Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sunburst Mirror using Shims

I thought I'd have so much more time to craft and clean the house and basically fill my time with fun stuff after the wedding and holidays past.  Boy, I was wrong!  We have been so incredibly busy the past few months I haven't really had too much time around the house to be crafty.

We did have a cold weekend a few weeks back and I decided it was time to make something for above our bed.  It was a huge empty, white space that was in desperate need of some pop of color.

The mirror is perfect for the space
Of course I turned to Pinterest and was drawn to the many Sunburst Mirrors out there.  Like this one and this one and this one.  Ultimately I was drawn to this one from Tonya of the Love Of Family & Home blog.

I gathered all of my supplies:

  • 3 packages of shims from The Home Depot (I only used 2)
  • Gorilla Glue Wood Glue, you'll need a lot
  • Craft Paint
  • Circular picture frame with hanging hook already in place
  • 5" mirror
  • Sandpaper
Some bloggers have noted using a scrap piece of plywood and a picture framing hook instead of the picture frame and to be honest that was my plan, but I found a 12 inch circular picture frame at Michael's for $3 and grabbed it.  

My first step was to go through the packages of shims and find all the pretty ones.  You'll know what I mean.  You want some uniformity across the shims, so make sure you pull out the ones that look the best and are the strongest.  Once you have all of the shims, it's time to sand them down.  You can probably skip this step, but I wanted to make sure I didn't have random wood splinters sticking off of some of the shims.  It will take 10 minutes to sand them, just do it.  Also, if you're going to attach your hanging kit to the back of your scrap plywood, do it now.  Don't wait until the shims are glued down!  Once those babies are attached, it is very difficult to move around.  

Painting and gluing begins
Once everything was sanded, I laid out the pattern that I wanted for the sunburst.  There are so many ways you can go with this, do what makes you happy.  I chose to lay my shims flat, others have made a design with the shims on their side.  Be creative.  When you have your layout worked out, with a light pencil, mark your layers if you're like me and did two layers with different colors.  This keeps everything organized when it's time to paint.  

I painted each of my shims their appropriate color (leaving the backside unpainted) and let them dry overnight.  I probably didn't need to wait that long, but I wanted to be sure the wood glue would have no problem sticking.  I would have also painted my picture frame (or plywood) the color of the bottom layer, but I didn't.  Learn from me.  Do it.  

When the paint was dry, it was time to glue.  I used Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and I wasn't shy about how much I used.  I put a generous amount on the back of each shim and placed them down on the picture frame.  To make sure they stayed in place and that the glue held them down with no chance of them falling onto our faces in the middle of the night I put a scrap piece of paper on top of the shims where they were glued down and then put the two heaviest, thickest books I had on top.  I left them there over night.  I wanted those suckers to stay.  In the morning, I removed the books and let the glue dry the rest of the day while I was at work.  The following night it was time to add the 2nd layer.  Because these overlapped I only did 3-4 of these at a time.  Same process - generous amounts of wood glue, placed on the picture frame, held down with heavy books overnight.  I wasn't planning on the project taking a week, but it did.  

Once all the shims were in place and there is no chance that they're coming off, attach the mirror.  Same process - lots of wood glue, heavy books overnight.  I actually left the books on the mirror for a full 24 hours, just to be safe.  

When it was ready to go Stephen and I measured and hung it on the wall!  (Shhh - it may have taken 3 time to get it right, but all evidence is hidden.)  I love it.  Even the small mirror makes such a difference in the room, reflecting the light from the window.  The finished project is 3.5' to 4' across, not a small piece of art.  Yours will depend on how you place your shims, so make sure you have enough space and measure while you're laying it all out in the beginning.  

While I was taking pictures of the mirror on the wall, Mabel wanted to get in on the action.  I saw her coming towards the bed while I was taking pictures and I waited to see what she was going to do.  

Classic photobomb.  She jumped up on the bed, right in front of me and sat there.  I love it.  She knew something other than her had my attention and she was jealous.  I love that pup.