When asked to put together a list of projects I would consider doing for HGTV.com, I recalled this sketch of a sunburst mirror. It was something I had thought about making awhile ago and so added the idea to the list. It could be fun...and I would finally have a reason to purchase a glue gun!
To get this project started I purchased a bundle of branches from Ikea. After looking at several options I chose these because they were fairly straight, which would be key to the success of the project. Then midway through making the mirror the branches started looking a bit like bamboo, and after a quick search I found these thin bamboo sticks at Nettleton Hollow. Shoot! Next time I would definitely consider using them...just an FYI, should you decide to try this yourself.
Other items needed? A mirror with a flat frame to attach the branches onto, this one was found at Target. A glue gun, painter's tape and a small saw. I picked up a hacksaw at Home Depot, as I have no power tools, but a circular saw would have probably made cutting the branches a two minute job. After gathering all the supplies, the branches were cut down to varying lengths of 15 to 20 inches long.
Next "guidelines" were taped onto the mirror. These lines, along with a yardstick, helped the first branches get glued onto the frame pointing in the right direction.
This approach proved to be a success in getting the branches positioned nicely around the mirror in a radiating circle.
Afterwards the areas between these branches were filled in. I was careful to vary the length from branch to branch. Also, because each one did twist and turn in a slightly different direction, with some branches reaching forwards and some reaching backwards, I was careful to vary this aspect as well. The effort did pay off, there is a nice three dimensional effect to the finished product.
I did not skimp on the glue, wanting to make sure the branches were securely attached to the frame. I burnt the tip of my finger once, that was enough to learn my lesson!
At this point I started to have some faith in the project, as it was beginning to show some promise.
Once all the branches were glued around the frame, they were lightly sanded to remove any extra glue that had dried on the top surface of the branches.
Next the mirror surface was covered with paper to protect it while the frame got painted...
...and then the whole thing was moved out to the garage. I devised a stand to place the mirror on while getting painted, three paint cans stacked one on top of the other. It worked great! (The mirror would have been really hard to paint if laying on the ground.)
First primer was applied to the back side.
After drying, the mirror was turned over and primer was applied to the front.
These steps were repeated for paint and finally a gloss finish. I let the paint dry for a day and then the paper was removed. Why do I love this part of a project soooooo much? It's like unwrapping a present!
The finished mirror has been hung in my entry and...while quirky and probably not for everyone...the result is putting a smile on my face! If I get the console staged and the lighting cooperates, look for final photos tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a tiny preview.