Google+ Nine Red: DIY: Disco Ball Inspired Sun Tunnel

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DIY: Disco Ball Inspired Sun Tunnel

Have you ever wanted a giant disco ball-like effect in your home? Me too, who hasn't? :)  Ok, maybe I'm alone on that, but after seeing this DIY you might just change your mind...

This isn't so much a do it yourself project as it is just an put-this-all-together yourself project, but it's still super fun! So we have a sky light in our living room that has a drywall tunnel beneath it since we don't have vaulted ceilings (yet! look out drywall...), and when the sun shines in that light the entire thing glows. That's all well and good, but let's really make it sparkle!
Oh yes, we took it there. It's nice to know that all those years dancing beneath the disco ball had a lasting effect on my subconsious, because I always seem to want to throw mirrors in my windows when the sun shines in. Hmm.

Anyway, when I saw the sun pouring in you just know I had to glam it up.  Everyone needs a little disco, right? Right. This project seemed easy enough: get some mirrors, get some self adhesive.. done. Well, not so much... one by one these mirrors came crashing down (luckily none broke) like a mini meteor shower, until I figured out a solution...E-6000. 

UPDATE 5/20/2013 - A few of my mirrors have been really stubborn and won't stay up, so I'm using the plastic clamshell mirror hardware to secure them. success!
Alright my fellow shiny-things lovers, let me warn you by saying this lil DIY is permanent.  Once they are on they aren't coming down unless pieces of the drywall are coming with.  For us, I figured "who cares, we'll probably vault the ceiling someday anyway" and I certainly hope we do. Scratch that, we will vault the ceilings someday.  For now, I love these so much!

Let's keep this fun one short & sweet so you can get to work on disco-fying your own home:

Step 1: Get a skylight.
Alright, check!

Step 2: Get some mirrors.  I'm sure you can find all kinds of different shapes, but when I saw these hexagon mirrors at IKEA, the screamed to me "Put us in the skylight already!" - and I listened. At $14.99 for a pack of 10 good sized hexies, I came home with 2 packs - naturally.
OK Hold it right there!  This is where you need to take heed & learn from me. So, I put them up using the supplied adhesive, thinking it should be fine since it's fine on walls.  Well, something must be different up in that tube, maybe temperature changes, moisture - who knows/cares - all I know is after about 2 weeks these babies came a crashin down, one by one. I thought, I must find a way to have my disco sky light, I must! and that's where E-6000 came in. Good ol' E-6....

UPDATE: 5/20/13 - All my mirrors have stayed up without a problem except for 2 stubborn ones.  My solution is to use clamshell mirror hardware to keep the stragglers up there.
Once the hexagon avalanche subsided a bit, I put some new super strong adhesive on with a dabble of E-6000 on the old adhesive squares. Why both adhesives? Well, the E-6 needs time to cure, so I needed something to hold them up in the meantime. That's where the double sided tape helped out a lot. In short, just skip right to adding the E-6000 to your adhesive tape, doesn't take much.

Now just carefully climb up and place them as you like! If you do this in the sun, you can position the mirrors so the sun hits it. Then, on the opposite wall, position more mirrors where the last mirrors reflected. Make sense? In theory, the sun will bounce all around these mirrors sending little sun specks down into your home. And guess what? It totally does. Victory!  Let's see the results:
 Everything about this is good - no - great. I'm happy with the results, and I need to get mirrors.  By the way, half of these mirrors have a little orangey-brown tint.  I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but if living with that color meant I get my bee-hive like hexagons, I'm up for it. And actually, the color is very warm and cozy when it shines onto the floor below.  

There you have it. A quick (sort of) and easy DIY that will add some light & conversation to your home, because you know people are gonna ask about it.  Now pin this to your "must do" board and order yourself some mirrors!

What do you think, love it? Hate it? Am I crazy?  Happy Wednesday or something!


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  1. I agree with you! That’s a really cool idea that I’m willing to try. I’ve had a skylight for so long, and though it was great the first few years, I lost my appreciation for it over time. I considered replacing it with a colored skylight, but remodeling my roof is currently out of my budget, and the current skylight is still in good condition. I keep my roof well-maintained! New skylight versus a few mirrors – I think I smell a DIY project in my immediate future.

    Mariam Freame

  2. I have always loved my room skylight, especially during morning. Viewing the world through it is where I get my energy from, just like coffee. :] But I’ve never seen it more special at any other time of the day. This very cool idea of yours can surely bring out the more whimsical side of skylights. My next project it is! -->Francisco

  3. Thanks for that wonderful idea, Jesse! I have the same skylight setup and I'm trying to find a way on how I can make full use of it. I'll try this one out, but instead of hexagon, I think I'll go for start-shaped mirrors. Hope I can get spectacular results too!

    -Joanne Barragan

    1. Thanks! That will be cute! I actually was just about to update this, I think I'm going to use standard mirror hardware (the clear clamshell ones with 1 screw) to hold the mirrors. I don't know why I didn't think of it before! All the mirrors have stayed up except for 2 that are really stubborn - to the hardware store we go!


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