Introduction: DIY Tree Ring Shaped Wall Clock

About: Hi! My name is Marija and this is the Creativity Hero channel! I make a variety of videos like DIY projects, crafts and lifehacks that anyone can complete with just a little time and creativity. My mission…

Hi everyone! In this Instructable I’m going to show you how I made a tree ring shaped wall clock.

I made this clock to celebrate my first anniversary on YouTube.


Plywood - 21 mm thick (your local hardware store)

Clock mechanism

Colored pencils

Clear fast-drying polyurethane

D-ring hanger




Cordless drill

Dremel high performance rotary tool kit

Forstner drill bits

Router bits

Sanding block

Let's get started!

Step 1: Making the Shape of the Clock.

This clock is made out of 21 mm thick plywood. This large plywood board is pretty heavy, so I cut it 60 by 40, which will make the drawing of the shape easier and faster.

Now, I can start drawing the shape of the clock. I wanted to make a tree ring shape, and I hope I achieved the goal.

In the beginning I drew total of 6 rings, with a nice transition between them. Actually, my plan was to make each ring a different layer, and all of them to be 3 mm high, only the smallest one to be 6 mm high. Later, I realized that I needed to make 7 rings, all with 3 mm height, which will improve the look of the clock.

But, let’s go back to the shape. Once I was done drawing, I cut with a jigsaw, following the outline of the largest layer. So, I got the final size of the clock, which is 55 by 35 cm.

Step 2: Creating All the Layers With a Router.

Now, I can rout out all the layers with a router. I already shaped the first layer with the jigsaw, so, I’ll start with the second one. The thickness of the plywood is 21 mm, which means that I need to set the cutting depth of the router bit to 18 mm in order to get 3 mm high layer.

Removing 18 mm of the thickness was pretty slow, but doable.

To make the third layer, I set the cutting depth of the router bit to 15 mm. And so on until I got to the last layer.

While outing out the sixth layer, I made a change in the plan. I decided to make one more layer, and that way all the layers will have 3 mm height.

Now all 7 layers are 3 mm high. You can notice some imperfections and knots all over the surface, but I like how they give a character to the clock.

Step 3: Making Space for the Clock Mechanism.

After I found the center of the clock mechanism, I drilled a hole for the threaded shaft to pass through.

Then, I placed the clock mechanism on the back side to trace its outline. There, I made 18 mm deep opening with the router, and when I install the mechanism, it will stay flush with the surface.

But, before using the router, I enlarged the hole with a Forstner bit.

Step 4: Drawing and Engraving the Numbers.

Once I was done with the opening, I inserted the clock mechanism. Here, I wanted to use the clock hands to mark the points where the numbers will be created.

Then, I drew the numbers in an interesting order. Numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 are larger than the other numbers.

Engraving the numbers was very easy and fast process. I took a Dremel rotary tool, installed the flexible shaft, set the appropriate engraving bit, and engraved all the numbers.

Step 5: Sanding the Surface of the Clock.

Next, I moved on to sanding. The top layer of the plywood face was much brighter than the rest of the layers, so I wanted to remove that part and get uniform color.

First, I took 80 grit sandpaper, and then continued with 180 until I got smooth surface.

You can notice that when I sanded down the first layer, a knot appeared below number 12. I didn’t like it in the beginning, but then I realized that it actually gives the clock a special touch.

Step 6: Adding Some Color to the Numbers.

To emphasize the numbers and make them more visible, I decided to darken them.

The first thing that came to my mind was wood burning. But, after doing some tests with my soldering iron, I realized that the tip of the iron doesn’t reach the appropriate temperature, and it doesn’t burn the wood. So, I needed to find another solution.

After a while, I figured out that the best way to darken the numbers is to simply color them with colored pencil. I chose the most suitable brown color, and colored all the numbers.

It turned out amazing. The numbers got nice, uniform brown color, and I think the goal here is achieved.

Step 7: Applying Finish to Protect the Wood.

I sprayed one coat of clear fast-drying polyurethane to protect the wood, and to keep its natural color at the same time.

Step 8: Attaching a D-Ring Hanger and Installing the Clock Mechanism.

The spray has dried, so I found the center on the back side, pre-drilled a hole, and attached a D-ring hanger.

After that I installed the clock mechanism, and placed the hands in order. First I placed the hour, than the minute, and finally the second hand.

Step 9: Mounting the Clock Onto the Wall.

This clock turned out pretty good.

Be sure to watch the video placed in the beginning of this Instructable for more details.

If you like this project please subscribe to my channel and follow me on social media.

Thanks, Marija.

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