Making your own home accessories is a great way to express your unique style and to have some fun in the process. In this short tutorial we’ll show you how to execute one of two unique DIY clock designs. Utilizing some basic materials and household tools, you’ll see how easy it is to adjust the designs and make a DIY clock design that fits your decor.
Watch this quick video to see an illustration of our DIY clock designs in the “fabrication” process. (Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this video soon, where we show you another clock design.)
DIY Clock Designs Explained
As illustrated in our video above, we’ve come up with two design ideas that show how material selection can create an endless variety of design ideas! The first choice to make in your DIY clock designs is the clock face material selection. Essentially, any flat sheet of material will do! You simply need to be able to drill a hole in the center to mount the clock mechanism.
The clock face can easily be made from metal or plastic sheet. If you have cutting tools, the sheet could be made circular, like a traditional clock face. Or, it could even be fashioned into another whimsical shape if desired. Machining plastic is easy to do with most word working tools. Shaping the metal sheets could be a little more difficult, unless of course you have an oxy acetylene torch or plasma cutting equipment. A jigsaw could also be used to cut shapes in either metal or plastic sheet. Just choose the appropriate blade for the material!
To keep our projects simple, we decided to just use square sheets of metal and plastic. These pre-cut sheets are available off the shelf and require no machining. Since square clocks imply a modern design, we also picked materials that would enhance this look.
PROJECT #1 – THE MIRRORED STAINLESS STEEL CLOCK
This DIY clock design uses a simple sheet of mirrored stainless steel sheet to make a bold statement while maintaining a certain neutrality. Mirrored stainless steel offers a highly polished surface that will not dull or scratch. It simply reflects. This is a good design choice when you want a material to be bold, yet blend in with the surroundings.
- •#8 Stainless Steel Mirrored Sheet; .022″ thickness; 1-piece at 12″ x 12″
- •Quartz clock movement kit with oversized 5″ red hands (Dhorcas Design Studio #05) – maker’s note: our clock kit did not come with a hanging mechanism. Make sure yours does or devise an alternate means of hanging.
- •Use a metal file or heavy duty sandpaper to dull sharp edges on the steel sheet
- •Drill a hole in the center of your sheet using an appropriately sized metal bit, to match the size of the clock shaft you select
- •When drilling holes in metal, always use a bit of oil to make the process quicker and to reduce heat
- •The heat of drilling can also cause the mirrored surface to turn brown, so it is recommended to drill from the back side
- •It’s OK to use a thin piece of metal, since this is such a heavy material. However, you’ll have a lot of “wiggle room” between the clock face and the body. Make sure to get some washers that are the same size as your clock shaft to fill the space.
- •Assemble the clock mechanism per the package directions
PROJECT #2 – THE PERFORATED SHEET AND RED LAMINATE CLOCK
This DIY clock design uses two pieces of material in layers to create a fun, patterned surface with pop. The perforated aluminum sheet is layered on top of GPO 3 Red Laminate Sheet. This allows the red material to show through the holes in the metal top sheet. This design could easily be changed by using sheet with larger holes, or different spacing. The plastic sheet could also be switched out for acrylic mirrored sheet, or any other colored acrylic sheet such as gray, black or white.
- •Aluminum Perforated Sheet 3003 H14; .063” thick; .125″ hole stagger; 12” x 12” piece
- •GPO 3 Red Laminate Sheet; .125″ thick; 12″ x 12″ piece
- •Quartz clock movement kit with oversized 4 1/2″ red hands (Dhorcas Design Studio #06) – maker’s note: our clock kit did not come with a hanging mechanism. Make sure yours does or devise an alternate means of hanging.
- •Loctite super adhesive
- •Drill a hole in the center of the red laminate sheet, then use this hole to align the hole in the aluminum sheet (in case you are off center at all)
- •Be sure to wear gloves when handling the GPO 3, as this is a UL rated material with fiberglass materials that can leave very small slivers in your hands
- •Apply a liberal amount of super adhesive (make sure the label says it will adhere to both metal AND plastic) around the edges of the laminate sheet, and draw several lines across the center of the sheet. Try to keep the glue on the metal so that you don’t end up with drips seeping out to he front.
- •Lay the plastic sheet on top of the glue layer. Lay something heavy on top of the stacked materials until it bonds. This should take just a few minutes.
- •Assemble the clock mechanism per the package instructions.
As easy as that, you have a custom built clock! Of course you can make your own clock design with any number of face options, including numbers and dials and chimes! You could also make tiny desk clocks and display them on picture stands. This project is so easy it’s a great one to do with kids as well.
When you decide to make your DIY clock designs, we’d love to see a photo of the finished work!