for sharing all your neat projects, crafty things and garage-sale, yard-sale and flea-market finds.


Monday, June 7, 2010

StarBurst Mirror

ummmm..... I probably should have cleaned that mirror a little better for the photos.... 


So far I have linked this to an awesome blog 'Between Naps On The Porch', hopefully some one who wants to make one of these might find something useful in my experience....

Hanging this was a nightmare..... it is sharp, they are skewers used to pierce through veggies and such, so my # 1 instruction = BE CAREFUL!. Other than that making this things was a blast! I am always looking for lightweight artwork for my home, I like to change things with the seasons.  I own alot of art and decorative objects that I am no longer in love with = but am not ready to drop the cash on new items...... so thank goodness these fabulous decor bloggers and crafters have come into my life.

While I KNOW this would be even more fabulous as a darker colour I wanted to see how it would look as a bronze shade, instead of black or charcoal coloured like almost everything else I purchase = so I'm trying to branch out colour wise.

On my  skewer star burst, there are a few areas that are un-even but it looks so cool on the wall and I am so proud I made it using only dollar store Items! The lighting in my home is very dark I like it like that but it makes taking great photos very difficult So I am having a hard time getting great photos... Also I have not accessorized my FP mantle yet, so I just have plain photos of this lightweight inexpensive peice of art.

My instruction giving abilities need work, so hopefully what I have missed explaining can be made up in photos♥♥♥

The cost of this project

2 packages of 12 inch skewers @.99 each Loony Twoons Dollar Store
1 pack of 50 12 inch thicker skewers @.99 Dollar-rama Dollar Store
1 pack of Glue gun Glue @ 1.29 - Loony Twoons Dollar Store
1 circular mirror @ 2.00 - A Buck or Two Dollar Store

Because many of the skewers were crooked or cracked I needed two packages. So in total I estimate the cost to me for this project was under $10.00 = Yippee! It took a little longer than I expected but it was ALOT of fun. Most importantly it was LIGHTWEIGHT which means that it did not need to have an anchor bolt or heavy duty wall fixture. I used a tiny thin 1 1/2" screw.

I already had the paint and foam brushes but purchased the brushes and paint becuase I needed more for another future project { and to post what type of paint I use}. I used  a heavy duty pair or snipers, but you can cut these skewers with a pair of stronger scissors or any other means. I just happen to like those things strong green tin snips.

I laid out 12 of the thicker skewers, equally, then as I worked on each section, I cut the skewers accordingly. The measurements I used for my starburst mirror are,

12" = longest and largest skewer
10" = in-between each larger skewer
9" =
8" =
7" =

err...... umm....

I used a brightly coloured wax pencil to mark off the segments and also drew a line ( or circle... haha ) approximately 3/4" following the circumference as a guide line for the placement of the skewers.

Anyhoo - basically after dividing the star burst into segments. I started gluing the skewers into place. I tried to stop and take alot of photos as I anticipated adding this to my blog. I divided those segments with the 10"skewer, and divided those segments with the 7"skewer to try and keep things even.

I actually only used a tiny bit of glue while affixing the skewers onto the base, I wanted to ensure that if I made a mistake they would be easy to remove. It was very easy to add for glue later to really seal these skewers down. So far there have been no problems and this is hanging above my fire place. I did drop this one, and it hurt. Thankfully it did not pierce through my skin, but it hurt...,. so be careful when hanging!

 I am certain  I missed a few important steps and directions..... I will update when necessary♥


this didnt work out as planned - thank goodness I had long thin screws and washers laying around

I had hoped that the 1/4" thickness along with the board and glue I would still be able to get away with using these things t fasten the face of the frame to the back ( with the skewers glued on = nope- didn't work.

Frame with back removed - I put the circular mirror in a safe place during this crafty project

I used the holes as rough guide lines ( time to buy a new 16" ruler = I got alot of use out of this one! )

I used the angles here to sorta get square.... didnt work due to the excess glue when I began gluing the skewers on, as well as the different dimensions of each skewer. They are roughly 1/4" inch thick, but alot were much thinner so it sorta threw my calculations out of whack. but it still turned out lovely.

