Do-It-Yourself Wall Clocks


Creating a personalized wall clock is a fun way to add a functional and decorative item to your home. Homemade wall clocks also make great gifts with photos and other personal images. A basic time-piece can become a work of art.

Base Materials

  • You can purchase a base wall clock mechanism at many craft and hobby stores. Some analog clock bases come with the hands and different styles of replacement hands can often be purchased separately. Digital clocks have LED displays in bright colors like red and blue, or a more subtle black on gray liquid crystal. When choosing a clock mechanism, look for one with a loop or notch for hanging on the wall. You may need to purchase batteries for the clock separately.

    You may be able to remove the clock mechanism in an existing clock and re-use it. Remove batteries from the existing clock before disassembling. To disassemble an analog clock, remove any glass or plastic cover there may be over the hands and face of the clock. Carefully pull the hands straight off the central stem, holding the ring at the center and not from the end of the hand, one at a time. Unscrew and take off the small nut on the stem at the faceplate. This will release the old faceplate from the clock mechanism.

Creative Clock Faces

  • The material used for the base of your clock face can be as simple as a recycled piece of cardboard. Add items to decorate the surface, such as photos, patterned paper, stickers and paint. Glue a favorite postcard or digitally created art to foam-core board to make a clock face. Use a pre-stretched and gessoed canvas as a base for your artistic clock face. Pre-cut wood faces can be etched with a wood burning tool, stained, painted, or decoupaged with images or fabric and trims.

    Many found objects can be turned into interesting clocks. Carefully drill vintage porcelain plates or hand-made ceramic platters to accept a clock mechanism. Printed melamine plates and metal trays with advertising images can be used as well. Old CDs and vinyl records already have a hole in the center for easy mounting.

Assembling the Clock

  • Any clock face that you create will need at least one hole pierced through it to connect it to the clock mechanism. For most analog clocks, you only need to create one hole in the face that is large enough to insert the stem to go through for securing the face and attaching the clock's hands. You may need to use an electric drill to create the hole. Drill the hole as close to the size of the stem as you can, or the face will wobble and not sit securely against the mechanism. If you end up with a larger hole, you can close the gap with a flat disk washer between the securing nut and the face. Attach the hands to the stem from the front side of the clock face. Slip the ring at the base of the hand over the stem and press down into place, starting with the hour hand, then minute, then second.


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