Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RE-cycling: Sunburst Mirror Tree Topper Craft

This tree topper is made from a recycled compact mirror, an old CD, skewers, recycled cereal box, sequins, gold paint & hot glue.   It cost me about 30 minutes and ZERO DOLLARS to make because I had everything already.

INSPIRATION GOAL:  I saw this Sunburst Mirror Tree Topper in Ballard Designs catalog for $75 and I was thinking about getting it because we had just bought a large sunburst mirror for our family room from Wisteria which we really like.  I hesitated to get it and didn't think about it again until we were already putting up our Christmas tree. By then I would have had to pay for expedited shipping costs to use it in time and I already thought the price was a bit high for what it was so I needed a crafty solution.

A SLIGHTLY EASIER VERSION TO MAKE:  I googled sunburst mirror ornaments and I found this one which I thought seemed easier to make.  This was what I used as a design template when I started the project. 
RE-CYCLING FOR CHRISTMAS:  I linked to this tree topper made from cereal box on a previous entry on using recycled items for Christmas decor and gift wrapping.  It gave me the idea to use cereal box for my sun form. If you want to see the entry you can find it HERE

RECYCLING CDs:  I happen to have a bunch of old computer cds around so I took note of this project by Lindy cottage hill making Christmas ornaments out of them.   They were also linked to in my Recycling for Christmas entry.

Image and craft by Lindy cottage hill

 A LOT of bloggers have made DIY sunburst mirrors using skewers.   It is sorta a bandwagon at this point. I'm only going to link to a few because it would be too hard for me to track down all the different ones I've seen on blogs.  Seriously, there are probably hundreds of blog entries on people making DIY sunburst mirrors with skewers.  Google will give you plenty of results, but here are a few projects I've seen.

I already had the stuff to make the tree topper. I used skewers, cardboard from a recycled cereal box, an old CD, sequins (I'm not sure why we had it, but it was in my craft box), cardstock paper, gold paint, hot glue and scissors.

The white piece of paper is a template I made to make a single ray of the sunburst.  I figured out what size I wanted it to be, measured a half inch for each angle and then drew it on a piece of recycled cereal box.

I had gold metallic paint left over from a shield making craft for my daughter's Percy Jackson birthday party.  I took the mirror out of an old powder compact I hadn't thrown away yet and I pulled out an old cd.  I set aside the mirror because it is the only piece not painted gold.

After cutting out the cereal box form, I took it, some cardstock, 2 cds, skewers and sequins and put them all in a box to spray paint them gold.

I used my hot glue gun to glue the now painted skewers to the piece of cereal box I had cut out in the shape of a sun.  I glued the gold painted cd on top of them.  I attached the mirror to the cd to cover up the middle hole and then I put a ring of hot glue around the mirror to hold a ring of sequins around it.  The ring of sequins is what makes it look like an ornament instead of a kid's school project to me.  I then used the metallic acrylic paints, including one that had a copper tone to it, to add some shadows/low lights to the sun form and the cd.  The last step was to hot glue on the card stock in the form of a cone to use as a stand for the sunburst mirror ornament.  Above is the finished product on the tree.

The sunburst ornament needed the skewers for the size.  If I had just done the sunburst in my second inspiration picture, then the ornament would have been too small for the size of the tree.   The "rays" made out of skewers gave it the scale for the size of the tree. For something like this, how long the skewers should be depends upon how big a tree it will sit atop.  A larger tree will need a larger scale ornament/tree topper.  It was pretty easy though to make and everything is free or costs very little to make so if the first one comes out too small you can make it into a tree ornament and easily make a bigger version for a tree topper.  If you don't have an old compact, I've heard dollar stores sell round mirrors. Skewers are $1 for 100 and this project only took 40.  I used a handful of sequins from a $1 packet so figure $2-$2.50 max for those supplies.   Since I've never seen the Ballard Designs version in person, I cannot say if I would like it much more, but I do not think I would like it $75 more than something I made so easily at NO COST to me except 30 minutes of time.
Thanks for visiting the blog.  If you enjoyed the craft, we would really appreciate a comment on it.  We are new bloggers so getting feedback on our posts is very encouraging and helpful to us.

Happy Holidays.

Written by Eldarose

See more Christmas homes at the Home Tour by clicking HERE

This post is linked to Centsational Girl's Holiday Crafts party. See more Holiday crafts HERE


The DIY Club


  1. I love this idea for a tree topper! You gave so much good info too. It looks gorgeous. Thanks for linking up to 12 Days of Holiday DIY! I pinned your project!

  2. Holly,
    I'm so glad you liked the idea. I was excited to do a recycled Christmas craft. I wanted to do one, but I didn't have any inspiration at first, and then this project hit me when I was putting up the tree. It was so easy to do, too!

    Thank you for commenting. We are very grateful for the feedback esp. because we are such new bloggers. Also, thank you for visiting and for hosting a link party. Thank you for pinning my project. :D

    Happy Holidays!

  3. Reba and Elderose, what a gorgeous tree topper that is! I simply adore it. You should enter it in my company's holiday contest:

    Great work! And a Happy New Year!

  4. Hello. Have you already decided for your Christmas tree topper this year? Hehehe. I am also scouting for something new, unique and really attractive so my guests would be impressive. Keep sharing and bookmarked this helpful page. :D Merry Christmas in advance