Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's about time

Decorative clocks can make a statement

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Most of us have a clock in at least one room of the home, so why not make a statement with it? Clocks or timepieces can be a unique, conversational feature in the home. From sundials to projection clocks, there's something out there for everyone. The array of designs of clocks is staggering and truly inspiring. You can even make your own clock for a one-of-a-kind piece.

If you search the Internet you can find interesting and inspiring clock designs. Large-scale wrought iron clocks are a wonderful way to make a statement and draw attention to a focal wall in a living or dining room. A grouping of clocks on one wall can also be an appealing display in the right d©cor setting. Antique clocks and their workings can become a wonderful collection for the clock enthusiast.

Clocks can also become part of the furniture arrangement in your decor. Accent tables with clock tops are wonderfully unique. Timepieces used in any application add a sense of history and whimsy to a room. So look for opportunities to include images of clocks through items such as wallpaper, wall decals or fabric patterns, for example.

There are so many wonderful ideas in the DIY clock arena I just have to share some of them with you. Perhaps these ideas will inspire you to make your very own distinctive timepiece out of a treasured family relic or a flea-market find. Hand-made clocks also make wonderful seasonal or wedding gifts.

You can purchase clock workings from such places as Michael's, Lee Valley Tools or on the Internet. The kits are reasonably priced and fairly easy to assemble. Ask for assistance when choosing the size and depth of your clock workings for your specific project.

Sports clocks can be made from items like hockey pucks, sports-themed photo plaques (have a favourite photo mounted onto a wooden plaque and thenmake a clock out of it),

a tennis racquet with tennis balls as the main clock numerals (cut the tennis balls in half and mount directly onto the wall around the racquet clock, using the racquet handle for the number 12), a basketball clock made by cutting a basketball in half and inserting the clock workingsinto the middle or a clock or for the golfer in the family use golf tees for the numerals with a backdrop of synthetic grass.

Other hobbies can also be great fodder for unique clocks. Fishing enthusiasts might enjoy a clock that featured old fishing lures or fly lures to represent the numbers on the clock. The clock shape could also support the theme for added interest. Cut out shapes from plywood, foam core or heavy card stock to create clocks in the shape of a canoe or a fish.

Use sewing notions on clock faces for your favourite seamstress or tailor. An inverted cake pan would make a great clock for bakers. You can use small, representative magnets for clock numerals. An embroidery hoop with an embroidered insert would make a great clock for like enthusiasts.

Make a clock from an old globe for travel devotees. Cut along the seam of the globe and divide it into two. Use one half of the glove as a wall clock base. (You can find old globes at thrift shops, flea markets or garage sales.) If not a globe, then you could certainly use a piece of a large map, mounted on a flat surface, to create a travellers clock. Another travel inspired clock idea is to make a clock out of a small vintage trunk that can be mounted on the wall or set on a table.

For the artist in the family, purchase a wooden artist palette from an art supply store and paint it in any design you wish. You can use paint blotches to represent clock numbers. Then drill a hole for the clock workings and voila!

For the handyman, use an old circular saw blade as a clock base. (Be sure to carefully sand down the blades to make them dull.) Use nuts to represent the numerals. An old hand saw could also be configured into a unique clock with a little ingenuity.

A bicycle wheel, with or without the tire, can make an awesome clock for the outdoor enthusiast. The large scale can create a wonderful focal point.

Vintage items like product tins, old metal cheese graters, vinyl LPs or decorative vintage tins can be turned into great clock gifts for those who like old-fashioned items. Perhaps you have your grandmother's grater or a favourite old-time record the family used to love. You can turn cherished items into a great d©cor accent rather then storing them in a closet.

Kids toys, that are probably always underfoot, can make great clocks for a child's room, playroom or nursery. Use Leggo pieces to create a unique, colourful clock for the kids. An old game board would make a fun clock base, using game pieces as clock numbers. The front cover of a hardcover book (that has probably seen better days) can also be transformed into a terrific clock. For older children, a CD clock is a great gift.

Other miscellaneous items that can be used to make a clock are things like vintage licence plates, vintage cutting boards (often in the shapes of farm animals and thin enough to drill through easily), a large wooden letter representing the recipient's name, birdhouses, any photograph which is dry mounted, a magnifying glass (sans glass) for a stamp or coin collector, a dinner plate or platter, old musical instruments like bongos, a ukulele, tambourine or mandolin to name a few.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to try your hand at making or purchasing a truly unique timepiece that will be the talk of the town. Let me know if you decide to create a unique clock. I'd love to hear what you dreamed up.

 

connieoliver@shaw.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 24, 2013 F10

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