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.
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!
Using Fusion Mineral Paint and some DIY, I transformed the top of the reel into a gorgeous, vintage-look clock for our mantel.
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.
- electrical wire reel (a heavy, wooden one)
- crescent wrench and/or pliers
- 1/4″ thick wooden circle that’s at least 6″ in diameter (I found mine at Michaels)
- wood glue
- white mineral paint (I used Fusion Mineral Paint in Lamp White)
- charcoal mineral paint (I used Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash)
- bronze metallic paint (I used Fusion Matthew Mead Studio Metallics in Bronze)
- orbital sander
- paint brushes
- dark wood stain
- petroleum jelly (or similar)
- carbon transfer paper
- clock kit (with large hands)
Use pliers or a crescent wrench to remove the top off of the 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.
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!
Paint the entire face of your clock with white mineral paint.
If you’re going for a rustic look like mine, don’t worry about a perfect application.
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.
This Fusion Mineral Paint hardly took an hour to dry completely!
Give the clock a good cleaning and sanding after this step.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Once your numbers are dry and distressed, take your metallic paint and dip a small, stiff brush into it.
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!
The spots of metallic paint over both the black and the white elements soften and distress everything to such a beautiful point.
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.
Pop some batteries in the clock mechanism, set the time, and enjoy your gorgeous piece of art!
Now it’s time to see the rest of the DIY fabric project ideas from my Canadian blogging friends.
From the top left, they are:
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.