Introduction: DIY Barn Door Styled Clock Made Out of Old Pallet Boards

A few years ago I had cut the boards off of an old pallet we had sitting around because they had cool colour patterns and textures and I was hoping to use them in a project some day but I never knew what that would be. Now, a few years later, we were in need of a new clock and the pallet boards were the perfect material for the project. The overall design was inspired by a picture I found on the web, but here is my version.

Step 1: Supplies and Tools

  • Old pallet boards (about 1/4" thick)
  • 1/4" Plywood
  • Old 1x4 scrap cutoffs from previous projects
  • Clock Mechanism
  • Clock Numbers
  • Wood Glue
  • Dark Walnut Stain
  • black Stain
  • Black Paint
  • Satin Varnish
  • Double sided tape (optional)


  • Mitre saw
  • Scroll saw (Optional)
  • 180 & 320 Grit sandpaper
  • Clamps
  • Protractor
  • Ruler
  • hole saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bits

Step 2: Plan

I got my inspiration for the project off of an image I found on the web. I originally planned my clock to be 16''x16" but I later changed it to 15"x15". I added my own pattern to my plan and then I got to work.

Step 3: Building the Frame

Using scrap 1x4 cutoffs, I used a miter saw to cut 45 degree angles on each end so they will fit together later. Each side is 15" long and 1" wide. If you don't have any scrap cutoffs, you can use a table saw to rip cut a 1x4 to 1" wide pieces and then make your miter cuts. Once all your pieces are cut out you can apply wood glue to all your ends and clamp them together. Use a square to make sure your frame is perfectly square.

Step 4: Making the Center "X"

Before you start cutting the pallet board you will want to make sure there are no nails or anything else in the boards because this could wreck your saw blades and could potentially be quite dangerous. This is probably one of the trickiest steps because each piece has to be very precise so the they all fit flush to the frame and meet in the middle. When I was completing this step, I marked the center of each of my pieces and set my miter saw to 45 degrees. From the center of the clock to the inside of each corner of the frame is 6 11/16" long so I cut each piece as close to that as I could. After they were all cut I dry fit them in the frame to make sure they all fit.

Step 5: Side Pieces

To mark my side pieces, I used old scraps to raise my frame and "X" pieces and then I slid my side pieces underneath so I could mark them and then cut them using a scroll saw because my miter saw was unavailable at the time. This probably wasn't the best way to do this step as it took a lot of time and it was very finicky, but it got the job done.

Step 6: Inside Pieces

For the inside pieces I wanted to add another colour to make the clock stand out a little more so I sanded one of my pallet boards down and I used a black stain to stain it. After the stain dried I gave it a light sand with 320 grit sandpaper to give them a more rustic and aged look. To mark and cut these pieces I used the same process of raising my frame, "X" pieces, and side pieces and then I slid my inside pieces underneath to mark. Once marked, I used my scroll saw again to cut them out. Again, there is probably a better way to do this.

Step 7: Barn Door Hardware

Instead of buying barn door hardware I decided to make it myself out of wood. To make the rollers I drew out a shape I liked on 1/4" plywood for the hangers. I cut these out in my scroll saw. For the rollers, I used a 2" and 1 3/8" hole saw. I drilled out 4 2" holes and 4 1 3/8" holes. Once your circles are cut out you can glue them together. Make sure your 2" circles are on the outsides and the 1 3/8" circles are in between them. This will allow your rollers to sit on the rail. For the rail I used a piece of 1/2" plywood and cut it so it was 1" wide and 16" long. After my rollers and rail was complete, I cut off short pieces of 1/4" dowel and glued them on to the rollers and rail to look like rivets. Once that is done you can paint them all black.

Step 8: Completing the Frame

Once I had all my inside pieces cut out, I used a router and cut a 1/4" deep slot around the inside of the back of my frame. Next, I cut a square piece of 1/4" plywood, using my table saw, to fit in the back of the frame. This will help to glue the inside pieces down later. After the plywood is glued down, it is time to stain the frame. I used a dark walnut stain.

Step 9: Inside Pieces and Numbers

After the stain has dried you can now glue the inside pallet pieces down to the plywood. Make sure all your pieces are lined up where they are supposed to be and in the right spots. Once those dry you can drill the hole for the clock mechanism. I ordered my clock mechanism and numbers from my local craft store. I used a 3/8" drill bit to drill the hole but this might vary depending on the clock mechanism you have. After my hole was drilled I used a protractor and ruler to mark where I want my numbers. After I had all my marks made I used double sided tape to stick the numbers on and then the satin varnish will seal them in later.

Step 10: Attach Rollers and Varnish

Once your numbers are down you can attach your rollers. This step is very important because you need to hang them at exactly the same height so that the clock hangs level. I used wood glue to attach mine and I clamped them down using a spring clamp. Once everything is dry use a damp, lint free cloth to wipe off all the dust and then you can apply a satin varnish to finish it. I applied 3 coats and I used 320 grit sandpaper to give it a light sand between coats. This gives it a nice smooth finish. The satin varnish will go on with a bit of a creamy look to it but it will dry crystal clear.

Step 11: Hanging the Clock

When hanging your clock you can use 3M command strips. Make sure you use a level to hang your clock straight. I applied 3M command strips to the rail and I added one to the back of my clock just to make sure it doesn't fall. Now that it's hung you are finished! I hope you enjoyed!

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