How to Build a Large Clock for Cheap

I am so over my decor in my living room. It is dark, it is beige, and it is boring. No color. Nothing!  I've been needing a change.  Call it nesting, call it summertime fever, call it whatever you want.  I'm bored!  So I decided to build myself a clock.  Something fun, but still going along with my old worldish decor.  Bring a little modern in with it.  My biggest problem is my living room walls are HUGE!  I have cathedral vaults and so it is hard to fill up wall space with a bunch of small frames.  Then it starts to look cluttered.  So I needed a BIG clock.

My other problem is I... AM.... CHEAP!  I hate spending money on decor items.  I worry that in a year I will be bored with it and then where am I?!?

Plus, have you ever looked at buying a clock that is over 2 feet wide?  Lets just say I haven't found one I liked for less than $200, and that one was cheap!

Instead I decided to build myself a clock.

Here is how I did it:

First I found a shape that I liked.  Then I hooked up my trusty ol projector and linked my computer up to it through a VGA cord.  I moved the projector around and fiddled with it until the picture of the shape was the size that I needed.  It measures about 29" x 32".  

Then I used 2 pieces of paper roll (I bought it from Ikea in the kids section, plus they have the cutest little stand for it to go on for the kids to pull out and draw to their hearts content).  Freezer paper would work perfectly, or even newspaper roll ends.  Or even a newspaper for that mater.  Just get something that you can tape together and trace your shape.

This is what the shape looked like after tracing it out and cutting it out.  

A little about the board that I got.  It is particle board from +The Home Depot   It was a 4' x 8' board that cost around $15. This board was the thinnest that they had.  I don't remember the exact measurement, though.  I tried to find something smaller, but there wasn't anything to be had.  Plus, this ended up being cheaper  and lighter than the pine board that I was planning on getting before I went into the store. 

Then I cut the shape out with my handy dandy saw and sanded the edges. 

Prime the board.  This will give you a nice smooth finish to work with, plus then you won't use as much paint.

Paint your first coat.  I used +Modern Masters Iron paint.  My living room color scheme is orange, gray, and black so the Primer for the Iron paint was perfect!  

I will be doing another post on tips and tricks on using the iron paint from my experience so stay tuned for that. 

Then lay your stencil out over the top of your board, after your first coat of paint has dried. I used a sponge to paint the gray/black color on.  

I didn't care if I got nice crisp lines because I wanted a weathered/old world look to my clock.  But if you want nice clean crisp lines I would HIGHLY recommend using spray adhesive so that your stencil will stick down good and not let paint seep underneath it.   

The stencil I used is called Curved Connection Moroccan Stencil from +Royal Design Studio Stencils (you can also go to their Royal Design Studio Website).  They have 2 different sizes in this stencil (and a ton of other stencils to choose from).  I seriously am in love with this stencil design!  

On another side note, they have a bunch of info on their website if you are wanting to learn how to stencil.  It is seriously full of great info. 

That is really all you need to do if you are doing 2 different colors of paint.  Because I was using the iron paint I needed to do a layer of acid stuff to give the textured look, and then a sealer layer as well.  That is where the shiny look came in.  I love the shiny, but it was definitely not fun to try to photograph.

Then I followed the directions on installing the clock hands.  I bought this clock hand set on +eBay .  The largest hand measures 12".  It is also called a high torque clock kit so you know what to search for.  

I think installing the clock hands was the easiest part of the entire job!


I am seriously so in love with how it came out.  A little old world, meets a little new world.

The next step for me is to figure out what to do for numbers on the clock.  I am thinking a matte vinyl, and I am trying to bring in a little turquoise in the room for brightness, but not completely sold on the idea.  Hence the no numbers on the clock just yet.    Stay tuned for part 2 and 3.  How to cut the numbers for the clock and how to paint with the iron paint. 

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Menucha said...

beautiful :) I keep saying that I need to get me some power tools! Will be pinning to my DIY hope board... for when I get those....

Anonymous said...

Really cool for a weekend DIYer.

Melissa said...

This is so creative! I usually cringe at the prices on the most beautiful clocks. I think now I'll try my hand at making my own though. Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That's so incredibly creative! One of my absolute favorite sounds is a ticking clock but I don't like to just buy any old clock, this will be a great project for me for the home :)

Mom Knows Best said...

Very cool looking clock. I too love making things but dont have the talent like you.

Unknown said...

I am always impressed with your crafts. I love this one as well. I have made a few clocks myself, but this one is awesome! A must make.

Unknown said...

love it! I wish I had the patience to do something this easy.

Unknown said...

You're so creative! I love this and I love the quote next to it, too!

Debbie Jean said...

That is so neat! Pinning for later!

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