Foam brushes and paints from the Dollar-rama

In order to pain this mirror frame and not apply the pain too thickly ( causing the detail to be lost) I used 3 thin coats of paint. I affixed a crude handle using a piece of cardboard, and took my time, laying on 3 thin coats. I actually used a blow dryer in between coats becuase I really, really wanted to finish this project.

2nd coat

Here is some designs I toyed around with. There are alot of different ways to make these. Alot of different ways to lay out your star burst. I am looking forward to seeing the patterns other people come up with

This is what I went with

Here are a few more photos of the placement and gluing the skewers on

I used a piece of cardboard to keep the skewers level, otherwise they would point out when it is face forward.

a photo to sorta explain how I arranged these skewers

Copious amounts of glue. I did use less glue than many of the other star-burst mirrors I have seen, becuase I used skewers instead of dowels, which are much heavier than skewers.

Filling in a few spots.......This is gluing the underside after all my skewers have been affixed.

All skewers are glues on, awaiting painting

Here I have laid the mirror on top to see my progress.... look'in good!

I painted the back first, using the paint I mixed up, and using a small foam brush.

Here it is painted, with 3 coats of paint, I took my time and was sure to cover all areas, when it was dry I applies Plaid Water Based Satin Finish Varnish, just for a little sheen. I used 2 thin coats  on the entire piece.

I had hoped I could get away with using the fastening system that this picture frame already had, but I ended up digging through my container of screws and finding 3 long similar dimension screws that were much longer than what originally came with this mirror. I needed to use washers and some other creative methods becuase the hole was now too big......

And here is the backside finished. I added small felt pads to protect my wall from the protruding screws, I also had to GENTLY bend the hanger thing to catch the screw I inserted into my wall to hang this.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chopstick Sunburst Mirror Trio

above - Chopstick sunburst mirror

 I have been on the hunt for lightweight decorative wall art with no luck - and so I decided to make my own. I stopped into my local dollar stores and grabbed a few packages of chopsticks, some 5" circular mirrors. I am always stocked up on glue sticks and craft paint, which can be found at my local dollar stores.
Everything I have used for this project was bought at 'The .99 cent Store', 'Dollarrama', and 'A Buck or Two' in my town. The total cost for these 3 sunburst mirrors is approximately;
3 -packages of medium sized chopsticks  ($1.29 ea x 3) = $3.87
3 -5" mirrors @ $1 each = $3.00
1 piece of felt = = $0.33
1 package of Glue Sticks = $1.00 

I already had the paint, I used DecoArt 'Burnt Umber' and DecoArt 'Gold' and 'DecoArt Silver, I also had the foam brushes as well as the cardboard laying around. I wanted to use thin balsa wood circles that can be found at craft stores but I started the project later in the evening and did not want to visit the store.... So I just used cardboard that I cut into disks.
LITERALLY EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE SCRAP PIECES OF CARDBOARD CAME FROM LOCAL DOLLAR STORES IN MY TOWN! If I was to buy all supplies needed to make this project I would estimate it at $15.00 Canadian with all items available at local dollar stores in my town.
Please forgive my lack of instruction giving skills, hopefully things can be sorted out by the photos, but basically I cut out 3 small cardboard circles and 3 slightly larger circles. I used a large piece of cardboard as a template to keep this sunburst somewhat square, and to ensure that when the chopsticks were glued ontot the small circle they would remain flush and even with the mirror. In the large piece of scrap cardboard which was acting as a sorta template, I cut OUT a circle with the same dimensions as the circle I was gluing the chopsticks to, this enabled me to keep the chopsticks level. I inserted the corresponding cardboard cut out circle into that spot and affixed the smaller circle on top of that, with a screw. This worked as a guideline for where to place the glue and affix the chopstick tot the larger circle

