Friday, August 20, 2010

Pin Cushion Wall Clock

You've probably seen those retro style clocks with the little balls all the way around the outside. I've always thought they looked like a pin cushion and thought one would look neat in our sewing room. I sure didn't like the price tag though. I saw one that's only 13" across here for $61. It looks like this:

Well, as much as I like them, I sure wasn't ready to fork over $60+ for a novelty item, so after seeing a Sunburst Mirror created by Stephanie Lynn from Under the Table and Dreaming, I thought, 'If she can do it, so can I!' So I picked up supplies from Wal*Mart 2 days later. My clock is going to be much larger than the $60 one too. I got these regular old super balls for 4 for $1:
Super Ball

I started by boring a hole in them. I'm sure there's more technical ways of doing this, but I just used the screw that came off the back of the clock. It was holding it in the display box:
Boring a Hole in the Super Balls

I screwed it clear in and then pulled it out:
Drilling the Super Ball

Then I made the hole bigger with the dowels I'll be using. I can't remember exactly how much the dowels were, but they came in a 16 pack for about $2.Making the Hole Bigger

Next I dismantled the clock so I could decorate the face of it:
Dismantling the clock

It came out very easily. This is the point that I discovered that the face is actually glass, not plastic. That pleased me for a $3 clock!
Clock Face Plate

This is how it looked. I tested it to make sure it worked before I put any more effort into it. That's why the second hand isn't up on the 12 where it belongs:
The Clock

I decided to put it back together to mark where I wanted to drill the holes:
Marking for Drilling

Then I laid the dowels out and painted them using Krylon silver paint:

Midnight of course had to come check on me. I'm surprised Canicus wasn't along as well:

Next I drilled the holes:
Drilled Holes

Then I decorated the face of the clock. I thought I was going to do some actual stitching on it, but it was glued on so I just drew on it and added buttons, pins, and a needle. Cute, huh?
Face of the Clock Decorated

Then I added the "pins". I made these by gluing the balls onto the sticks after poking them in the holes I'd made. The white stuff you see here is wadded napkins glued in to hold the pins in place:
Pins in the Clock

So far, so good:
Pin Cushion Clock from the Back

I added the battery:
Battery in Clock

I did get a reassuring "tick, tick, tick, tick," but I must admit I was hesitant to turn it over. A million thought went through my head. What if it doesn't work? What if the glue dripped through and ruined the mechanism? What if it falls apart? What if...? We certainly need a drum roll here!
Drum Roll

Pin Cushion Clock

Isn't in darling? It's nearly 3 feet across. Here's another shot of the face of the clock:
Face of the Clock

You can see that the hands of the clock have a kind of glazed look. That's from the super glue fumes. This made me grateful again that the face is glass or it would have gone cloudy too. How "in-place" does this look hanging here in our sewing room?
Pin Cushion Clock in Sewing Room

All the supplies cost me around $10. There are a few things that bother me about this clock. The bottom pin is a little crooked and I can see the wood coming through on a few of the pins. I don't think I'm going to be able to do anything about the bottom pin, but I might mask it out and fix the paint on the pins. Chances are, I won't ever do anything about it. :) In the mean time, I hope you all like it!


  1. That turned out so very cute! It does look like a pin cushion. Makes me want to do something creative. :)

  2. I LOVE THIS! What a great idea. I have been wanting a clock for my sewing room-I hope you don't mind if I slightly rip off your idea. I will give you full credit when anyone praises me for it-which I know they will.
    SO CUTE!
    PS-I found you through Tatertots and Jello.

  3. Wow! Looks great, and you gave such good instructions!
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my Thorns post!

  4. Super cool look and what a money saver! Bravo!

  5. What a cute idea, it turned out great. It looks perfect in your sewing room!

  6. Very fun! i love what you put in the clock - so cute!


  7. Very creative. Totally looks like pins.

  8. Cute and clever idea, well done! I may have to try this one!

  9. Great great great....
    but I am gutsy and am going to suggest that perhaps ... you're not done yet....

    Consider this:
    I would paint the rim of the clock green (or red) and.... I would play around with the length of the sticks. Perhaps when the rim is no longer silver but having the color of one of your balls, (or matching), then it would look more like 1 coherent piece.

    However, I would also play around and see how it would look if your sticks were less than half as long....

    Now your clock with those superlong pins is ultra modern and needs loads of white space around it. By having the unit tighter together, it will belong in a more 'real' house with lots of stuff. I think ~ my 5 cts worth.
    I might be wrong...

    MEANWHILE, your project sure is inspirational!!! And I came here to invte you: do ADD YOUR DIY TUTORIAL here
    (Every Wednesday) so that our readers can find you too:

    have a lovely creative day!


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