Make a Giant Reclaimed Wood Clock from an Electrical Reel #12MonthsofDIY

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Building a giant wooden clock has been on my DIY wish list for a long time. When I knew “wood” month for our #12MonthsofDIY challenge was coming up, I had the motivation to finally tackle this project! Today I want to share with you how to make a large reclaimed wooden clock from an electrical reel, and make sure to check out the bottom of this post for 11 more wood DIYs from 11 other Canadian bloggers.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

This project took me a couple of days to complete, and I used one of my hubby’s electrical wire spools that he had sitting outside. I’m pretty lucky that he’s an electrician and that he knows to save these sorts of things for me!

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Using Fusion Mineral Paint and some DIY, I transformed the top of the reel into a gorgeous, vintage-look clock for our mantel.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Doesn’t it look right at home here? (Make sure to click here to see today’s Spring home tour post too!)

Here’s how to make this giant, industrial reclaimed wood clock.

Materials:

Directions:

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Use pliers or a crescent wrench to remove the top off of the electrical reel.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Sand both sides of the round piece with an orbital sander. I decided to use the underside of my reel piece because it lacked the bolt holes. I didn’t sand too much because I wanted the clock to still look rustic.

Glue a round piece of wood to the center of your clock to cover the middle hole. I used regular wood glue.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Apply petroleum jelly (or something similar) to random spots on the face of your clock where you want some distressing to occur. This was my first time trying out this method of distressing and I was so happy with the results!

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Paint the entire face of your clock with white mineral paint.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

If you’re going for a rustic look like mine, don’t worry about a perfect application.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Once the paint has dried completely, scrape off the spots that were treated with the Vaseline with a knife. Where the Vaseline was applied, you’ll see the paint crackle a little.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

This Fusion Mineral Paint hardly took an hour to dry completely!

Give the clock a good cleaning and sanding after this step.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

If you want the wood peeking through the paint to be darker in colour, apply a thin layer of wood stain on the clock, and then quickly wipe it off.

If your white paint becomes too muddy or dark after this step, you can do what I did and repeat the Vaseline application and another layer of white paint for a better contrast.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Next, find a photo of a clock face that you love. I found this one, and scaled it in Photoshop to be the same size as my clock (32 3/4″). Then, tile the clock face if needed and print it out.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Lay the tiled pages with the design on your wooden clock and use carbon transfer paper and a pen to transfer the design onto your wooden circle.

If you want the numbers to look highly distressed like mine do, apply Vaseline to some parts of the numbers.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Then, using the black paint, hand paint the design onto the clock. I used a wide, flat brush for the main parts of the roman numerals and a smaller detail brush for the details.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

If you’re using the Vaseline distressing method on your numbers, scrape of those sections with a knife once your design has dried. You can see the parts of my numbers here that need to be scraped off – they’re the crackling bits.

I liked this highly distressed technique because I didn’t have to worry about painting my numbers perfectly. I think the hand painted, imperfect look really matches the rustic industrial feel I wanted for this clock!

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Once your numbers are dry and distressed, take your metallic paint and dip a small, stiff brush into it.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Use your pointer finger to flick the paint off of the brush onto the face of your clock. This distresses the piece even more and helps tie the dark and light colours together. I love the look!

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

The spots of metallic paint over both the black and the white elements soften and distress everything to such a beautiful point.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Finally, drill a hole in the center of the clock that’s the same size as what you need to place your clock mechanism through. There should be instructions with your clock mechanism that will explain how to secure the mechanism and fasten the hands.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Pop some batteries in the clock mechanism, set the time, and enjoy your gorgeous piece of art!

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

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How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

Now it’s time to see the rest of the DIY fabric project ideas from my Canadian blogging friends.

12 Great projects to do with wood #12MonthsofDIY

From the top left, they are:

Wood Slice Art from Vin’yet Etc.

Ikea Bedside Table Revamp from PMQ for Two

Painting Wood Furniture from Fresh Crush

Easy Wooden Table Makeover from Woman in Real Life

Wooden Rocking Horse Upcycle from Mommyzoid

Metallic Painted Nightstand from New House New Home

Industrial Side Table from Love Create Celebrate

Wood Coffee Table Tray Gets New Makeover from Time with Thea

Paint Dipped Frame from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Giant Reclaimed Wooden Clock from an Electrical Reel from The DIY Mommy

Beach Inspired Farmhouse Dresser Upcycle from Sustain My Craft Habit

Twig Houses from Life is a Party

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Fusion Mineral Paint. As always, all of the opinions here are my own. I only recommend companies that I use and love myself.

70 Comments

  1. Pingback: Twig Houses
  2. I so appreciate your very detailed tutorial and how the clock face turned out. It really is brilliant and it looks fabulous on your mantel. I have to admit adding the bronze metallic paint finished it beautifully! I wish my husband was an electrician!

  3. Hi there, busy making mine now and I’m definitely going to do the distressed look. I almost copied your clock face template and then realized the roman numbers 4 is incorrect. Just for info. lol.

  4. Did you have any trouble with your clock mechanism? I made one and I can’t get the clock mechanism to stay in place and not catch on each other. Also, they don’t show the right time as they move? What an I missing or doing wrong ? Any ideas ? Thanks

    1. Hello Kara, awe that’s no good at all that your clock is not working as you would like it to. Christina, hasn’t had any trouble with her clock. We don’t really think you are missing anything. Amazon carries clock mechanisms that have worked really well for Christina. You can try searching there 🙂

      1. It would be nice to know precisely what you put in the center circle. Its a huge step in keeping the clock in position. Its clearly some added material. Unsure why you omitted that explanation. TIA

        1. i love this but was wondering the same thing… to cover the center hole of the spool, did you use a prefab wood circle? How and what did you use to anchor it there? It looks almost like you used a router to make a groove around it. Thanks!

    1. Hey Caroline,
      Try using chalk paint. It’s awesome to distress and sticks very well to pretty much everything. So that means no sanding or priming prior to painting. Yay!

      1. Thanks Lindsay. I’m new to chalk paint and watched a few tutorial videos 🙂 It seems pretty easy to use and I might actually just need one coat because it’s a bit on the thick side. One video mentioned using wax for finishing. Is this a better choice over typical polyurethane?

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