DIY Stained Wood Shim Starburst Mirror

I am absolutely thrilled with how my DIY stained wood shim mirror turned out.  I know there are a zillion tutorials out there for making mirrors like this.  However, I think I am the only crazy one that sanded and stained 315 wood shims.  That part was not for the weak of heart.  Me-oh-my!  But I love it, I love it, I love it and don’t regret the decision for one minute!

stained wood shim starburst mirror

I swear in nearly every Better Homes & Gardens picture I see of a bedroom there is a starburst mirror above the headboard.  I have fallen in love with the classic look of these mirrors.  I was drooling over a few but they never went down in price ($300+!) so I decided it was time to make one.

wood shim starburst mirror


Loctite Power Grab adhesive (pressurized can)

Loctite PL 520 Mirror adhesive

8 packs of 12” wood shims (Lowes – $3.87 each)

4 types of wood stain (I used Minwax Natural, Early American, Puritan Pine, English Chestnut ) <—Amazon affiliate links)

electric sander with 150 grit sandpaper

gloves and an old t-shirt for staining

scrap piece of 1/4” luan


French Cleat

14″ Round Beveled Mirror

1.  I started by sanding each of the 315 wood shims I used.  You don’t have to do this but some of them are really rough so I thought to make it look as nice as possible I would spend the time sanding them.

2.  Next I stained all of them with the 4 different shades of stain.  I didn’t stain the entire thing just the edge I was using, the tip and down the sides (this saved on stain).

stained shim

Here are the the colors so you can see the different variances in the wood tones.

stained wood shims for mirror

3.  I put them together the way I liked them.  I tried not to make a pattern and be as random as I possibly could – which was hard for me.  I used a paint can in the middle so I could line them all up.

wood starburst mirror

4. I grouped them together in stacks of 9 and glued them together with the Loctitie Power Grab Adhesive in the pressurized can.  It was awesome and super easy to use.  Because it did such a great grab of holding I didn’t have to use clamps.  Bonus!  On each additional stack of nine I used the previous stack to line up the shims so they were exact to each other.  No worries if a little of the glue seeps out, go ahead and wipe off the excess – it does dry clear.

wood starburst

glueing the shims for the starburst mirror

5.  Then I cut out a circle-ish piece of 1/4” luan with my jigsaw.  I flipped over all my stacks of shims (so the unfinished side was up) and glued each of them with the Loctite Power Grab together.  Then I glued the luan on top of that.  I let it sit overnight with some weight on it.

DIY starburst mirror

6.  The next day I glued the mirror on with the Loctite PL520 Mirror adhesive.  It is very important to use the right kind of adhesive with mirrors or else it can pull up the silvering on the back.  I let that sit overnight with some weigh on it to.

7.  Since it weighed a ton, I used a french cleat on the back of mine.  All you have to do is attach it to the mirror and attach the other side to the wall and it locks in place.

french cleat on mirror  hanging the starburst mirror

I was going to put it over my bed but it was too big so I ended up putting it in my previous guest room with the serpentine dresser and coral lamp in my old house.  The overall finished size was 34” in diameter.

wood starburst mirror with serpentine dresser

And a few close ups.  Isn’t the different color wood beautiful?

stained wood shims

wood starburst mirror tutorial



Lovely isn’t it?

Here it is in my new home paired with the 2×4 industrial wood cart I built…

DIY cart plan with 2x4



  1. Well that is amazing 🙂 I have a thrift store mirror that I want to turn into a sunburst mirror. This is just beautiful!

  2. That is gorgeous!!!

  3. I never felt inclined to have a starburst mirror, until I saw this on your facebook page! I have to make it! I love the variations in stain – it’s just beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is very impressive. I love the color and like that it’s unique. How long did it take you to make it?

    • Well, that is hard to say because of dry time. I worked on it over a three day period. The first day I spent four hours sanding and staining. The next day I spent a couple gluing them all together. The last day I added the mirror. It definitely wasn’t a quick project, but I love how it came out!

  5. Is it weird that I’m in love with that picture of your shims on the garage floor showing the different stains!? SO pretty! And the final reveal is gorgeous too! Great job… I might break out my wood shims and actually try again!

