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How to Make a Fabulous DIY Sunburst Mirror for Cheap!

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This simple DIY sunburst mirror tutorial will teach you how to create a fabulous DIY starburst mirror for a fraction of the cost in just 6 easy steps!


Ever since we upholstered our headboard in the master bedroom I’ve been dreaming of a gold sunburst mirror hanging above it on the white shiplap wall… But have you seen how expensive those things are?!

There is no such thing as a cheap sunburst mirror when it comes to shopping retail. Below are the three I used as inspiration, each of them costing hundreds of dollars.

I knew I could create something that looked the same for just a fraction of the cost!


To be honest, I hadn’t planned on doing this project this week, but my kids and I stopped by Hobby Lobby and as we walked down the mirror aisle (theirs was $60 and about half the size) I felt inspired!

So we headed back to the crafting section and grabbed dowels, spray paint and a styrofoam ball. It was completely spontaneous and I got really lucky with how everything worked out.

That being said, now you can shop and create with confidence knowing I’ve taken all the guess work out of it for you! 😉 I hope you enjoy this simple sunburst mirror DIY tutorial!

Neutral bed with upholstered headboard on a white shiplap wall with a sunburst mirror above.



For a printable copy of the materials and instructions, scroll down.

Materials Needed:

Tools Needed:

How to Make a Sunburst Mirror

STEP 1: Prep Materials

The first thing I did was cut a flat disc out the middle out of my styrofoam ball.

I wasn’t sure when I bought the ball if I wanted this to be a flat sunburst mirror or a dome-style urchin, so I bought the ball to accommodate either…

Knowing now what I ended up doing, purchasing a disc from the get-go would eliminate the need for the step.

sunburst mirror

Next I had to figure out the pattern I wanted to do with the dowels, how many I needed in each length, and if I had enough with the random quantity of 20 dowels I bought…

Good thing for you, I already did all this engineering and I’ll just give you the simple details.

You want use your chop saw to cut 8 of your dowels in half (2 at 18″), 8 of your dowels into four pieces (2 at 6″ and 2 at 12″) and 4 of your dowels into fourths (4 at 9″). That should give you 16 total of each length: 6″, 9″, 12″, 18″. The pattern will be installed as follows:

18″ – 6″ – 9″ – 12″ – 18″ – 12″ – 9″ – 6″

and you will repeat this 8 times around.

After your dowels are all cut, you’ll want to measure and mark 1/2″ from the end on each one so you know how far to push them into the styrofoam later.

sunburst mirror


STEP 2: Install Dowels

First, measure the circumference of your styrofoam disc – mine was 15″ so I knew my first 8 dowels would be 1.875″ apart (15″/8).

I used my flexible, sewing measuring tape to measure and mark those spots around the edge of the disc.

To install the dowels I put a glob of hot glue on the end and just pushed it into the edge of the styrofoam disc up to the 1/2″ mark I made in the last step.

Then I repeated the process of measuring, marking, gluing, and installing the second eight 18″ dowels.

After all the 18″ dowels were installed, I installed the 9″dowels.

These went halfway between every two 18″ dowel, so I just went around and installed them in the middle of each gap.

The next two lengths are kind of tricky because you have to keep track of the pattern. I thought it would be easiest to give you a step-by-step drawing of the dowel installations, starting from the beginning:

After all of your dowels are installed, you’ll want to place a bead of hot glue along them all the way around and on both sides.

I did one side, let it dry for 5 minutes, then turned it over and did the other side. This will give them some more stability so they don’t shift around or fall out.

sunburst mirror

STEP 3: Glue on Glass Center

Cover the front of the styrofoam (this can be either side – I chose the less nice looking of the two since I was covering it up) with Liquid Nails.

I layered mine on thick because my styrofoam wasn’t cut super flat and I needed it to fill in some imperfections. If you start with a disc, you probably won’t need anywhere near this much.

Then, push the glass candle holder top-down onto the styrofoam.

