How to Make a Chrysanthemum Style Sunburst Mirror with Plastic Spoons

I have been working on this project for what feels like forever. Perhaps because I started it a year ago and then hung it on my wall (unfinished) to get it out of the way. And then I finished it this week. Finally. Two weeks before I move to a totally new house. Ha!

The move was my incentive to finally get this thing finished. Since I worked so hard on my dining room makeover and since I'm moving away from said dining room in two weeks I figured I had better actually finish it if I want nice pictures, eh? Ain't no minute like the very last minute.


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Step 1: Make backing
Plywood would also make an excellent (albeit heavier) backing for this. I chose to use foam core and yard sticks for two reasons: 
  1. I had them on hand already
  2. They are very light weight - making it easier to hang.
The size I wanted my mirror was larger than the width of the foam core, so I cut two extra slices from a second piece of foam core and added them to either side of the first board. I ran a length of white Duck tape down the length of the foam core seams to join the pieces. 

On the opposite side of the foam core, I laid a yard stick centered on each seam and went over the top of the yard stick with the Duck tape in order to adhere the yard stick to the foam core as well as strengthen the seam with the yard stick.

To trace out the circle, I put a straight pin in the center and tied a length of yarn to a pencil and used it as a compass to trace out a perfect circle. Once it was drawn, I went over it with a sharpie to see it more clearly.

I used my jig saw to cut out the circle. As you can see (below), the original yard stick supports (the ones on the top and bottom of the circle) are very close to the edge. To add more support to the circle, I cut short lengths from the third yard stick to place between the original supports to serve as braces. I attached these to the foam core using the pro strength hot glue and re-enforced it with strips of Duck tape.

To clean up the edge, I ran more Duck tape around the perimeter and folded it down. If the edge is a little wonky, that's ok. Spoons will cover a multitude of sins.

Step 2: Assemble the mirror
Before you get started placing spoons, you first need to center the mirror on the non-yard stick-side of the backing and trace the outline. 

Next, remove the handles from the spoons. I found this easiest to do with the Fiskars shop snips (Normal scissors are too weak, a saw is too powerful). If you cut too close to the bowl, the bowl will crack. If you cut too far away, you'll have too much of a stem. Experiment a bit with what works best for you. Once you've got a nice pile of spoon heads, fire up your glue gun! 

Keeping in mind that the spoons will get closer and closer together with each row, be sure to space them out when you do the first, outermost row. To hide the edge of the foam board, be sure to also extend the spoons about halfway beyond the edge.

For the next row of spoons, center each spoon in between two spoons from the first row. For the third row, center the spoons between two spoons from the second row and so on.

As you get close to the center, go ahead and glue the mirror to the foam core. Do not skimp on glue for this part - the glue is the only thing that will be holding that mirror on so be sure to be generous! If you used cheap glue for the spoons do not use cheap glue to mount the mirror! Go to the store and get Pro Strength Hot Glue Sticks. I cannot emphasize this enough. After you have spent this much time making a pretty mirror, you want to protect your investment by using good glue so it stays together.

Add one final row of spoons with the lower edges resting around the mirror.

Of course, this isn't terribly pretty so to clean up the edge around the mirror, we will use beads. String the pearl beads (faux, of course!) together to create a string long enough to go around the perimeter of the mirror. 

Place a dab of glue on the end of one of the spoons to attach the first pearl. Working carefully, glue down the string of beads all the way around the perimeter of the mirror. Use the tension in the string to help keep the beads all touching and the line pretty.

When you get back to your starting place, trim away the rest of the beading string and adhere well with hot glue. Remember: the glue will be the only thing holding the beads on so don't be stingy!

Step 3: Paint

Glossy plastic spoons are hardly the best finish and the finish on the pearls surely won't match. To fix this, we are going to use spray paint to create a smooth finish.

To prep the mirror for painting, carefully use masking tape and scrap paper to tape off the mirror and protect it. Be sure the tape isn't accidentally covering any of the beads!

Then, bring your mirror outside to a well ventilated area and carefully spray paint it with the Krylon plastic fusion spray paint. I chose this paint due to its superior adhesion to plastic. Take your time and be sure to get it from all angles. Let it sit outside to dry and air out for at least one hour (or longer - the longer the better!)

Step 4: Finish and hang
To finish the mirror, carefully peel up the masking tape and remove the paper. To hang, use 4 of the 3M hanging strips on the back along the yard sticks that serve as braces (2 on each side). Clean the mirror with some glass cleaner and you are all done!

This was the final major project in my dining room makeover series. Stay tuned because later this week, I give you the final reveal!

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