Friday, June 14, 2013

Manila folder sunburst mirror, aka a mirror that won't hurt your head!

On the first floor we have two bedrooms; the larger of the two is my parents’ room for when they stay over on the weekends. I am still trying to decorate their room whenever I get some free time.  It’s difficult because they have this huge wood king size bed with matching night stands that take up 70 percent of the room already and then my dad built this shallow bookcase to put their TV on, let’s just say they have certain requirements with little room for me to work around. 
The wall that the bed is against is empty, due to their fear of something will fall on their heads in the middle of the night.  It would be a legitimate fear if we were living in an earthquake-prone zone, but not in NYC.   Still my mom refused to hang anything there and it was driving me crazy whenever I looked at the empty wall.  A few weeks ago, I spotted these trio of mirrors in Target (turns out a lot of bloggers have them also, ahh bloggers and sunburst mirrors, we just can’t seem to say No); anyway, they were light (made out of some sort of plastic, I think?), so I finally convinced her to let me hang them over the bed.  However, it just didn’t seem right; the bed was too big for the mirrors. 
So, one bored afternoon at work got my mind wandering, I spotted some manila folders on the desk and the mind started plotting up ideas.  I remembered seeing a tutorial on making sunburst mirror out of poster boards on theNester.com.  I also have not been able to get this sunburst mirror out of my mind, and the room in general, sooo gorgeous.

So I cut the folder into half and folded it into three parts, drew a simple petal shape and started cutting.  I tried with one folder and it looked promising, I decided to curl the edge a little with a pen to achieve a look similar to the sunburst mirror in Architectural Digest.

Turned out pretty nice, I couldn’t wait to get home to try! But I did not have the time to tackle the project until the weekend.
It was pretty simple, here are the steps:
-Cut the folder into two halves (one side will be about an inch bigger than the other, but it’s okay)
-Fold each half into three, I just eyeballed it.
-Cut the petal shape (I drew the petal on the first one, then I used that as a template to do the rest)
-Use a pencil or chopsticks to curl the edge lightly in the direction of the petal. The curl helps to hide any imperfections in the cutting also.

-Each folder will give you six petals, I did about 10 folders, then I started assembling the “flower”. 
-I had some small round mirrors I got from the $99 cent store but in the end I decided it was easier to use one of the three mirrors from Target since it already had the hook attached.
-There is no specific pattern, I started with four (North, South, East, West) then kept on building out, trying to keep the shape pretty even. 

-Take a photo of the petal arrangement if you afraid you will forget.
-I used hot glue due to its quick drying time.  For the first four petals, I have the mirror facing down and glue from the back to make sure that I wasn’t blocking the hanging hook. For the rest of the petals I found it was easier to glue with the mirror facing me and just lift the mirror a bit to slide the petal under.  That way I can see how the petal is lining up.

-After I finished gluing together all the petals, I taped off the mirror (use nails or a sharp edge to trace off the excess tape) and  whipped out my favorite gold spray from Rustoleum to give it a quick spray.  The paint dried almost instantly on paper! Very good news for an impatient person like moi J . 
But I thought the finish was a bit flat. 
So I decided to add some dimensions using an artist’s brush and some gold leaf paint.  The gold leaf paint is a bit darker than the spray paint which creates shadows and adds “antiqueness” (ha, I just googled and it’s actually is a word!).  I brushed the paint to the tips of the petals and a bit on the undersides of the curled edges, but for the most part it was just random, whatever looked good.
And there you have it! A large sunburst mirror for under 15 bucks!
(crappy Ipad photo i know )

Can’t even tell if it’s paper if you don’t touch it! My mom loved it!  woohooo! Dad gave a thumb up too!
No picture of it in their room because the room is just not finished yet.  Everyone liked it so much that I decided to do another bigger one for the landing on top of the stairs! 

Please excuse the unfinished stairs and I still have not got around to hang photos along the wall (the sunlight is from the skylight on top of the stairs)

And of course the many angles :)

Looking around the house to see where else could use a sunburst mirror…I DO have one extra small mirrors to play with…hmmm