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