Monday, March 30, 2009

Starburst Mirror Sculpture

When we moved into the new house, I had resolved to blog about some of the renovations and other fun stuff we planned to do. Unfortunately, the renovations haven't happened as quickly as we had hoped so I haven't had much to report. But a few weeks ago, some fabulous Miami friends came to visit and I had to spiff the place up a bit so they wouldn't be appalled at my lack of style.

Our house is older and has some neat little features, like these little lamps that are above the fireplace. Unfortunately, we've been living with a big blank space between the little lamps ever since we moved in. I always see these cool looking starburst mirror wall hanging things at Crate and Barrel and other fun places and have always thought they would be perfect for that space. Unfortunately, they are usually kind of expensive (that one at Crate & Barrel is $200!). So when I saw on the CRAFT blog a DIY tutorial, I knew I had the perfect fix.

I did a little further searching on the Internet and used two tutorials for inspiration: one from Apartment Therapy and one from Instructables. I got everything I needed from Michael's, Wal-Mart, & Home Depot:

Starburst materials

Glue gun, glue sticks, bamboo skewers, wooden dowels, silver spray paint, silver regular paint, a paintbrush, 2 packs of assorted sized circle mirrors from Michael's (50 total), an auto rearview mirror from Wal-Mart, and 2 circles cut out of carboard.
I forget how much I paid for everything individually, but all together I believe it was under $20.

All of that turned into this:


I'm really happy with the finished product, but I want to tell you about what I did wrong in case you decide to do this. First of all, I bought 4 long wooden dowels from Home Depot, spray painted them silver, and then cut them into smaller 12" sections. That was dumb, because the sawed off part was all raw and ugly and unpainted. So I had to use sandpaper to sand them down until they looked nice and then I had to hand paint silver onto the ends.

Starburst closeup

Next, I think I bought a slightly too small auto rearview mirror. Originally, the plastic ring around the mirror was black plastic. After I had already assembled the whole mirror I realized that the black plastic didn't look right. But at this point, I already had the starburst hanging on the wall, so I had to get up on a chair and paint the black border by hand with silver paint. I like the look a lot more, but in the future I would paint the center mirror FIRST.

Starburst sculpture

But even with the mishaps, this project was not too time intensive and I really like the results. Now that big blank spot between the retro lamps if filled, and I feel really thrifty and creative every time I look there. Definitely a win!