How to Make a Sunburst Mirror

Ever since Janell made her ingeniously wonderful sunburst mirror I’ve wanted to make my own out of something unexpected.

First you need a very high tech template. {Did you think I was gonna tell you to use paper towels to make it?} I folded 3 continuous half sheets of paper towel in half and cut a pointy shape.  Folding it in half ensures your ray {shall we call them rays?} is uniform on both sides.  No measuring whatsoever.

Then, I cut up about 4 sheets of poster board into strips and folded them in half.  Yep, it’s poster board. And the folding makes it easier to cut and adds dimension to the finished mirror, I love it with slothfulness and design work together like that.  I just put the folded template over the folded poster board and cut away until I had a pile of rays.

Helpful Hint: I found thin poster board for .59 cents a sheet from True Value.  It seemed like cheaper poster board but, I liked it because both sides were identical, not one side shiny, one side matte, if your poster board has two different sides, make sure you cut everything using the same side.

Another Helpful Hint: I found that the grain of the poster board affects how easy it is to fold, one way I got a clean fold, but if I made a fold perpendicular, the fold turned out all weird and not as clean. Test out your poster board to see if it has a direction that folds easier.

Originally, I thought I would use a larger mirror I had sitting around.  I tucked each ray under the mirror to see how I liked it.  Unfortunately, it seemed like it was going to look like a flower which was exactly what I didn’t want “Oh, I love your sunflower mirror, it’s so um, summery…”.   But, this is the fun part where you can play around with arrangements and layout and see what works best for your size mirror.

I’m not sure that there is such a thing as too many rays.  Layering a few different sizes helps break up the poster board and add interest.   I even tried painting the mirror to see if it looked less flowerlike.  Nope.  There is something about the balance of the size of the mirror with the rays that you want to pay attention to.   I’m more drawn to a smaller mirror and larger rays. Luckily, I happened to find a darling little convex mirror for $20 at a local shop.

Ahhh, that’s better.  This is the stage where I was just playing with the layout on the table, nothing is attached yet.  Working in sets of four rays is the secret to keeping everything in order.  Then you put each set in a north, south, east, west position for each layer.

Time to start hot gluing.  First I drew some lines on the back, just your basic north, south east west going a few different ways.  Start with your smallest rays first and remember to work in fours.

And layer and glue and work in fours and layer and glue and work in fours.  Until it’s all done.  It only takes about 5 minutes of hot gluing, such a rewarding little project.

And you have a pretty, layered, dimensional, fun mirror for less than $25.


How to Make a sunburst mirror

We’ve been using the posterboard mirror for a year and a half and Better Homes and Gardens Do It Yourself Magazine was here last month and photographed it for their February issue.  The mirror still looks great (I’m more surprised than anyone) and I still love it!

DIY sunburst mirror

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  1. I am SO doing this. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I decided to try this. Beware that it takes way more than four poster boards. I used twelve to get the same amount of petals as the picture shows. I attached the boards to a black mirror and it looks great! It ended up being about 4 foot!! Another tip is before you hang it, you will need to hot glue a thin board to the back of the pedals at the top. I used a half of a yard stick. If you dont attach something, the pedals want to flop away from the wall. Good luck!

      • TWELVE sheets of posterboard? It took four for me, you must have beautiful wide rays for your sunburst–I think that’s why your rays flop–sounds like it turned out lovely!

  2. The poster board is such a fantastic idea. They look like petals! I would love to link to this if you didn’t mind.

  3. Just wanted to let you know I’m mentioning this post on my blog today and sending everyone over to see it. Thanks! Have a great weekend. :-)

  4. Beautiful!! Love this idea. It looks like a dahlia to me and I love dahlias!

  5. Very clever! Love it! So glad I found your blog, I will be following it!

    Take care,

    Ali Ryan

  6. This is fab! I love that you got inspired by Janell’s idea but then didn’t just replicate it, you made something that’s beautiful and unique! (I had a little copycat moment a few months back, and so far that’s about as far as my crafty DIY has gotten!) So thanks for sharing all the steps you took, in case my copycat urge arises again. :-)


  7. Wow! This is beautiful!! I’ve been looking for something to replace the picture above my sofa, and this might just be it! I love how “simply” beautiful it is, the price is great, and it only takes a little time. Thank you!!

  8. Gorgeous and so easy! I love it!

  9. So pretty, not a flower at all! Good work…

  10. I LOVE this. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to show it to my best friend who is looking for something new to do on her mantel. This is amazing!

  11. Love it! Such a great idea.

  12. I love your mirror…it’s REALLY cute! Great idea!

  13. This is amazing! I’m going to try this with black posterboard.

  14. I love this. I am totally going to try it. Also, I am wondering where you got your gorgeous lamps?

  15. Hmmm!

    I could see using various paints to color the petals; I could substitute a small clock or a favorite photograph for the mirror.

