Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Three Six Nine (um, and Twelve), Damn She Fine...

Clocks are one of those things I probably don't need, since my cell phone is always within four centimeters from my hand. But they always lure me in, with their fancy numbers and their sleek shapes.

So you'd think the clock I bought when I moved in would be a lot better looking than this guy:

Except pretend this was yellow, and then pretend that I am good at remembering to take "before" pictures.

But what can I say, it was $3 and I was on a Target high, looking to save money even though I had enough random crap thrown in my cart to easily add up to $200 at checkout. (I feel like there must be some Urban Dictionary definition out there that explains that phenomenon.)

Anyways, because nothing is safe in my house, I decided to fuck with it. The first step was disassembling it, which turned out to be pretty easy .The plastic top pops right off with the help of a flathead by these little tabs on the edge, as do the hands. Who'da thunk that a $3 clock is not made of the highest craftsmanship? I tried to pop out the face, only to learn it was actually a sticker, which doesn't matter anyways for what we are doing.

After disassembling, I hit the frame with a quick shot of neon pink spray paint. The hands also got a little refresher with some white paint. I ended up removing the second-hand because I hate hearing it tick, and I'm lucky if I know what hour it is, let alone caring about what exact second.

While that was drying, I got started on a new face. I intended to cut it from a paper bag, but in a rare cleaning fit I threw all of them away, so I just used brown paper from Blick instead. Using the plastic top, I traced a new template. I suggest decorating it before you go through the trouble of cutting it out, since I tried two or three prototypes before landing on one.

For decorating the face, I just used a regular old Wite-Out pen and drew some simple roman numerals.  Feel free to get more creative, print off a face you whip up in Photoshop, or maybe even try cutting some paint samples into pie-shaped strips to create a knockoff of this Modcloth one-

Once all the spray paint had dried, everything literally clicked back into place. I placed the new face down, stacked the hands back on, popped on the top, and had a brand new clock. Since everything comes apart so easily, this may not end up being an heirloom, but it does leave it open to changing the face out as often as I please.

Let's do a rundown of those steps, shall we? 
Step 1: Take cheap clock apart
Step 2: Spray paint frame (optional step 2.5- change color of clock hands as well)
Step 3: Trace a circle for the new face. Decorate it as you please.
Step 4: Pop everything back together.

And a cost breakdown:
Clock - $3 (It was still for sale at Target when I was there Saturday, if you want to try this yourself!)
Spray paint $3
Brown paper - $2 (free, if you have a grocery bag laying around)
Total - $8


As a reminder - the giveaway from Black Oak Vintage is still going on! 


  1. Whatever that phenomenon is, it is on steroids at Ikea. Cute makeover! We're working on reading and numbers and time and such with the little one, and I now have an idea of a clock involving rainbows and unicorns. Just delightful.

    1. dude, use this clock! haha it was alarmingly easy to take apart. i want to see this magical finished product of yours!

  2. Love it! I'm going to confess .. I once did this and placed a photo of Ashton Kutcher in it for the face. I was in high school (really it was last week).

    I love how you do breakdowns of the cost in your posts. Such a great idea, and you make things that anybody could make. I say this because I have craft skills and have no idea how this could get messed up. Apparently others aren't as crafty as we. ;)

    1. haha i mess EVERYTHING up, so these breakdowns are a necessity for me. like, i went through three clock faces before i could get four simple roman numerals right haha. my craftiness comes with a heavy dose of incompetence as well.

  3. When my children were in school and I had a crazy ass work schedule, I had clocks (the cheaper the better) hanging in every room, even the bathrooms, with the apparently useless goal of getting everyone out the door ON TIME. Now that nobody needs to be anywhere ever, I still have the clocks up, but all of them could use a little creative flair. Scrapbook paper is 69 cents at JoAnns! I'm so there.

  4. Okay, maybe this is like a REALLY dumb question...but is it exceedingly obvious how to put the hands back on? Like, is there only one "right" way? I imagine myself popping my clock apart and being like YEAH!!!...and then I can't get the hands to line back up correctly or something.

    1. Sorry to leave out that detail! Yes, its very easy once you take it apart to see how they pop back on. The bottom hand has a slightly bigger hole to fit over the base of the triangle, the next hand a slightly smaller hole, and the final hand the tiniest opening. They slip right off and pop right back on, almost like this clock was made for taking apart :)

      Hope that helps!

  5. Love your blog and this project - so creative and fun, simple but interesting and bold! Just wanted to let you know I featured it in my roundup of clock re-dos and makeovers here. Feel free to check it out if you want and hope you like it! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist


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