Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DIY Burlap And Button Clock

For once I have no enlightening beginning for a post. 

Well maybe I do.

It goes like this.

Once upon a time, a girl had a plan to make a clock. And by plan I mean decided-it-sounded-like-a-generally-good-idea.

So she made a clock.

The end.

Yup! That's my story. See, I have this dreadful problem of getting an idea in my head and diving in. I don't read directions. I don't measure. And generally I don't think it through. Gah! It's a terrible fault, I know. It's a good thing I married a man who is very thorough otherwise our life might be a disaster!

Hey, but ya know what?? This clock turned out okay. I bet you can think of one even more creative...but here is what I did...

You Will Need:

  • Picture frame with the glass removed
  • Clock mechanics (I got mine at Joann's but Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc. would all have them)
  • Buttons
  • Burlap
  • Tape
  • Hot glue
  • Cardboard
Something to note: clock mechanics come in different thicknesses. I got the smallest one they had which was a 1/4", since my layers weren't too big. It worked perfectly. 

To start:

1. Cut out one square burlap piece as the "base". Then cut out burlap that has words, pictures, etc. Arrange them on the base layer so they fit through the opening of the mat. 

2. Hot glue the burlap words onto the base layer. Flip the mat over and tape on the burlap so it stays where you want it. 

3. Next you will want to cut out a piece of cardboard to fit over the burlap. This will make it more stable, otherwise the clock flops around. Glue on the cardboard.

4. Print off a clock template so you can arrange the buttons in the correct places. (Thank GOODNESS I did this clock actually keeps time! Oh happy day...) I used this one right here and printed off the 8" one.

5. Now here is where a more particular person could do better than I did. Instead of measuring where the middle of my burlap was, I just eyeballed it and wiggled a little hole through the burlap using a scissors.

6. Make a hole in the middle of the clock as well, and match up the two holes. Secure with a pin or tape or something.

7. Arrange the buttons to your liking. Once you like how they are placed, either glue or tape them on. I used something called Glue Dots which are a florists best friend. They are essentially squares of stickyness that make adhering easy. I would think your next best bet would be double stick tape. I'm just afraid that hot glue would show through the button holes.

8. Once your buttons are in place, you will want to prepare the picture frame back. Ahem. This is where I should have measured. But noooooo. I just forged ahead because I was antsy. I mean seriously. This project was on the 49th minute. My attention can only hold so long!

8.5. Measure and cut out where the bulky part of the battery-clock-holder-thing will go. 

9. Now for the final part! Assemble the clock as per the instructions on the package. Yes. I did read THOSE directions. 

10. The hole you made in the burlap earlier is where the clock will go. Once all the hands are attached, carefully attach the back of the frame and secure it in place.

11. Get a battery.

12. Insert the battery.

13. Set the time.

14. Sit back and sigh with delight.

15. Oh wait. NOT DONE YET! You are probably wondering how on earth I got the clock to hang on the wall since the back part is pretty fat. Well, my friends, I just happen to be a genius. Or not. But we'll go with genius. I used some of the wire I used for my vintage picture frames and attached it to the two brackets on back. That way it will hang without being directly against the wall.

Works like a charm.

However I did almost have a heart attack in the morning, because I honestly was just crossing my fingers and hoping the thing would actually keep time.

Well at 7:30 the next morning it said 1:00. DANG IT!!! You mean winging it actually didn't work???! But on closer inspection one of the hands was just bent a little and got caught on some burlap. 

Wowza. Close call. I almost thought I'd have to call in the real genius. Aka my husband. The engineer.

But no. I and I alone made myself a dining room clock. 

And yes. I realize it looks a little tacky against my green wall. If I could, it would be a taupe/brown/neutral color. But alas. I rent.

And now my clock says it is 1:25 PM and my puppy dog is whining to go for a walk.

So I shall go for a walk in the snow. 

Tra lah lah. 

Someone just drank coffee. Yikes.

The end.



  1. Nice clock story...quite amazing really....proud of you. (dad)

  2. What a nice way to start my morning -- reading this entertaining blog. (you think I should show Dad how to write his own comment with his own name????) Your clock looks very nice!

  3. Bethany, you are so talented!! What a unique clock--and it works!! Keep up the good work.


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