  6. Beckie,

    I absolutely love this project! The variations in the stains really give the mirror and frame so much dimension. I have pinned this to my DIY for the home

    Thank you, I will be trying this project!


  7. I love it!! I want to do it in a metallic pewter color, but I love the shape and size of yours! Great job!

  8. It’s beautiful. I love the stain colors you chose, they work so well together.

  9. It’s gorgeous! That is a ton of work though, I’m totally impressed!

  10. Oh my goodness this is Amazing! I have been wanting to do this for so long. You did a beautiful job.

  11. Tracy Snyder says

    It’s gorgeous! I really love the different stains together. Great job!

  12. Wow – I never really loved any of these DIY starburst mirrors until I saw yours! Pinning now…

  13. Such a great job, congrats!!

  14. I will have to say that you are one patient woman….and it paid off. Your mirror is beautiful.

  15. love your creation and have to admit, it looks amazing over your dresser – perhaps even more than the painting 😉

  16. Great job! I admire your patience in sanding and staining all those shims. The result is outstanding, though. And it looks great over the dresser.

    • Yeah, I surprised myself a little with my patience with the sanding. I knew it was necessary though to get a better finish so I suffered through. 😉 I am loving it over the dresser too even though it wasn’t my original plan. Thanks so much!

  17. Cathy Johnson says

    Absolutely beautiful! You have so inspired me!

  18. Jackie Sorich says

    This is beautiful. The different stains add depth and movement, you did a great job and the tutorial is excellent.
    Shims are neat. Thinking that faux pallet art could be done with a couple of packages of shims, low cost and big fun.
    Thank you for the delightful inspiration.

  19. You are one amazingly patient DIY’er! I would go bonkers on that “little” craft. Congrats and I love it! Great work Beckie! And I have to add that the piece of furniture you have looks like MMS type furniture. I think she would be all over that piece! Have you ever tried her paints?

    • I actually haven’t, but she is a GREAT friend of mine and has offered to send me her paints. I just haven’t taken her up on it yet, but I definitely need to.

      • I just love how the blogging world creates friendships among women who have blogs. What a GREAT benefit to the blog work–create, share, inspire, have fun, and meet other amazingly talented women with similar interests and passions!

  20. That looks so great! I absolutely love that.

  21. Came out BEAUTIFUL!!! Love it.

  22. In step seven, do you mean that you attached the cleat to the luan, not the mirror. I don’t see how you would attach it to the mirror now and it might confuse people.

  23. WOW! I’d really love to make one of these, but with my less than stellar time management skills, I’d probably be better off re-painting my faux one! LOL

  24. It turned out absolutely amazing!!!

  25. Wow! Love it! Visiting from Hometalk. I can’t wait to make one of these! Great job!

  26. I love this!! The different stain colors really make it pop! Pinning now, to make for later!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Char @ His and Her Restoration

  27. Beckie, that is gorgeous! I am so impressed! I pinned it, but I’m not sure if I will ever be that patient.

  28. pam murphy says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I have seen so oooo many sunburst mirrors but this is by far THE MOST BEAUTIFUL!!! I am going to try & tackle this for my bedroom! Love the different stains you chose! Bravo!!

  29. pam murphy says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I have seen so oooo many sunburst mirrors but this is by far THE MOST BEAUTIFUL!!! I am going to try &; tackle this for my bedroom! Love the different stains you chose! Bravo!!

  30. Very nice! I made one out of dowels 2 yrs ago. I painted them in silver metallic paint. Turned out beautiful. I may have to make all these mirrors in this column on Zite.
    BTW….I also have that same dresser. Did you add that decorative scroll at the bottom? I treasure that dresser. Many hours of sweat and tears to sand and stain went into it.
    Just love your mirror!

  31. Lisa Baumgarten says

    This is awesome! I only see one problem….I will be making this for my entire family when they see this!

  32. Abbey DeHart says

    This is just stunning. I think I need to make one for my living room…just need to find the time 🙂

  33. Visiting from Hometalk and so glad for these easy-to-follow instructions. Can’t wait to get started!

  34. Hey Beckie,
    Wow! Stunning creation. I just loved this starburst mirror 🙂

  35. Did you need all of the stain, or could a smaller tin have done the same?


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