DIY Modern Sunburst Mirror

It’s no secret that my love for sunburst mirrors runs long and deep – especially chunky antique ones in gold tones. So when it was time to figure out a mirror for the Pax makeover project, I thought nothing but a gold sunburst mirror would do to help break up all that dark gray paint….


It’s no secret that my love for sunburst mirrors runs long and deep – especially chunky antique ones in gold tones. So when it was time to figure out a mirror for the Pax makeover project, I thought nothing but a gold sunburst mirror would do to help break up all that dark gray paint.

 photo wDSC_0470.jpg

I looked around for something to buy quickly because we were short on time, but it was important to me that the mirror fit the back of the vanity space perfectly (about 36″ square was just right). It was obvious pretty quickly that the only (affordable) option would be to make something myself. This image has been in my mind for a long time and I thought the look would be perfect for this project.

 photo aaDSC_0543.jpg

Here’s how I tackled this DIY for about $75 in supplies:

Depending on how big you want your mirror to be, you’ll need to buy a lot of small wooden dowels from the hardware store. I used 55 dowels and I had leftovers. I bought 30 of the smallest size, 15 of the next size up and 10 of the size just bigger than that.

 photo IMG_7960.jpg
I used a miter saw to cut down the dowels to random lengths between three and six inches long at a 45 degree angle. The trick is the wrap a bundle of dowels in masking tape on the spot you want to cut. This prevents any splintering or fly away pieces, which can be really dangerous, so make sure you don’t skip this step.


 photo kIMG_8004.jpg

 photo IMG_7999.jpg

I wanted the mirror to look mottled and not new, so I rounded up my collection of gold spray paints. – this one is my favorite!

 photo IMG_8009.jpg

1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5


I threw all the cut dowels on a drop cloth and just started spraying and tossing the drop cloth to move the dowels around. I tried not to spray the dowels directly too much. I wanted the paint to sort of float down onto the dowels so there wouldn’t be harsh lines if another dowel was blocking part of a piece. I found the best method was to spray from farther away with one hand and then use the other hand to move around the dowels. I think painting with the different golds really helped add depth to the frame. Each of the individual dowels looks a little different and is a slightly different color combination. I was so happy with how this worked!

 photo IMG_8017.jpg

I used my favorite gold spray paint from Design Masters to spray just the edge of a piece of plywood cut at the hardware store to 27″ square. I also sprayed four pieces of flat trim cut at 45″ angles to make a 26″ frame.

 photo IMG_8122.jpg

It’s super important to use the right glues for this project. I used Liquid Nails Paneling for glueing on the dowels to the plywood backing. This stuff dries quickly so it’s best to work in smaller sections – like three or four inches at a time.

 photo IMG_8120.jpg

I ran a 1″ wide bead of Liquid Nails down the plywood board and quickly stacked the dowels next to each other, varying the lengths and dowel sizes and the color. Pushing down really hard on the dowels makes everything line up. The glue will squish up around the sides of the dowel which helps everything stay put even better.

 photo IMG_8131.jpg

The corners are pretty much the only tricky part. I use a few thicker dowels first and then filled in with small and short pieces. I broke a few down just with my hands to make them short enough to fit in the tight angles.

 photo IMG_8124.jpg

Once the frame is done, give it a day to dry out and then cover everything with a ton of mirror glue.

 photo IMG_8144.jpg

I had a 24″ mirror cut at a glass shop for about $20. I glued the 1/8″ thick mirror right on top of the dowel frame and then used more Liquid Nails to glue the top frame made from flat trim on top of the mirror, which really finished the whole look

 photo IMG_8148.jpg

I sat heavy books and other items on top of the flat trim frame and let it dry overnight.

 photo IMG_8153.jpg

I forgot to take a photo of the final step, but I flipped the mirror over (which was a two-person job, as was hanging it on the wall – pokey!!!) and screwed two small D-rings into the perimeter of the plywood. Then the mirror was ready to hang! It’s been up for about a month now and it looks and feels super secure. That Liquid Nails product is amazing stuff and made this project a breeze.

 photo qDSC_0665.jpg

Join the Conversation

47 thoughts on “DIY Modern Sunburst Mirror

  1. Looks great! I already have a flat trim, square mirror on hand (garage sale find!). Could I just spray paint it and attach the dowels to the back to achieve the same look? Or do you think I would want to still attach the dowels to plywood first?

  2. This is insane! I saw it earlier but totally assumed it was from someplace expensive. It just looked like something I couldn't afford so I didn't even ask. I'm shocked and can't wait to make my own version!!

    Wondering if I have room in our bathroom for this!

  3. I had already been wondering about that wonderful mirror! Such a great job. Keep up the good work, you inspire me so much while I write my own blog here in Denmark!

  4. This is the best D.I.Y sunburst mirror I have ever seen! Great instructions and amazing talent! Thank you for your constant inspirations- now I might need to make one.

  5. Jenny,
    Wonderful idea!! Your necklace display also looks DIY…I'm always looking for ways to store/display my necklaces. A post or comment about that would be appreciated!!

    Long time fan, love your work!

  6. Love! I've made something similar before but I love the look of different size dowel rods! And I especially love the color choices! Well done! This is definitely something I will need to Do when we move!!

  7. Great.! what a lovely idea..! Thank you for sharing this innovative idea. Nice post.

© Jenny Komenda. All Rights Reserved.
Site by