Building A Large Wall Clock

One of the easiest, cheapest and coolest additions I have made to my home is my new large wall clock. With a little planning and a little patience you can have a nicely done large wall clock in your home in less than two hours and under $100.

full_clock
Finished wall clock.

This was not an original idea. I saw a picture of one on a friend’s Facebook. She had shared someone else’s Pinterest post about it. A little bit of Google time and it didn’t take long to track down the relevant pieces and put it all together.

The first piece of the clock puzzle is the clock itself. Since these clocks have to be very lightweight they are also a little on the cheap side. You should spend a little extra on the clock and make sure you purchase a good one.

After a little research I went with the Norkro clock.This ended up being a bit of a mistake, but I didn’t know it at the time. The Norkro clock cost $30.57 for the clock with the 17 3/4 inch hands. Unfortunately the clock has to be a little assembled (more than just screwing the clock hands on) and it came with a stripped screw. I tried to go to Lowe’s to replace the screw but had no luck. I ended up calling Norkro and the person who answered the phone sent me a replacement part. Unfortunately, he sent the wrong one. By the time all this happened and I got the right part I was getting a little frustrated. I did not like the way the clock was assembled.

I decided to eat the 30 bucks and get a better clock. I looked around on Amazon and Etsy and found the KIT36 Wall Clock by CoastalTideClocks. This one cost $32.94 and was a much nicer quality. The mechanism was already assembled. All that is needed is to attach the hands and whatever screw you want to use to attach the clock to your wall.

While my clock was being shipped I was also looking for the lettering. I originally planned for an artist friend of mine to paint the lettering on the wall. Then I was convinced that a decal would look just as nice. There are a lot of decals available on Amazon. I spent $8.99 plus shipping to get the decal.

With all the pieces in place, it was time to build my project.

Wall-screw
Wall screw to hang the clock box.

The clock itself is just three pieces — the box and the two hands. After deciding where on the wall you want to hang the clock I put a screw in the wall for the clock box. The clock also comes with a diagram of where to draw pencil lines so you know where 1PM, 2PM, 3PM, etc. are on the wall.

Most designs for wall clocks are for 12 pictures for the 12 numbers. I may eventually go that route. This clock included stick on dots to represent the numbers for where you don’t use pictures.

 

 

 

clock_mechanics
The clock mechanics.

The clock box only needs a AA battery installed, the hands placed on and screwed down. I did this first, but I would recommend doing it last. Hang the box on the wall and leave the hands off. They are very lightweight and can be damaged easily. It’s easier to hang your photos and the decal without the hands going around and around.

 

 

 

 

Hanging the decal was pretty easy. It comes in one piece, so the first step is cutting the decal in half lengthwise since you are going to put one half above the clock box and the other half below. It’s a pretty simple decal to apply. Use a credit card or something with a hard plastic edge to press the sticker to its backing. I would use a plastic ice scraper, but I haven’t owned one since I moved to Las Vegas from the midwest five years ago.

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Peeling the clear cover off the decal.

Once you removed the backing from the decal apply it to the wall. Then use your scraper again to apply the decal lettering to the wall. Since this is a fancy font, there are some very thin lines on the lettering (around the ‘S’ in Spent and the ‘F’ in Family). These are the most important lines to get stuck to the wall. Once you have spent 1-2 minutes slowly, firmly pressing the entire decal to the wall you can peel of the clear cover and the decal will be on the wall. This is no Band-Aid! Don’t rip the clear cover off. This takes some slow, deliberate peeling. If you start to see some of the decal come up press the clear cover back down and grab the scraper again. Then start working from another direction.

 

After getting the decal in place it’s time to hang the pictures. The original suggestion on this project was to go to a Dollar Store and buy 12 like frames for $12. This is certainly a way to go. The Dollar Store had a few selections of frames, but you will be fortunate if you can find 12 of the same kind of frame. I would suggest going to Target, Michael’s or the like and finding the frames that look best for your wall.

In my case, I was only going to start with four frames so I went to Target. I paid $6.99 apiece for four frames. If you are planning on hanging the photos inside the radius of the circle the clock hands will travel you need to make sure the frames are not too thick. Though I would recommend hanging the photos just outside the hands in case one of the hands gets out of sync and bangs up against a frame. The best size here is a 4×6 frame. The best part of going to Target is the store also had a Kodak kiosk. At the Kodak kiosk you can make 4×6 prints directly from your phone for less than $1 per print.

Once you have secured the frames it’s time to put the pictures in them and hang them. Again, I had already dumbly put the clock hands on so I had to work around the moving clock. Though this also helped me know just how wide the clock would go. I think the easiest thing to do is hang the 12 and the 6 picture or the 3 and 9 picture first. This will help line things up.

Wall-Clock_3-4done
Hanging the photos on the wall.
Wall_Clock_1-2-done
Hanging the 9 o’clock photo just outside the radius of the long hand.

 

After the four pictures were hung I decided to go with the dots for 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 o’clock. I can always replace the dots with photo frames later. If you are going to add photo frames, I would suggest having the frames at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock hang a different direction than the other eight. You can put those frames vertically (like I have) and the other frames horizontally, or vice versa. If I do add frames, I think I will make the other eight a bright color like red or blue, just to have the frames at 12, 3, 6 and 9 stand out.

 

Total Costs:

  • Norkro Clock (not used) – $30.57
  • Coastal Tide Clock – $32.94
  • Decal – $12 (including shipping)
  • Picture Frames – $28
  • Pictures – $3

TOTAL — $106.51

TOTAL without first clock — $75.94

Prep Time: 30 minutes (All Googling stuff)

Build Time: Less than 2 hours.

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