Monday, December 2, 2013

Ikea Hack: DIY Sunburst Kolja Mirror for less than $20

In my previous post, I revealed my made-over dining room. Although I'm still accessorizing, I didn't want to leave the walls blank. DIY wall decor was an absolute necessity. I love the look of sunburst mirrors. Retro but chic. Delicate but substantial. I especially love large sunburst mirrors, but I'm not so crazy about the large price tags that often accompany them. There are tons of DIY sunburst mirrors out there to look at, so I knew before I started this project that there were a few key characteristics that really appealed to me: a large mirror as a base, slender spokes that are close together and of varying lengths. This mirror from Apartment Therapy was especially inspiring to me.

I started with the Kolja round mirror from IKEA. At $14.99 for a 22 in. mirror, I couldn't ask for a much cheaper base! Let me say right now, it is difficult to wield a large mirror with no frame. If you don't have a giant husband with a condor-like wingspan, you might want to reconsider the scale here. I only had to purchase 2 packs of wooden barbeque skewers from the dollar store to complete this project--I had the other supplies on hand. .

Here are the supplies I used:
1 mirror
1 tube liquid nails (I didn't use anywhere near a full tube)
1 glue gun/sticks
2 packages wooden skewers (I got mine at the dollar store)
Nippers/tough scissors
Scrap wood
Paint or stain (optional)

First I counted and cut my skewers to the appropriate lengths. The measurements that follow resulted in a mirror that is 41" in diameter. It is perfect for filling up a large wall, but I want to reiterate that it is difficult to carry!

16  10.5-inch skewers
32  9-inch skewers
32  7.5-inch skewers
32  6-inch skewers
32  4.5-inch skewers
16  3-inch skewers

The bottom 1 inch of each skewer was used to adhere it to the back of the mirror, so the visible portion of each spoke is 1 inch shorter than the measurements above. Once all of the skewers were cut, I used liquid nails to affix a relatively large piece of scrap plywood to the back of the mirror. Liquid Nails makes an adhesive intended for mirrors, but the reviews on it are mixed. The manufacturer indicates that the adhesive alone isn't enough to support a mirror. Regular Liquid Nails, on the other hand, can de-silver the back of the mirror. I opted for regular Liquid Nails, figuring I'd rather take my chances with de-silvering than a total collapse. It has been on my wall for a few months with no adverse effects. This piece of plywood had two purposes: it gave me a way of hanging the mirror (I affixed the metal hanger to the wood) and it raised the mirror off of the wall so that it wasn't resting on the delicate skewers.

I measured the circle and divided it into sixteen even sections (yay math!). I ran a bead of Liquid Nails around the rim of the mirror. I placed the skewers with a one inch allowance on the back side. The adhesive does not harden immediately, so there is time to straighten the skewers. Once they were in place, I ran another bead on top of the skewers and used strips of wax paper to press down on the adhesive. Once the glue was dry, I trimmed up the excess paper. I used hot glue to reinforce any sticks that were still wiggly when the adhesive had dried. This is IMPORTANT: I weighted the plywood piece and allowed the Liquid Nails to dry for several days before I attempted to move it.

My aforementioned giant husband carried to mirror outside for me. I taped a sheet of plastic over the mirror's surface for protection, then spray-painted the spokes. In hindsight, I probably would have done this before gluing the skewers down. I painted my sunburst silver, but I also love the look of stained wood.

If you are a fan of sunburst mirrors, but don't want to spend hundreds of dollars to achieve the look, I hope you'll give this a try. Be creative and enjoy!

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