  16. Absolutely Brilliant! Love everything in this photo, the mirror, the lamps, dresser and wall color! You did a superb job! And so glad I found you blog, can’t wait to see more!

  17. Wow! There are no other words.

  18. Absolute awesome! I love it!

  19. Get. Out. This is seriously amazing, and a nice departure from the completely tired and true sunburst shapes. I LOVE IT!!

  20. I was so inspired by this! Thanks for the tutorial, I had a blast creating one for our space, and it was exactly the impact we needed!

    Love it!


  21. Your mirror now looks fantastic

  22. I love your living room. it looks great!

  23. Mine looks nowhere near as good as yours, but I still think this may be my favorite thing I have ever made ever… and I’ve made some pretty cute things! Thank you so much for sharing!

  24. Ladi Adra says:

    “BOOYAAH!!!” Thanks for sharing “you”. The simplicity of your design is exquisite, and in very good taste. I simply adore the look, as well as the inexpensive elegance of the project. Your living room is too-too cute. I immediately had a grand plan for that project, in my bedroom, upon seeing your tutorial. Thanks again.

    • This is pblraboy one of the best mentions of this topic Ive seen in quite a while. Its obvious that your knowledge of the subject is deep and this made for a very interesting read.. I Really enjoyed your blog. I just bookmarked it. I am a regular visitor of your website I will share It with Yep. I lurk there often. You guys have a wonderful blog. Keep up the good work. more please awesome .

  25. Neat idea! Where are the lamps from? I love them.

  26. I am sooo doing this. I love it!

  27. Genius! I think I see one of these in my future…Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I love sunburst mirrors! Great idea to use poster board, it looks amazing!


  29. I just posted and linked back about this awesome project over at! Great job!

  30. I can’t believe you just used poster board. It looks sooo good. I love it!

  31. just wondering aprox how long each or your Rays are for the longer sections??

    • I think about the length of the short part of the poster board. but I hesitate even saying–it can be any length and it depends more on the mirror size and the space you are filling for what size you should make yours

  32. This is lovely. Just the thing I need for my dining room. Thanks for the great idea!!

  33. I just finished making this project this afternoon – used your tutorial and everything. It looks awesome! It’s going to hang in my craft room over the mantel. I swapped the mirror out for a small clock, and I think it’s perfect for what I need! Thanks so much for the idea – I never ever EVER would have thought about poster board. :)

  34. this is just so cool. I am going to post this on my blog and will send everyone back here to see it. I have to make this really soon

  35. this is looks so good that i can”t believe it”s so easy!!!!

  36. LOVE LOVE LOVE this mirror — it has inspired me to try to do one in my own home!

  37. Anonymous says:

    this is fantastic, i JUST made one myself, its so easy and fun. looks absolutely stunning, thank you for this :)

  38. Oh my goodness! I have coveted that mirror for months now and somehow never seen this DIY post! I have a weird spot above a bay window in a room with cathedral ceilings…. this will be PERFECT!! Thank you!

  39. Beth eaton says:

    Love this! I am thinking about teaching this for my next craft group. Can I use your picture to promote it? I’ll give you credit for sure! Also, how long is the longest “petal”?? Thanks so much!!

  40. Very cute!

  41. LOVE this!! I used a clock instead of a mirror to place in my kitchen!!! Thanks so much for the awesome idea!!!!

  42. I think I’ll try this with a battery operated clockface instead of a mirror

  43. what color is your wall that is behind that mirror? it is so pretty & looks great with the sunburst mirror! i want to recreate that look! i already have the aqua lamps!! :)

  44. Hi!

    I completed this project yesterday! It was very easy and the “template” was great! Of course, I had to put my own spin on it. Instead of a mirror I used a reflective car air-filter and then a smaller magnified mirror in the center (used for added visability on side mirror on cars) . Sounds ugly, but it actually came out funky and industrial looking. I also used black poster board instead of white because my bedroom walls are white and I’m going for a black, white and aqua color scheme. Thanks for the tutorial and the great tips! Much Appreciated :)


  45. hey! i love this so much. i think i’ll use it for the next project in my crafting club!just one question-where did you get the mirror?

  46. What is the paint color behind the clock!? Love it!

  47. I made my own version of your sunburst mirror and am very pleased at the results. I get so many compliments! You can see my version here, where I also linked to your How-To post:

    Thank you Nester for the inspiration!

  48. Sorry, but you mentioned that you didn’t want it to appear like a flower, but a sun…it still looks like a flower. I love this and think it is an awesomely amazing idea, but it does still look like a flower.

  49. I just finished making a similar mirror last night – but how the heck do you hang it up? After hot-gluing the rays on the back, it covered up the triangle hook thingie. Help!!!

    • my little wire wasn’t covered, but, if you covered yours, just pull the tab top off a soda can and hot glue it on to a sturdy spot on the back!

  50. where is the white dresser from? thanks for your time and your sunburst mirror is great. love the creativity!

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