You should have the three little “feet” of the candle holder on top – those are what you’ll eventually glue your mirror to.


STEP 4: Spray Paint

Now, it’s time to paint! I used a gold metallic spray paint, but you really could use any color your heart desires.

You’ll want to paint at least one coat on both sides. I always start with the front so I can do a second coat on the front and not the back if I want to (front, back, front.)

I painted a good coat on the glass center and then individually painted each dowel around. On the second (back) coat, I also made sure the very end of each dowel was painted.

Let dry for at least 30 minutes between coats and 2 hours before moving on to the next step.

sunburst mirror
STEP 5: Glue on Mirror

Once your paint is all dry and ready to work with it’s time to glue on your mirror.

Place a large blob of hot glue on each of the glass candle holder’s “feet” and press the mirror on top. I just eye-balled center…

This does leave a bit of a gap between the gold glass center and the mirror, but I don’t even notice it when it’s hanging on the wall. If you really don’t like the gap you could always glue some twine or ribbon around the edge of the mirror to fill it in.

STEP 6: Install Hook and Hang

Last, but definitely not least, you need to install the hook for hanging it on the wall.

I honestly had no idea what I was going to do for this until I actually got to this step… Chris has a small drawer of random hardware and I found this small metal hook in there that worked perfectly.

Just bend the end at a 90 degree angle from your hook, place hot glue on the end, and shove it into the styrofoam near the edge. I also placed some extra glue at its base once it was installed.

Now go hang it on the wall and admire your fabulous creation! 🙂

I’m loving mine above our bed. It’s simply beautiful.

Straight on view of upholstered bed against a shiplap wall with a gold diy starburst mirror above.

Not to mention, such a simple project! If you’re looking for an easy way to style up your home, I’d encourage you to give this sunburst wall decor DIY project a try!

Here are your printable instructions:

Yield: 1 Mirror

DIY Sunburst Mirror

Gold DIY sunburst mirror hanging on white shiplap.

A simple tutorial for a DIY Sunburst Mirror that looks designer but costs a fraction of the cost.

Active Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $20


  1. Cut your dowels into the following sizes: 8 dowels in half (2 at 18"), 8 dowels into four pieces (2 at 6" and 2 at 12"), 4 dowels into fourths (4 at 9")
  2. Mark 1/2" from the end on each dowel with a pen.
  3. Install the dowels into the edge of the foam disc by putting a blog of hot glue on the end and inserting into the disc in this order: 18" - 6" - 9" - 12" - 18" - 12" - 9" - 6"
  4. Place a ring of glue around the seam between the dowels and foam disc on both sides.
  5. Use liquid nails to glue the glass candle holder to the foam disc on both sides.
  6. Spray paint the entire thing with two coats on each side. Make sure you paint the ends of all the dowels.
  7. Use hot glue to glue the mirror onto the glass candle holder.
  8. Bend your small hook by 90 degrees and glue the end into the back of the styrofoam disc.
  9. Hang on a nail and enjoy!

As always, let me know if you have any questions about making a DIY sunburst mirror with wood dowels!


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6 thoughts on “How to Make a Fabulous DIY Sunburst Mirror for Cheap!”

  1. Yay! I’m so glad it was helpful and that you were able to make yourself a gorgeous mirror!! 🙂

  2. This was an AMAZING diy tutorial! I’ve seen plenty and you both explained clearly, provided pics and didn’t overexplain. The diagram was extremely helpful.

    At first I had a hard time pushing the sticks in, it wouldn’t budge and then would drive in. One thing that I found helpful was to make little “pilot holes” in the styrofoam disc for the sticks using a toothpick and then they would go in easier.

    I now have a gorgeous sunburst mirror. Thank you!!

  3. Hi! So excited to try this out this week! Can you clarify the candle holder? I’m not wrapping my head around how the holder is glued to both sides? Is it a really shallow holder? Did you buy 2?


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