I know I could have glued the chopsticks directly to the mirror, but I chose to do it this way for several reasons. The first is that I have never attempted a project like this and these were the last 3 mirrors of this size available from the store where I found them. They are extremely lightweight and were only $1.00 CAD. If I screwed this up, I would have to purchase $80 dollar 5" mirrors from Micheal's ( sarcastic.... ) and I really wanted to keep costs down.
 I used a full bottle of Burnt Umber which is 4 oz. or 118 ml..... I poured out approximately 1/4 of it, then added gold and silver paint to get the color I used, which is a sorta dark bronze colour. These have no shine to them with the exception of the mirror, of course. I like that they are matte, and just appreciate the shape of them as well a s the line in each pair of chopsticks.
This could easily be spray painted, which would speed up the time to make these, but I chose dollar store crafts paints for environmental reasons as well as costs, plus I had no place to use spray paint at the moment as this was a late night craft.

I am extremely happy with this lightweight wall art, It took a little longer than I anticipated, but I enjoyed making these and am already working on 3 other lightweight and INEXPENSIVE pieces of wall art.

Also - keep that glue gun plugged in...... I had to add a little more glue here and there even as I was putting the final coat of paint on these♥

Here is the first one I finished hung in my kitchen......... Can you see my cloche that I made? I friggen love decorating blogs = thank you for all the great ideas..... Actually I cant thank you enough.

At the moment these are living on top of my enormous buffet, but they will be above my bed. This was the best lighting I had to take photos on this cloudy day~ so I hung them up here temporarily. So far they are in great shape, one even fell off the wall while I was hanging it and none of the chopsticks came loose, thank goodness!

These chopsticks are stuck together at the top, I left them intact and just painted them with Deco Art craft paint that can be found at the dollar store.

The paint I used

I wanted to be sure there was no bare spots on my chopsticks, so I painted a coat on each one using a foam brush.... It did take a while but it was relaxing and meditative to do............. This photo is not the final colour, I used a small foam craft brush for this project, you could use spray paint but I love the environment and also strive to use  tems that were found at the dollar store.

Here is a few designs I toyed around with before I started

I used this 'thing' to create the cardboard circles that I glued the chopsticks to...... If you can find thin balsa wood circles at Micheal's or Hobby lobby - I would go with that route before the cardboard.... when I started this project it was late in the evening and I did not feel like going out to the store.

I used this piece of cardboard as a rough template to keep things level and somewhat lined up.... I lined up 4 chopsticks to divide the sunburst into quarters, and then just eyeballed the rest. Here is the first part of the sunburst glued in place.

I will end up having to snip some of the chopsticks so they fit in between the first row of the sunburst... due to the irregular sizes of each one, as well as some of the chopsticks being glued in the wrong spot { just slightly in the wrong spot}

Here it is with the first chopsticks glued to  he cardboard circle......it is flipped upside down and the chopsticks are laying flush with my work table.....

This is the back view of the sunburst, below

I used a piece of paper as a loose guideline to where the second burst of chopsticks should go while I was gluing them on ..... I did have to cut some to a point to fit within the first row of chopsticks.....

At this time I also used a thick and tough piece of wire to create a hanger for the sunburst. Next time I am using a plate hanger, as I have read this will work as well♥

Here it is with the mirror on top. This is before the final painting, and before I loaded this up with an obscene amount of glue-gun glue.

I cut out circles from black craft foam, to cover  the back of the sunburst, this will protect the wall from the crude wire hanger I made, as well as offer a little more stability and hide the glue.

I used the mirror as a rough template and cut black craft foam about 1/4" larger then the actual mirror. Because there is alot of texture due to the glue 'lumps' it would have to be slightly larger to take into account the lumps of cooled glue gun glue as well as any other un-for-seen  issues......

Cut out black felt circle also from the .99cent store

 I used these small felt pads on a few chopsticks to ensure that the sunburst would not be flush against the wall.