Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Clock DIY Make-Over

Last week, I saw a post online where someone repurposed an old clock by taking off the face and painting it. I tried looking around, but I couldn't find that post again. I've been wanting to add a clock to LE's room, but I really didn't want to spend more than $10 bucks on one. 

I casually looked around for a little while. It wasn't until I had to go to Walmart to buy spraypaint (the cheapest place I've found it) that I walked by their clock aisle. Their basic Mainstays brand 8.75 inch wall clock comes in a few colors, and it costs under $4. Add a little scrapbook paper for less than $1. Bingo! A new clock that comes in under 5 bucks.

If you have an old clock that needs new life, or if you're like me and need to revamp a new clock, follow along for the step by step. I'll explain how to do this using thick scrapbook paper as the face of the clock, but with small adjustments to the tutorial, you could use fabric or paint instead. I was able to get this very easy DIY done from start to finish during LE's nap. 

Take a mental note of how the clock hands are placed before you take your clock apart. Flip your clock over and remove the screws that are keeping the face to the back.  Snap out the battery pack, which will remove your clock hands.

Flip the clock back over to the front. Measure the width of the inside. The Mainstays clock face is 7.75in. If the clock face isn't glued in (mine was), remove and discard it.

If you have a Silhouette craft cutter, your job will be super easy (skip to instructions). If not, it will just be mildly more difficult. Print a circle the size of the clock's face (use Microsoft Word or other software that allows you to specify the exact size of shapes) onto the back side of your scrapbook paper. Use scissors to cut out the circle. You should probably buy die cut numbers for the clock unless you are really good with cutting. 

For the Silhouette users:
  • Open Silhouette and draw a circle to fit your clock's face. (7.75in for the Mainstays clock)
  • Pick a font that you like for the numbers. I used Skia.
  • Adjust the size of your numbers until you like it. The 12 in my clock was 2.5in, measuring from the top to the bottom of the 1. 

  • Once you get everything to the size that you like, move all of the numbers and extras to the outside of the circle.
  • If you're using the same paper for everything, send your paper through the Silhouette on a mat. For thick cardstock, use the pink blade at 2 speed and 33 thickness. I didn't find double-cutting necessary.
    • If you're using different paper for the numbers, just make sure you tell the Silhouette which items to cut (e.g. just the circle or all of the numbers/dots)
  • Use Mod-Podge, spray glue, or your choice of non-wrinkling adhesive to adhere the paper circle to clock's face. Before adhering, take note of where the 12 is on your original clock. You'll need to be sure that's the top of your new clock's design since that aligns with the hanging mechanism on the back of the clock.
  • Paint your cut out numbers, if needed. Apply glue dots or your choice of adhesive to the back of the numbers. Adhere the 12, 9, 6, & 3 (not the dots yet); that will allow you to get them straight. If your clock is like the Mainstays one, there are visible screw holes to help guide you. 
  • Poke a small hole in the paper and then push the battery pack through from the front to the back. This will make your paper bend towards the back. Carefully remove the battery pack and reattach it to the clock the correct way.
  • Attach the hands the same way that they were originally. For the Mainstays clock, the hour hand goes first shiny side up. Then, the minute hand goes matte side up, and then the second hand snaps in on top. 
  • Rotate the hands so that all of them line up at 12. Using the dial on the back of the clock, turn it to 1. Place a dot. Then use the dial to turn it to 2. Place a dot. Continue for the rest of the dots. This ensures that you are placing them in the correct places.
  • Place the glass and cover back on the clock. Screw everything back in place. Admire your new clock!

I haven't decided where in LE's room to place the clock yet. For now, it will live with the sock monkey.


  1. Awesome! Never would have thought to take one apart and customize! Thanks for sharing!

  2. CUTE! I was JUST thinking about doing that to ours in the kitchen! It's cute already though. I just want something to paint. Maybe I'll find a garage sale clock.

  3. Thanks for the comments, ladies!

    Janna- I use a Canon Rebel T1i.

  4. This is so cute! Also, I've enjoying hopping around your blog--so darling :)

  5. oh i love this. retro!
    i would love for you to link this up to the link party at my blog: flashback fridays. go check it out!
    {love} lauryn @ lovenotesbylauryn.blogspot.com

  6. I buy these clocks from Walmart and sell them AT craft shows with different designs. Just remove the six crews, pull the dial box out of the frame, remove the hands carefully, No need to remove clock motor. Print your design, cut a hole carefully in the middle using a pencil tip right through the middle slowly taking the pencil round and round till the hole is slightly larger than pencil. Put your finger on the other side of the hole but BE CAREFUL NOT TO POKE YOURSELF. Insert printed dial to make sure it fits, then remove and lightly spray (quick shot) adhesive at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 OF THE CLOCK. insert dial correctly at the 12 o'clock. Replace hands..shiny side up. MAKE SURE THEY ARE PLACED AT THE 12 and spin the second hand to make sure it doesn't hit the other hands. Wiggle the dial box back onto the clock frame till it sits in perfectly, put back screws...YOUR DONE! ** You can leave the current dial on IF you use thick enough paper. If paper is too thin, the numbers of the original dial will show. I use photo matte paper. 60lb minimum.

  7. Hello there! I loved your clock and I've got it linked to my clocks post too today - well done!

  8. Very cute clock and I love the color combination!!

  9. I LOVE this makeover!! I'm so glad I found your blog via Mod Podge Rocks. I'm officially a fan and a new follower.


    Allison @ House of Hepworths

    1. Thanks, Allison! :) Glad you stopped over.

  10. I love your color choices! I've been debating about our kitchen clock as well...it just might be time.

  11. Just saw this at MPR..Great clock makeover! It's so colorful and cute now!

  12. I love what you have done with this clock! I can't wait to do one of my own:) I hope it's okay, I just finished a paper crafts round-up showing ways to use decorative paper for home decor and just couldn't help but feature your awesome clock. You can see it here:

    Thank you so much for sharing :)

  13. Thank you for sharing..I am soo gonna try this..

  14. Love your blog and this project - so creative and fun and I love the aqua and teal color combo! Just wanted to let you know I featured it in my roundup of clock re-dos and makeovers here. Feel free to check it out if you want and hope you like it! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist


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