reinforce shim)
  • varying paint colors
  • drill, hanging wire & a hook

First I went thru my packs of shims to pick out the best ones for use. I had never purchased shims before and was quite surprised to find how many were actually broken in my first pack.  They are very light weight and a thin cut of wood so it’s understandable, but I was happy I bought a third pack justtttt in case I needed it (I didn’t!).  I tried to make sure to use the best side of the shim, even though I knew I was painting them I didn’t want any funky textures or giant knots to be seen.

Next I arranged the shims in different patterns on my ‘O’.  Again, I wasn’t exactly sure the look I was going for but kept playing around with it till I found what I liked.

Once I determined my pattern I used both wood glue and hot glue to attach my shims to the ‘O’. I used hot glue to attach the pieces directly to the ‘O’ and used wood glue on the shims that overlapped farther away from the ‘O’.  I was worried that the shims might be too flimsy on the sides and just did this as an extra form of support – it’s not necessary but just an extra step I took. Also, because I’m crazy and wasn’t 100% trusting the strength of my hot glue I also used a large wall staple gun to staple the shims around the ‘O’. Again, not necessary but something you can do if you want (*I did drop this guy once while trying to hang him and although a few shims broke they only broke in the middle, not where I glued/stapled them! I was able to glue the broken ones back easily but might not have been so lucky without the glue/staple method…??)

Next I took the first layer of my sunburst mirror into the garage and spray painted him. I chose Rustoleum’s Bronze but the choice is yours! If my walls had been darker I would have loved to do my first layer white to really make it pop off of the wall but with my light ‘Mushroom Bisque’ I chose to go dark.

Two coats later it was time for the second layer of shims. I once again arranged my shims before I glued them, this time I started around the inner ring of the ‘O’ so this layer would be about 2 inches shorter than the first.
I decided to make use of some left over paint from our Master Bedroom sample, Keystone Grey.  (It took me forever a while to pick my accent color but I’d recommend you paint your second layer of shims while the first is drying… I’d have saved myself some time if I had thought ahead!)  I then attached these with both wood glue and hot glue.
Now it’s time to frame out the mirror! For this I used the inner ring of a 12″ embroidery hoop.  The hoop ends up being the perfect size as it can just sit on top of the mirror’s edge  (Caesar was very interested in the mirror.)
I chose to spray the ring the same dark color as my first layer of shims.  I also thought about painting this the second shim layer color, in fact I even thought about painting it white, but chose the darker brown so it would stand out.
To attach the hoop to the mirror I applied wood glue to the hoop itself then attached it to the mirror. I used my hot glue around the outside to ensure the hoop was firmly attached.  Once dry, I  positioned the newly framed mirror where I wanted it and traced it onto the shims. Not knowing which part of the mirror would come in contact with the shims I then placed wood glue on the top layer of shims, applied my framed mirror and allowed the piece to dry overnight with a book on top of it.

I originally planned on hanging this guy on a wall hanger designed for a photo up to 50 pounds hooked onto the ‘O’.  The previous owners left the two screws that were perfectly centered over our fireplace and already in studs in the wall for us and I was so thankful!  I took photo hanging wire and attached it to both so I could simply put the hook of the mirror onto the wire and be good to go!

Well, that plan would have worked if I had not discovered a new fear of ladders…especially ones just propped against the mantle!  The bulkiness of the sunburst mirror didn’t make it easy for me to reach the wire and I would have had to have climbed all the way to the top of the ladder…sheesh!!  To put the size of the mirror in perspective just look at it next to Caesar! (please excuse my hair and outfit – I had just returned from The Lemon Run!)
So onto plan B, I drilled small holes into the ‘O’, thread photo wire through it and created my own ‘hook’ that was about 5 inches long… this allowed me to climb halfway up the ladder and still reach the wire on the wall to hang it.  If you decide to do something like this I suggest you do it before adding your shims and it was not easy applying pressure with the drill and being gentle enough to not do damage to the shims.  It was do-able but would just be easier done first!

So there you have it! Everyone that has seen our new mirror LOVES it and can’t believe I made it myself.  It’s definitely one of my favorite pieces in our home now and as you can see, not that difficult to make!  Ready to tackle your own sunburst mirror?? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!!

 I hope this tutorial can help you create your own sunburst mirror, too!

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