diy project: clothespin mirror

I love clothespins; they’re one of the few simple tools with a design that hasn’t needed improvement. Inspired by the starburst mirrors from Ballard Designs, D*S reader Diane Henkler decided to create a similar style using wooden clothespins, which she then customized in a number of different ways. Anyone looking for a super-easy weekend project or something to try with the kids should check this out. Thanks for sharing, Diane! — Kate

Have a DIY project you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

When an idea like this pops into my head, I have to try it out. Sometimes they don’t work, but I love to experiment. The steps for the project are the same no matter what size mirror you use — the larger the mirror, the more clothespins needed. I used a 5-inch diameter mirror that I bought at the craft store. The clothespins are from the dollar store. The total cost for making my mirror was under $5.00. I also made one that I spray-painted gold to resemble the catalog version. And I added decorative paper to the clothespins and made a colorful one. — Diane


  • wood spring-loaded clothespins
  • round mirror
  • hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • ribbon or picture hanger
  • (Optional — To make the painted or colorful mirror: gold spray paint, scrapbook paper and a glue stick)


1. Clip clothespins around the mirror to ensure even spacing before gluing them on. Place a can, plate or round object on the center of the mirror. This will keep the clothespins aligned evenly along the edge of the mirror.

2. Once you are happy with the placement, start hot-gluing the clothespins to the mirror. Open the clothespin and put a dab of hot glue onto the small flat section as shown. Open and close the clothespin a few times so the glue gets on both sides, and then attach it to the mirror.

3. Repeat for each clothespin, and then remove the can.

4. To hang:

To hang with ribbon: Put one clothespin aside before gluing onto the mirror. Open the clothespin and put the center of your length of ribbon right up against the hinge and then close. Attach the clothespin to the mirror the same way as the others and let the glue dry. Tie the ends of the ribbon into a knot or bow and hang over a nail.

To hang without ribbon: Hot-glue a picture-hanging hook to the back of the mirror.

Spray-Painted Version: Spray clothespins in desired color before attaching to the mirror.

Colorful Version: Cut scrapbook paper to the size of a clothespin, and then use a glue stick to attach.

  1. Joe Hewes says:

    I love modular design- but I’d never pegged you out as the same! Brilliant ;)

  2. Lara says:

    Very clever!

  3. brilliant!! thanks for sharing..xx meenal

  4. susy says:

    I am going to do this. It’s about time I paid homage to the mighty clothespin around here. I feel like my business almost exists thanks to them! : ) This is great!

  5. Joyce Owen says:

    Could also be a clock!

  6. Lindsay says:

    Looks great!! Its like a sunburst mirror with a twist!!

  7. Susana says:

    cutest kitsch I’ve seen in ages!

    I love that you can even paint them to make them seasonal, black for Halloween, red/green for Xmas and so

  8. Belly B says:

    Oohh this is a really cool DIY project! I think I”m going to do it! :)

  9. Marffables says:

    Amazing! It is so going to my room!

  10. Claire says:

    Too cute. I love the circular combination!

  11. Biscuit says:

    I love any project that allows me to use metallic spray paint! It’s so cheap and easy but it looks super classy! I love it! =)

  12. Anna says:

    This is one of the best ideas I have seen – thanks!!!

  13. allison says:

    I love this idea for my laundry room! Maybe spray paint them gold for a little bit of fun laundry room glam :)

  14. Holly says:

    Spray the clothespins in bright pink, and you have a great wall dec for a little girl’s room.

  15. Megan says:

    This is so cool, I’m in love with it!

  16. lisa lynn says:

    I am inspired to make a picture frame using this idea. Thanks!

  17. Jenée says:

    I’m a big fan of the DIY projects on this site but this one looks like something a little kid would make in school for mother’s day. Kinda surprised so many people like it.

  18. Laura says:

    100% agreed, jenee. it’s a bit too crafty looking for me.

  19. Angela says:

    I love it! I think I prefer the natural wooden texture to the gold paint though.

  20. always tons of inspiration in here!
    thanks for sharing
    bonne journée

  21. Bella says:

    What a simple but great project! I can’t wait to buy the materials to make this chic little mirror! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Norine says:

    this is a seriously good idea.

  23. Norine says:

    I have even more to say about this project. I think it is the perfect DIY project, in that it is so easy it inspires people (like me) who do not normally get out glue guns to give it a try. I bought sunburst mirrors for my dining room and needed something for other walls at a very low cost and my immediate thought was why not try that? It could be super fun and if it looks too kitschy I am not out too much. Its the sort of project that would be fun to do with kids or girlfriends too. So kudos to the DS reader who was brave enough to submit her work and to Kate, who does a great job of bringing a wide variety of projects together.

  24. Sahar says:

    Very creative, well done.

  25. karen berg says:

    This is an adorable project!

  26. Sarah says:

    I too, am suprised this made it onto the site.

  27. Cameron says:

    What a great idea! I am always looking for foolproof DIY projects and this seems perfect for someone like me who is somewhat artistically challenged.

  28. Love the idea! your post was one of my picks of the week! grettings from Spain!

  29. yolanda says:

    hi, I’m from Ecuador, I like very much your ideas, but a don’t understand all the vocabulary, do you have a traductor of this????

    1. grace says:

      Yolanda – I’m afraid we don’t have a translated version but if you view this page through Google’s web translator you can select your language of choice and it will translate for you :)


  30. Abba says:

    I just made this mirror, and I must say I am very proud of myself. I did use a bigger mirror, so a tuna can couldn’t really help me, but i did find a clock that was almost big enough. Either way, it was really easy to make, so i’ll be making them in all different kinds of colors!!

  31. DAVID says:

    LOVE IT!!!

  32. Grace says:

    Hi, this is a perfect DIY activity! How long does this take?

  33. Joyce says:

    I do like the project. I use my clothes pins and sometimes they are missed placed. How can I make it and still use the clothes pins.

  34. karen wilburn says:

    I love this idea! I think it would be cute in bright colors placed on wall like flowers in a little girls room. I don’t have much money to make diy projects with, but this is very do-able and people like me think you are very creative, KUDO’S!!!

  35. Vanessa says:

    How or when do you paint it while the mirror is in it. I love this

  36. Vanessa says:

    how or when do you paint the chothespin

  37. Macho says:

    Nice and useful article, thank you!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.