Starburst Mirror

I've been wanting make a starburst mirror since I moved in to our new house last summer. I have a small living room/dining room so I've been wanting to hang a mirror to add a little more depth and this is a cool way to do it.

I was keeping my eyes open over the last few months for a cheap mirror and I finally found one at Value Village (originally from Ikea) for a whopping $7.99. I already had about half the dowels, some of which are bamboo bbq skewers, and I got the rest of the dowels in the craft section of the dollar store where I also picked up some extra glue gun sticks. In total, I spent about $16 on this project. The biggest expense was probably elbow grease. 

My mirror is pretty big and it had a mosaic covering a big part of it so I decided to remove all these little tiles. It was a bit ambitious but I got through it.

I chipped away at the mosaic with a flathead screwdriver to get all the pieces off, which was a pain in the butt until I discovered that acetone (ie. nail polish remover) could help loosen the glue. I soaked the area for a few minutes and the chipping became much easier. (note: protective eye wear is highly recommended for this part)

After that I was left with an ugly blotchy mirror covered in glue remnants. To clean this off I covered the area with baking soda mixed with oil and used a scraper to get all the gunk off.

So that was the not-so-fun part of the project. After that, I cleaned off the mirror, placed it glass-side down and organized the dowels by size to get an even distribution. I'm a bit of  a perfectionist so I found the centre of the mirror to make sure the dowels would all be glued on the right angle and I also drew a circle about an inch from the edge to ensure the lengths were consistent.

I'm not sure how many I used in total but it was roughly 170, and it took me about two hours to glue them all down.

This part was long and fairly tedious since I had to hold down each piece after gluing to ensure it didn't dry crooked. (I should note that every part of this project is long and tedious but the final results are pretty great.)

The last fairly difficult part of the project was hanging it on the wall. The whole thing is rather large, about 3.5 feet across, and the dowels are pretty flimsy so you need long arms and skinny fingers, at least that was the case with me. I finally managed to reach the hook after breaking only two dowels (easily fixable) and this is the final result!

I'm pretty proud of this one. For now the dowels are still bare but I might stain or paint them when the weather warms up enough to work outside. And someday if/when I get tired of this look, I can easily remove all the dowels and do something new with the mirror.

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