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How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

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Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

I've been in my new home for 3 months now and I am in love with it. The kitchen stinks because it's tiny and there is no dish washer and we need to install a garage door opener, but other than that this house is dang fab! 

A lot of our stuff didn't make the cut when trying to figure out what to pack, simply because lots of things were cheaper to purchase new than to move. Add on top that Rob and I wanted to pick things out together to decorate our first home together and only the most loved decor items actually made the cut. 

Now that we're fairly settled we're starting to decorate together. I've always let my master bedroom fall by the wayside, instead choosing to spend decorating money on other rooms of the home that guests actually visit but after decorating the old master to stage it to sell, we realized just how awesome it is to have a beautiful bedroom! This mirror is the first of many DIY touches being added to our modern decor bits we've picked up here and there!

What you need:

For this project you will need:

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

You'll need approximately 16 packages of wood shims from the hardware store. I paid around $1.70 per package. Be sure you purchase wood and not composite shims.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

Paint all of your wood shims. If you hold them together the same way they came out of the package you can quickly and easily paint the tops, bottoms and front of them all in one go. Then you'll need to paint approximately half of the shim from the fatter side down.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

Grab your Aleene's Wood Glue and get ready to start forming the sections for the starburst!

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

You'll piece 5 shims together for your first set of sections. The middle will the the tallest and flanked by 2 shorter and then 2 shorter still.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

You'll have something that looks like this...

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

Tape each set together with masking tape and set aside to dry completely, preferably overnight.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

Continue building your starburst shape by attaching sections together. To make the interesting shape you'll want to imitate the look above. Tape each section together and allow to dry, overnight is preferable.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

Once you get these larger sections it's time to glue them all together to form your circular shape. If you haven't let your sections dry all of the way, you're going to find yourself in a bit of a pickle as things are going to try to come apart on you, so be sure that these guys are totally dry before removing the tape from every piece!

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

Flip the entire thing over, fitting it together nicely. Now some shims aren't 100% perfect so you might have a few gaps. If you're worried about this pay better attention to each shim as you build out your mirror. I only had 6 shims left over when all was said and done, so if you want to be selective be sure to grab another package of shims for backups.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

To help brace our mirror we are going to add wood to the backside. You can do this while the glue from the previous step is still wet. Place an ample amount of glue onto the circular wood piece and then place on the center, back of the starburst. Place heavy books, or other weights, onto and allow to dry, at least overnight. Glue a second wooden circle onto the front side and allow to dry, at least several hours.


You'll find these circular pieces in the woodworking area of crafting stores.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

To add some interest to this piece we're going to distress it a bit with some wood stain. Anything from medium to dark will work, but be sure to test a sample on an unused, painted shim to be sure you'll be happy with the results.


Fully stain the center wooden circle and then brush on and quickly wipe away stain onto the colorful shims. Repeat as many times as necessary to get the amount of distress you're looking for.


To finish go around the edges and dry brush stain onto the sides of the mirror. You can see the difference in the bottom left-hand corner (7-8 o'clock) versus the upper left-hand corner (9-10 o'clock). Allow the stain to dry completely before gluing the mirror to the center of the piece using Aleene's The Ultimate - wood glue in this instance will not work - trust me, I tried :)

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

To finish use hook eyes and picture wire to the backside of the mirror.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

This guy is super heavy so be sure to hang appropriately. Mine is hung on a large screw going straight into a stud.

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

If you don't have a stud where you plan to hang your mirror, check out 60 pound Monkey Hooks. Those things are fab!

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial

Lovely! My new little home is coming together quite well!

Picture of How to Glue Wood to Wood - Wooden Shim Starburst Mirror Tutorial



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Published Date

January 29, 2016