Knockoff sunburst mirror

Well hello! I’m so excited to share this little DIY project with you all (y’all? Can I be southern for a moment?) because it turned out JUST how I envisioned.

I told you back in this post how I tend to buck trends (decor and otherwise) – either I just don’t add them to our home or I do it reeeeeally late, well after they are cool. That is just how. I. roll.

Same goes for this project. I actually came up with an idea to create this gorgeous Ballard Designs sunburst mirror months and months ago:

ballard knock off mirror

I even bought the pieces to make it, figured out how I was going to make it, and almost started…but then it seemed like I was seeing them everywhere in blogland. Sunburst mirrors are fantastic, so I am not surprised they were all over the place.

But I’m annoying, so I waited. :)

When we had our big tall walls and stair case repainted a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to change up the decor on the huge wall at the back of our stairs.

Soooo…I figured these would be perfect. I gathered all my materials (again) and started figuring out how I wanted to put it together (again). I began with cedar shims from my local True Value:


I was psyched cause they carry the longest shims I’ve ever seen (about 14 inches I think?) so my plan was going to work out even better than I thought! Buwahahahaha.

I wanted to make the same shape the Ballard mirror had, so I laid two shims together, touching at the bottom, wider apart on top. Then I laid one more on top and glued it on to hide the open area:

how to make a DIY sunburst mirror

I used hot glue for the entire thing and it held great – wood glue works too, but you’d have to wait for it to dry and I have zero patience. :) I used a TON of hot glue, just to make sure everything was secure. (And that’s the reason the lovely kitchen towel is under every pic.)

The bottom of each trio of shims is hidden eventually, so you can use up those that are beat up a bit:

how to make a DIY sunburst mirror

Oh, and I made that one that goes on top stick up a little bit over the tops of the two, just like in the Ballard version.

Then I took a scrap board (you can find something similar in the wooden area at the craft store – for my second mirror I used a round wooden piece) and started gluing the sets of shims on. I started with four, then added four more on top, then an additional four on top of that.

It was all about filling in the open space:

how to make a DIY sunburst mirror

Then it was time to flip it! If  you use long shims like I did you need to finesse the flip a little. ;) When it’s turned over, just add single shims to fill in some of the empty space and glue them to the back of the entire thing:

make a DIY sunburst mirror

I could have kept going, but I liked having a bit of space between some of the wood.

I flipped it back over again, then glued another piece of scrap wood on top of everything:

how to make a DIY sunburst mirror

Then it was time to paint! This actually took more time than all the gluing, just because I tried to get in the little crevices. If you were smart you’d do this first, but I’m a stickler for the hard way obviously. :)

I mixed some of my sample of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey with water and brushed it on. I didn’t want it to cover perfectly, since I wanted more of a rustic look. The mixing with water helped to give it a bit of a wash instead of opaque coverage. I picked the grey for a more neutral look, but any color would look amazing!

After the paint, I used a mirror glue (make sure to use the mirror version -- regular adhesives may eat away the back of your mirror) and gooped it up:

how to make a DIY sunburst mirror

I found 12 inch mirrors in the candle area at Hob Lob (half off!), centered them right on top and then let it dry for hours. A little hanger added to the back and they were ready to go!

I LOVE love LOVE how they turned out!!:

DIY sunburst mirror Ballard knock off

They hang in the two large squares I installed in our staircase eons ago:

DIY sunburst mirror

I was actually considering taking those down because they are NOT my best work. ;) They were one of my very first DIY projects in this house and up close they aren’t as good I as would like.

But for now they are staying! ;) I LOVE how well the mirrors work inside of them:

DIY sunburst mirror

I personally love the rustic look, and that you can see the varying textures in the wood:

DIY sunburst mirror

The make a HUGE statement for very little money. It is so hard to find huge art to fill a big space (that isn’t crazy expensive)!

You’ll notice my little quote on the gallery wall is gone – it had to go when we had everything painted:

DIY sunburst mirror

I left it open for now because I’m debating if I’ll put up something different or just rearrange the photos.

I seriously ogle them every time I go up or down the stairs:

So here’s the comparison side by side – the Ballard version that is 48 wide and $350, and mine that’s 34 inches and cost $10 each:

Ballard designs knock off mirror knock off sunburst mirror 

Hellooooo, that is AWESOME! The cost was $4 for two packages of shims from True Value, the $5 mirror from Hobby Lobby and the scrap wood for the base. I had everything else.

Sooo, I’m about a year late on the sunburst mirror trend, right? And I’m sure I’m not the first one to figure out how to make it this way – but I LOVE how they turned out! And I love figuring out how to save $340 on something I love. :) Best part, yes?


I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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