Friday, October 22, 2010

Teacup clock tutorial

I mentioned in my teacup lamp tutorial that I made a teacup clock awhile back. I've had several people ask me to post my tutorial on making a teacup clock. And I am happy to oblige.

The love affair began when I came across this picture by happenstance.

I thought it was pretty amazing. I loved the idea of using old tea cups and giving them a new purpose. Then I looked at how much the puppy was selling for...$350. Ouch!!!
I knew that I could make a clock that would be just as attractive and better yet personalized to my liking, for a fraction of the price. So I got to work.

I will apologize now for the lack of pictures. I made my clock several months ago...before this blog was even a twinkle in my eye. Hopefully you'll be able to understand my intructions. If not, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Here's what you need:
4ftx4ft piece of underlayment $6 (available at any home improvement store)

12 cup and saucer sets (I spent around $25 total for all of mine)

1 clock movement and hands (you can buy movements with or without hands. I bought a kit without as I already had hands I took off an old clock. Price will vary depending on brand and size of hands...somewhere between $5-$15)

paint/stensil/stamp (or whatever you want to use to decorate your clock)

Epoxy $4 (make sure it's for glass and porcelain)

A couple nuts and bolts

Photo wire

I went to my local thrift store and purchased a majority of the cups and saucers sets. (I found one set at TJ Maxx and two at Tai Pan...a local interior decorating store).
I purchased a piece of half inch thick underlayment for the base of the clock. (Note: underlayment is not the best quality wood. It splinters. But, because I knew the clock would be hecka heavy after gluing all of the tea cups and saucers on, I wanted the board to be as thin as possible. Plus it was cheap...six dollars for a 4x4piece. If you want something a little better quality that's totally fine, just bear in mind the weight of the completed piece.)

I marked the center of the 4x4 board and hammered in a nail. (I don't know about you, but I don't own a compass large enough to accomodate a clock of this size, so I had to improvise.) I cut a piece of string 27 inches long (note: the actual diameter of your circle base will end up being twice the length of the, my clock base ended up being 54 inches, or 2 1/2 feet in diameter. It is completely up to your discretion how large you decide to cut your circle (I placed my cups and saucers on the wood prior to cutting it and measured to come up with the number 54 inches...not very scientific, but it works.)

Then, I tied one end of the string to the nail in center of the board and a pencil to the other end. Pulling the string as tightly as I could, I traced a large circle on the board.

I removed the string and nail and cut the circle out with a jig saw.

Next, I drilled a bigger hole in the center of circle to accomodate the clock mechanism.

Here's where you get your creativity on. Paint and/or decorate your clock face to your liking. I chose to paint mine a light, turquois-y, blue color with black and cream accents.

I found a foam stamp at Michael's for $1.99 and used it to decorate the center of the clock

and around the border.

After the paint was thoroughly dry, I glued my teacups and saucers on (I layed all of my dishes out first before gluing, to make sure I liked the way everything looked).

I left them to cure for twenty-four hours.

Then I mounted the hanging wire to the back. It's really important that you prepare your clock with something stong enough to accomodate the weight. I had my stud muffin drill two holes, on either side of the "10" and "2" (Please note that I purposefully waited to drill the holes until after we had already glued on the plates and cups. It would have been easier to do it before, but I wanted to make sure the holes would be concealed by the saucers so we did after they were glued on).
We screwed a heavy duty bolt into each hole and secured it on the front with a nut.

Then we tied/twisted the wire onto each bolt in the back.

Finally I mounted the clock mechanism to the back and affixed the hands.

I popped a battery in the back and watcher her tick.

I ended up spending approximately $45 to create my personalized teacup clock, compared to $350 for the original. It took a little patience 'and a little work, but it's totally worth it, dontcha think?

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  1. No way! YES that was totally worth it!

  2. Yes Yes Yes It is fabulous. Thank you for your patience in instructing us. I appreciate it.

  3. This is amazing! I love it
    I am also your newest follower, so I just wanted to say hi

  4. so beautiful! I really want to take on this project, if I do I will definately need the hubz to help! thanks so much for the tutorial:)

  5. Awesome clock. Can you tell me how long the hands are on your clock? thanks so much

    1. Okay, I no longer have my teacup clock so I'm just going off memory. I think the big hand of the clock was about 12 inches. Again this is just a guess. But if I remember correctly the clock itself was three feet in diameter, so 12 inches sounds about right. Sorry I couldn't be more accurate.

  6. Love your blog and this project - so creative and fun! 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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