Part-time and freelance writer with plenty of tips for DIY projects.
It seems like everywhere I turn these days, or when I’m in any store that offers home decor items, I see large, round-faced, wood slat-looking clocks for sale. So I say to myself what every DIYer says to themselves when they see an item they like in a store: “I could totally make that.” So I did! This specific tutorial is for a 19"-diameter circle clock. You could adjust the size or even get creative with your own clock shape.
The clock will function properly as long as you install the clock kit directly in the center of whatever shape you choose—oval, maybe? To hang the clock, I ended up just nailing a small nail into our wall and using the top 1×2 piece that connects the slats together to hang it, but you could also add a picture hanger. And, just to show how projects tend to evolve, after I had the project complete and photos done I thought a little rope could be the perfect finishing touch around the edges. It’s definitely not a requirement, but it’s a fun addition to finish off the edge of this project.
Investment: about an hour of construction, depending on how quick of a painter you are, and the cost of a clock kit
- 5 wood slats or partial slats
- 1 nail
- String, at least 4" longer than the desired radius of your clock
- 2 (1×2) wood pieces, cut 15" long
- Wood glue
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Clock kit
- Paint and craft paintbrush
- Rope (optional)
- Painter’s tape (optional)
- 6–8 (1¼") nails
- Tape measure
- Clamps or a heavy object (optional)
- Palm Sander (optional)
- Drill and bit based on the size of your clock kit
- Adjustable wrench (optional)
- Serrated knife (optional)
Lay your slats side by side vertically and hammer the nail into the center point, only about ½" deep (see image 1).
Tie string around the nail and measure to extend it 9 ½" (or to your desired length). Tie the other end of the string around your pencil (see image 2).
Pulling the string taught, draw a circle around the nail (see image 3).
Remove the nail.
Cut each slat on your mark with a jigsaw (see image 4).
Lay the 1×2s horizontally on their flat side. When deciding where to lay the 1×2s, be sure to avoid the exact center point and a couple of inches around it to leave room for the clock kit, and keep in mind where any holes are in your pallet slats. Avoid those spots as well so the 1×2s aren’t seen from the front of the clock. Run beads of wood glue along each 1×2 (see image 5).
Add numbers (see image 7). Even though I started by trying to use a paint pen, I found that simply sketching the Roman numerals first with a pencil to ensure proper alignment and then painting them on with a small craft paintbrush worked best for me.
If you have the luxury of time which I don't have at the moment, you may wish to try using a paint pen and do let me know what do you think.
Instead of remeasuring to find the center point to install your clock kit, use the little hole left from the nail you used to tie your string as your center point. Unless you really messed up your circle, then don’t do that and just measure.
Variation Suggestion - Rope-edged Clock
Add rope detail if desired: Measure the diameter of your clock and then measure that same distance on your length of rope. Wrap painter’s tape around the rope at that point, then use a serrated knife to cut the rope through the painter’s tape (this will prevent the rope from fraying). Hammer 1 ¼" nails through the rope into the edge of the clock (see image 8). Nails with a wide head on them will hold the rope in place well.
RTalloni on May 09, 2019:
Neat project! Thanks for sharing your method.