How To: Make a Custom Wall Clock

How To: Make a Custom Wall Clock

Gregory Han
Mar 6, 2009

Jenny Ryan, our special crafting correspondent and author of Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish is back with a stylish and simple DIY project perfect for a weekend project. And be sure to check out her previous How To: Make a Recycled Leafy Catch-All Box project.

We've been needing a new clock in our kitchen, but have been having trouble finding something that looked just right. So we hit our nearest Michael's craft store and picked up some supplies to make our own custom clock. You can find everything you need there, from the wooden plaque to the clock hardware. Making a clock is super easy to do and you can customize the look fit any decor. Here's how we did it...


  • unfinished wood plaque (we used a 5" x 7" plaque)
  • acrylic craft paint
  • paint brushes or sponge applicators
  • Mod Podge (matte finish)
  • patterned paper (we used vintage wallpaper)
  • clock movement kit (ours had a 3/4" shaft)
  • power drill
  • scissors and/or X-Acto knife
  • ruler & pencil

1. Use a ruler to find the center of the plaque and mark this spot with an "x".

2. Drill a hole in this center spot—we used a 5/8" drill bit. Tip: Be sure to place a piece of scrap wood underneath the plaque as you're drilling so you don't damage your table.

3. Paint the plaque with 1-2 coats of acrylic craft paint and allow to dry. (If you like, you can spray some matte polyurethane sealer over the paint at this point.)

4. Cut a piece of patterned paper slightly larger than your plaque and place it face-up on top. Use your fingers to push the paper down until the shape of the plaque comes through the paper. You should be able to see it in crisp relief. Cut the plaque shape our of the paper.

5. Brush a layer of Mod Podge evenly over the top level of your plaque. Place the paper cutout wrong-side down and smooth to adhere. Allow to dry, then follow with a coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper as well and allow to dry.

6. Use an X-Acto knife to poke through the paper to reveal the hole you drilled in Step 2, then push through your clock movement part and attach the hands according to the manufacturer's directions. Tip: When you purchase the clock movement kit, make sure the shaft will be longer than your plaque is thick, otherwise you won't be able to screw on the hands.

7. Hang and enjoy!


Jenny Ryan is the recent author of Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish and also teaches weekly Home Ec DIY classes at Reform School.

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