Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sixties Inspired Starburst Mirror

I find it humorous that I'm the one who puts items together for these Mystery Boxes, but it takes me weeks (or months in this case) to figure out what I'm going to create. For the longest time I was sure I'd make some kind of floral centerpiece, adhering the candle to the center of the mirror and inserting silk flowers and greenery into the styrofoam. But the muses just didn't see it that way!

I finally came up with this idea to make a 60's inspired starburst mirror. They were all the rage when I was a kid. I remember my parents having a starburst clock. But even that idea got bogged down when I figured I needed some styrofoam balls to poke onto the end of the sun's rays. Silly me. I finally got inspired when looking over the supplies on a rare visit with Julie. 

So I began by choosing which Mystery Box 3 items I'd use. I chose the styrofoam circle, the mirror, the felt, the scrapbook paper, the ribbon, the pom poms, the sequins and the butterflies.

Then I picked a few more items form my stash. Some may look familiar from previous mystery boxes! I chose two shades of purple yarn (that dark one really is purple, though it looks blue in this photo), some wooden skewers, purple markers, an additional six pom poms, and the string of beads from the last mystery box.

I began by cutting the wooden skewers to length. I used the diameter of the styrofoam circle plus about two inches. That made for a pretty nice proportion. I used my garden shears to cut the skewers. They were so much more efficient than scissors or just snapping them to length. It gave them a nice clean cut at the end rather than getting splintered, which is what happened with the other methods.

Next, I took some time to color the wooden skewers with purple marker. I knew I was going to cover the skewers with yarn, but I wasn't sure how well the yarn would cover, so I wanted the skewers to be purple in case there were any gaps in the yarn. This took a while and was a fairly messy job. My fingers were nicely colored when I was done.

I dabbed a bit of glue about an inch or two from the pointy end of the skewer. I carefully wound the two shades of yarn around and around. I started the yarn in the glue, then covered up the end as I wound the yarn. When I got to the cut end of the skewer, I added more glue, wound the yarn ends a few extra times, and added yet more glue to secure the end. I set the skewers aside to dry thoroughly.

Next, I turned to the styrofoam. I used it to trace a circle on the scrapbook paper. The paper wasn't actually wide enough for the entire circle, so I spliced two piece of the paper together with the white glue. Then I glued the paper to the styrofoam with hot glue.

I decided to cover the edges of the styrofoam with felt. So I measured out a one inch strip, marking the felt with tailor's chalk. Again, my felt scrap was not quite big enough to make a strip that fit the entire perimeter of the styrofoam, so I pieced the felt together, too. I attached it to the styrofoam with hot glue.

I followed that with gluing the ribbon over the felt. This step was a test of patience. The white glue I tried first did not adhere well to the felt at all. Plus, it made a mess as it leaked through the holes of this particular ribbon. So I moved on to hot glue. I learned that I needed to use just enough to hold the ribbon in place. Too much and it seeped through the ribbon, leaving globs of glue showing. Once the side was covered, I glued the mirror into place with hot glue.

I decided to have twelve rays to my sunburst, so lay out the pieces to see how far they needed to be spaced. In this photo you can see the extra wrap of yarn at the blunt end of the skewer. It was a bit of a test to poke the pointy end of wooden skewers through the ribbon and felt. It took a bit of fiddling to get them even. Even so, they are not on a perfect level, but they look OK.

Instead of buying styrofoam balls for the ends of the rays, I used the pom poms. I attached them with hot glue, A bonus was that this blob of glue captured any stray ends of that last yarn wrap.

I'd cut the felt a little bit tall so that the mirror would sung down into it, covering the edge of the mirror along with the side of the styrofoam. I used hot glue to attach the string of bead to the mirror's bevel. It added a nice sparkly touch.

The next bit involved attaching the butterflies to one of the rays. These floral butterflies, made of feathers with a plastic body, have floral wire attached to the underside. So I simply wrapped the wire around the skewer to hold the butterflies in place.

For the last bit of decoration, I used silver ball-tipped dressmaker pins to attach sequins to the sides, one sequins between each ray. This covered up a bit of the glue mess from attaching the ribbon. It also adds a bit of sparkle.

I used more of the string of beads to make a hanger. I wrapped the beads around the flat end of a u-shaped floral pin and poked both ends of the pins into the side of the styrofoam behind one of the rays.

Here's the finished product! It's kitschy and fun. I need to find a permanent corner of my home to hang it. For the time being, it's in the front hallway, hung right at face height. I admit to checking myself in the mirror before leaving the house.

The only thing missing is my customary heart!