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. nice job with the mirror. I really like those lamps though. Where did you get them?

  2. mygeisha says

    I really love your sunburst, i must say its the best one that i have come across. I want to make one for my new apartment (moving this weekend) Only problem is were not allowed to paint the walls so they are white (blah). Was wondering if you think it would be ok to paint the poster boards and if so what type of paint would you recommend? I’m thinking of using a metallic type gold color or antique gold, maybe 2 similar gold colors for contrast. Also are all of your rays the same size except for the 4 smallest ones in the front? Im sorry for all the questions but this will be my first diy project so im a little inexperienced.

  3. Hi… thanks for the post, and the amazing sunburst mirror idea… I love it! I’m wondering what size the mirror you used is. Would love it if you could share. Thanks again for sharing this fabulous post.

  4. Thanks for posting this, what a great idea. I made mine to fill a blank wall of my office for $1.50. Yes, $1.50. Two sheets of poster board were .50 cents, a mirror from the dollar store, $1. The frame around my mirror was a saucer painted black and the mirror glued to the front of it. Totally looks like a framed mirror.

  5. I was also wondering if all the rays were the same size also? What size is the mirror too? That is absolutely beautiful. I am redoing my daughter’s room and I would love to make it. Hope I can. Not very crafty but I will try. Thanks for your response.

  6. Can you tell me where you found the small mirror? I have been looking everywhere for a small mirror and can’t find one. Thanks

    • Go on OfferUp, & type in the sea bar “small round mirrors”, or “round mirrors”. I buy them off of OfferUp like a set of 5or 6 mirrors ranging from really small to large.

  7. I’m so stinkin’ in love with it, I just had to make my own:

    Thanks BUNCHES for sharing your amazing creativity!

  8. Where did you get your bed frame? love it! thanks

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I made my own using your instructions. Really happy how it turned out.

  10. Hi, Found you on SITS and I love the star and I am going to make it! I would like to swap follows, well, first I should say welcome to SITS.
    come over a visit me at (do not let the “40” keep you away it is about healthy living tips, something for everyone)
    twitter @iamaboutit

  11. Wow!! I love it!
    Debbie :)

  12. Hi, Love your post about starburst mirror. I made one for myself (starburst clock), link is here I have given your Tutorial’s link in my post. Hope it’s fine with you. I have started blogging a month back but I am always in crafting. Would love if you visit my blog.


  13. I love this look and I will try it. It seams like some of the rays are folded out and some in with the crease to the top, is that just a photo illution????
    Thanks Susa

  14. How did you attach it to the wall? Having issues doing this..

    • My tiny mirror that I started with had a little hoop so I attache some wire, but if your mirror has nothing to hang it with you could hot glue a metal coke bottle tab on the back to hang it.

  15. LOVE your sunburst…making tonight and need a few extra pointers from you :) What was the size of each ray?

  16. Wow!!! I LOVE what you said about loving it when Slothfulness and resourcefulness come together!! LOL! This is my kind of project. Sooooo gorgeous on that taupe wall!

  17. I just completed my project, thanks for the fantastic tutorial! I hope it’s okay I used your image (with your link in the paragraph of course). It was super easy, cheap and perfect for the large area I needed to cover. :)

  18. Hi there! I see this tutorial was done some time ago, so hopefully you’re still able to answer my question :) You were featured in (10 different Sunburst mirrors) and your mirror is shown there with a table and two dark teal lamps. Is this your picture? If so, could I ask where you got those lamps or what color it is if you painted them yourself? Thank you. I love the mirror btw, I plan to put it in a nursery.

  19. I love the bed and the bedding! Can you tell me where the frame and bedding are from?

  20. It kind of helps that your bedroom furniture and the room itself is pretty bad ass, but I think this would look cheap in the average person’s room. I would think that painting a few coats of mod podge (homemade, of course) on each piece would give it a little weight, maybe add “something” for texture (clear glitter??), and then painting it (artistically) would have a better, not-so-cheap-looking effect to the burst mirror thing. I may also have mine flipping in the opposite direction, no layering maybe, so it doesn’t look like a flower for sure ;) Just my 2 cents. I’m going to try it ;) Yours is beautiful in your bedroom, though!

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  24. American Woman says

    As I found these Starburst Mirrors starting with the one made from paint sticks in which I Loved. I’ve been wanting one forever, of course the one’s I want are the more Med size I’d say and full as in the paint sticks and most costly. Your’s is also a FAVORITE and for My Bedroom as well. As I have a Iron white & brass bed. As Soon as I saw yours I thought how Pretty that would be in my Bedroom. VERY, VERY NICE CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S MADE FROM POSTER BOARD. GOT ME WANTING TO POSSIBLY START MAKING SOME DIFFERENT ONE’S NOW AND SELLING. NEVER T

  25. American Woman says


  26. Courtney says

    This is probably a SUPER silly question…but how do you hang it up?

  27. Barbara Young says

    I just finished my sunburst mirror. I spent about $10.00 due to spray paint. Wanted a rustic finish. Turned out fabulous!! Thanks for the excellent tutorial. Oh, for those wondering how to hang I used hot glue and glued my cotton cord on the back. Ive done this before and it holds very well. Thanks again for sharing your awesome talent! ?

  28. I’ve just finished my sunburst mirror and it looks great! That was about 20$, but worth it!

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