How To: Make DIY Urchin Starburst Sculptures for Under $5.00!

created at: 11/09/2011

Hi Curbly! I'm excited to be back again for the 3rd day in a row! OK so as the above photo suggests, Monday's successful wall art diy has made me even more obsessed with creating complimenting pieces in the starburst/urchin genre... and a recent visit to my local $.99 store made it easy for me to just go with it! I found the most amazingly shaped crystal picks (they have a very cool graduated triangular shape at the ends that adds so much more dimension than your usual bamboo skewer!). And you can't beat the fab price of ninety-nine cents for a pack of one hundred.  I think my little vignette (above) looks pretty awesome!

Here's what you need to create the same look:

  • play dough (or the generic "colored dough" from the 99 cent store like i used)
  • acrylic crystal picks (the ones that I used were Diamond brand)
    created at: 11/09/2011
  • styrofoam ball (mine is 3" diameter)

Directions for the shorter half starburst/ urchin (cost - $2):

  1. Roll a can's worth of play dough into a ball and flatten the bottom
  2. Push the crystal picks (I used 100) into it to create the urchin look (I actually think it looks pretty awesome with the clear acrylic picks as is... and I don't know about you but I LOVE things that look like lucite...)                                            
    created at: 11/09/2011
  3. Spray paint it (I used the left over gold metallic Rust-O-Leum spray paint from Monday's project and this kept my cost super low!)
    created at: 11/09/2011

*note that at the time of this post (36 hours after the DIY) the play dough has not hardened completely yet but it holds the picks really well and I anticipate it will likely harden in the coming days and be that much more awesome!

Directions for the full standing starburst / urchin (cost $2.50):

  1. I pushed the crystal picks into the styrofoam ball, covering it (be sure to press them in as far as you can so that they are strong enough to hold the weight of the piece while standing (I used about 200 picks).
    created at: 11/09/2011
  2. Spray paint it the color of your choice (again, I think this looks pretty cool in it's clear state but for this project I covered it using the same can of metallic gold paint)

And don't ya think this would make a great Christmas tree star topper as well??? 'Tis the season...

They are pretty fab grouped together! I am not sure where their final home will be... they may live in the space I am designing that will house the rest of my coming starbursts but, then again, in the top photo they really compliment a bedroom wall paint job I did a few months back... Hmmm... I may have to make a few more and scatter throughout my place.  And I'm not gonna lie, I've already made another trip back to the 99 Cent store for more packs of those crystal picks! I can't wait to use them for other projects!

Hopefully you all are feeling a similar love of starbursts this week...

Until tomorrow.....

Holly Westhoff is the founder adventures of an almost 40 year old intern where she chronicles her experience of starting over from exec to intern and also share lots of intern budget-friendly projects. (She works for free).

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Lisa on Oct 02, 2012:

Super cute! I made something similar and bought a $1 styrofoam ball, and spray painted it, and added gold glitter to have a little more pizzaz! Super cute!  Love your DIY sea urchin and your blog is adorable! Check out mine when you have a chance @ www.showeredwithdesign.blogspot.com Thanks for sharing!

-Lisa Nicole

Lisa on Oct 02, 2012:

haha I made a DIY sea urchin starburst on my blog as well!  I used wooden round sticks from Michaels (69 cents each) I used four and cut them up, and

bought a $1 styrofoam ball, and spray painted it, and added gold glitter to have a little more pizzaz! Super cute!  Love your DIY sea urchin and your blog is adorable! Check out mine when you have a chance @ www.showeredwithdesign.blogspot.com Thanks for sharing!

-Lisa Nicole

al40yearoldintern on Sep 07, 2012:

Breeahna- that is strange that yours melted. Are you sure it was from the paint? Or did you use hot glue as well? 

Breeahna on Sep 06, 2012:

I used a styro ball & the spray paint literally ate it & melted it apart! So depressing! I think next time I would coast the whole ball in a coat of PVA glue before spraying, to create a barrier.

kristine on Jan 06, 2012:

for some reason my comment yesterday didnt post. i had pictures of how mine MELTED...can i email you so i can show you and ask you a question?

Kristine on Nov 15, 2011:

HAHA DUH sorry i was on my phone so i read that wrong! i didnt see that it said only in there. so yes it is the same store! thanks for the info!

Kristine on Nov 15, 2011:


That store?

al40yearoldintern on Nov 14, 2011:

Hi! Do you have a 99 cents only store near you? That is where I bought them.  the website for the company that makes them is: http://www.diamondbrands.com/pages/occasions/22.php perhaps you can call them and ask who else carries their crystal picks?

Karen on Nov 14, 2011:

For smaller versions, use toothpicks...they look awesome as Christmas ornaments on the tree or in a bowl.


Kristine on Nov 14, 2011:

ok....im having a really hard time finding these diamond picks...i have looked all over the place! the only thing i come up with is floral and wedding stuff! can you point me in the right direction please?!?!

anna on Nov 09, 2011:

Great idea!  I think these would look super in different metallics for the holidays!  I, too, love the clear one   I never knew there was a think as 'crystal picks'!  good find!

DesigningMom on Nov 09, 2011:

Oh my gosh, yet another idea to do with my daughter! I actually like the clear one the best. It reminds me of a Christmas ornament I found for her years ago, more than a decade, that I happened to turn upside down and notice it make a perfect candle holder. We found it last summer in the containers of her stuff when she went through to get rid of things she no longer wanted. It was broken. This will be an awesome replacement. Thanks!

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