Trash to Treasure Clock Tutorial

January 20th, 2010 in blog, projects     
MimiToria Gretchen Schaumann, contributor
16 users recommend

This is the finished piece on display at the French Flea in Anoka, MN.
This is the clock in its former life.
This is the dangerous condition that I purchased in.  A fire hazard for sure.
Wonderful brass base as well as a brass top needed the screws removed and than I set these pieces aside and kept them as is.
This is the top brass piece shown removed.
There were 2 screws holding the mechanism inside the wood case.  Once I removed those with a screw driver the clock was in pieces.
I chose to use the glass clock case front to act as a cover for a vintage image, and have the rest of the pieces set aside for another project someday.
Since it was still Fall when I painted this piece, it was easy to use a spray paint in my choice of color (white) to give the wood case a good thorough coating.  After it was dry, I sanded it to distress it.
This was the glass case cover.  I dont have photos of this part, but I basically chose an image that was free to use online, saved it and printed it on my home computer.  I then drew the circle around the image of what I wanted to encase in the clock by using the glass lense as a pattern.  Cut out your image carefully.  I used a salvaged piece of tagboard or actually the back of a notebook to give it strength and glued it to that, which then set into the surrounding case.  I glued it in and than used glue to glue the front to the case.
I added a gorgeous piece of vintage black diamond rhinestone jewelry to bling it up a bit, and coordinated the rhinestone color with the image tones.  Its all in the details.
The finished project.  There are more detailed directions as well as photos on my blog at:
This is the finished piece on display at the French Flea in Anoka, MN.

This is the finished piece on display at the French Flea in Anoka, MN.

I found this old electric clock one day while searching for cool items to re purpose and sell at our shop, and it just so happen to be additionally marked down too.  I had seen my dear friend, Janis' blog about something similiar she'd done with an old clock, and she'd seen it somewhere else, and thus I changed mine up to make it my design.  As an artisian, I don't ever want to copy someone's work, but may find inspiration or an idea that they've used and then try to make it my own.  So here we go, this is what I did:

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posted in: blog, projects, seasonal, vintage, metal, wood, cottage, white, european, gold-metallic

Comments (20)

Islands writes: History repeat it self, we have done that 5 years ago and ran out of clocks :) we only used ugly clocks with cracked glass because it is hard to damage clocks working or non, thanks for bringing it to mind again.
Another thing we did was to turn the empty clock casing into small shadow clocks. Posted: 8:13 am on October 18th
paterd writes: I love it, but I would only do that if the clock was unrepairable or very ugly. I have some old clocks that don't work, but can't bear to get rid of them due to their great vintage look. Posted: 5:46 am on October 18th
123froglegs writes: This gives me a great Idea for an OLD metal lunch box that belonged to my Father in Law (93 yrs old) that he used for his lunch for 25 years at least, before retiring in mid 1970's. I have a couple of old metal kids lunch boxes that are just on display, a small clock and I can actually use it on the counter and be a functional piece of history.
Nada :-) Posted: 6:04 pm on January 10th
SantaClaus writes: Great re-purpose - love it! Posted: 5:45 pm on May 5th
WhitePineLane writes: Very cool! As a newb, the "tutorial" aspect of your post is much appreciated, Gretchen! I learn a lot from all you guys!

Posted: 7:46 pm on January 26th
MakinItHappen writes: Wow, that's really cool! Posted: 11:14 am on January 26th
suewhitney writes: Hey Gretchen,

Love this idea and your execution is superb. The bling adds just the right touch. Thanks for the great directions too!

Be Well,
Sue Posted: 7:41 am on January 22nd
54girl writes: Love what you did with the clock! It really turned out beautiful!! Love the added bling also. And the picute you picked is perfect! Mary Posted: 1:16 pm on January 21st
bluebucket writes: Such an unique project. Love it. Adding bling just puts the right finishing touch on everything.
doreen Posted: 11:40 am on January 21st
JunkArchitect writes: This is a great idea for an old clock case. There’s not too many other options so this is a perfect repurpose. Good thing you didn’t plug it in because that cord looks like it would have burst into flames.

Posted: 9:59 am on January 21st
shabbychick writes: Gretchen - what a wonderful new life you gave to your clock! The picture is so sweet, and you added just the right touch of "bling" too! :)

I've got some empty clock cases that are waiting for new lives too - thanks for sharing AND the inspiration!

Take care my friend!


Posted: 9:35 am on January 21st
CottageElements writes: You know that's why we're all here! To get ideas, take what someone's done, tweak it a little and make it our own. And that's what makes JMS what it is! I had blank clock shell and didn't ever figure out what to do with it, so I gave it away. Dahhh, how dumb was I? But that was way before JMS. Wish I would have had this back then. Thanks, Gretchen for the great post!

Lani Posted: 11:38 pm on January 20th
fellowjunker writes: You sure found a beautiful old clock Gretchen, and I so love the picture you picked and piece of jewelry!!! Absolutely gorgeous!
xojanis Posted: 11:34 pm on January 20th
oldnews writes: This is wonderful, what a great way to share precious photos. Thanks for sharing with us! Marie Posted: 10:30 pm on January 20th
chippingcharm writes: Gretchen...this is wonderful...I've been playing around with an old clock I just bought too. I promise not to copy :)
I agree, it's so fun to be "inspired" by each-other but even more fun to figure out your own twist...Take care, Laurel Posted: 5:30 pm on January 20th
itsnotjunk2me writes: Gretchen, I love both your and Janis' clock frame ideas! And I agree, it's great to find inspiration from others but important to make it your own design.

Thanks for the is helpful for me (visual learner) to SEE how something is done.

~judi ;) Posted: 2:29 pm on January 20th
SnowmanHill writes: Gretchen, it turned out really cute, just love it!

dana Posted: 1:36 pm on January 20th
RustyDiva writes: Great job! Posted: 1:03 pm on January 20th
roadtriplouise writes: Gretchen,great re-purpose project. Would be neat with a family picture in it too. I agree we all get inspired by everyone's projects, but make it our own. Thanks for sharing. Posted: 12:46 pm on January 20th
alicemom writes: Gretchen, That turned out so precious! Good job on the photos and instructions.
smiles, alice Posted: 11:13 am on January 20th
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