Friday, August 19, 2011

Fabulous & Fun Fridays - How To Make An Art Clock

As I promised last week I am putting the "Fun" back into Fabulous and Fun Fridays!  Today I have prepared a tutorial on how to make an Art Clock,  I definitely had fun doing it and I hope you will too!

What you will need
  • Clock mechanism you can pick up at your local craft store
  • Stretched canvas any shape and size
  • 1 Foam sheet (3 for a $1 at most dollar stores)
  • Your medium of choice, I used Acrylic paints
  • Exacto Knife
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Start with your blank stretched canvas

Decide on your design and create an image on the stretched canvas using whatever medium you are comfortable with.

Now you need to measure and mark out where the numbers will go on the clock and the perfect center for the clock mechanism to go.  These measurements are crucial for the clock to keep proper time, they need to perfect.

Start with marking the 3, 6, 9 & 12 by finding the perfect center of each side.  You can also mark your perfect center of the canvas now too.  Once the 4 main numbers are marked in you can fill in the rest of the numbers, remember you are only marking them out right now.  You need to have them all marked out before you can actually add them in as you won't be able to get a perfect measurement if you start adding them in before you have marked them all out. 

To figure out the spacing of the rest of the numbers you will measure between the 12 and the 3 and divide that number in 3 whatever that equals is the amount of space you will leave between each number.  For mine the distance between my 12 and 3 is 4.5" so 4.5 divided by 3 equals 1.5 so I will leave 1.5" between each number.  This should be the same all the way around assuming you have measured the 3, 6, 9 & 12 out correctly.   Check that it is the same, if it is not then you may need to go back and correct your initial measurements that are off. 

Once you have marked out all 12 numbers you should start by adding in your 4 main numbers first.  You don't have to actually use numbers on your clock, this is an art clock after all.  I chose to use hearts for mine as you can see below.

Once you have finished your 4 main numbers you are ready to fill in the rest.  I chose to use hot pink gems for the rest of mine.

Once you have finished filling in all 12 numbers you are now ready to prep for the clock mechanism.  This is where your foam sheet is going to work. The clock mechanism is suited for a quarter inch depth and obviously canvas just isn't even close to that so the foam is going to not only make it thicker but also add a bit of support for the mechanism. 

You will only need 1 piece of foam, they come 3 for a dollar at my local dollar store.  Turn your canvas upside down and measure the space inside the frame of your canvas.  Cut the foam approximately 2mm smaller then the space inside the back of the canvas.  The reason for this is if you do not the foam will try to slip underneath the wood frame causing a lump or ridge on the front when you look at it.  By cutting it just a tad bit smaller it won't be able to slip under the wood.  

The foam sheet should lay flat and smooth inside the back of the frame.  There is no need to glue it or anything it will be held in place when we insert our clock mechanism.  Now with an Exacto knife slice a cross in your perfect center of the canvas from the front.  You don't want to make a large hole in fact by slicing a cross it won't even look like a whole from the front. Make sure your slices go all the way through the canvas and the foam sheet behind it.  

You are now ready for your clock mechanism.  It should look like this...
The 4 pieces that I labeled 1 thru 4 come unattached to the rest of the mechanism and I have labeled them in order of how they will assemble to the big piece of the mechanism.  There should be a nut, washer and black foam circle attached to the front of the mechanism, you need to remove them.  Now with those 3 pieces removed you can insert the mechanism into your hole from the back of the canvas. 

With your foam in place push the bolt through the foam and then through the back of the canvas and out the front.  You will now secure it using the 3 pieces that you just removed from it.  Start with the black foam circle, then the washer and then the nut.  Make sure it is tightly secured and that the back of the mechanism is straight and not upside down in the back.  

You are now ready to assemble the clock hands to the front of the mechanism, this is the last step, you are almost finished!  Start by sliding your hour hand (labelled #1 ) down over the bolt, then your minute hand (labelled #2) then tighten the nut (labelled #3) in place. Once the nut is tightly secured in place you can secure the second hand (labelled #4) in place.
Once all your clock hands are securely in place you just need to add a AA battery in the back and set the time using the black dial above the battery.  

Finished Art Clock


  1. This is really fun! I'll give it a try, thanks for the walk-through :)

  2. Wow! Love how that turned out! Very cool!

  3. I think I have inspiration for a new project! Great tutorial :)

  4. wow that is very cool and what a great looking clock.

  5. Great tutorial! I'm going to have to try this! What great gifts these would make!


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