Introduction: Making a Clock From an Old Record

About: I am a hairdresser by day and a mother of three by night. But in my spare time i love to craft. i have made everything from bead bracelets to duck tape purses to t-shirt yarn rugs. Many of the things i have…

Hello! My name is Stephanie. This is my first Instructable so I hope that it comes out alright. I have been using this site for a few years now and I love everything about it. I am going to be teaching you how to paint and construct a clock out of an old music record aka vinyl. I get my records from a local thrift store. I usually buy the "Readers Digest Best of the..." box set that comes with 6-10 records in it for about 2-3$. When I mix my paints there is usually enough paint to paint 2-4 records depending on the application method. The time that it takes to complete this project varies depending on the climate that you live and how thick you pour the paint. It could take anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks. So lets dive right in, I hope you enjoy pouring paint as much as I do!


  1. Old records
  2. Acrylic paint of your choice (a few contrasting colors) I used 5 colors all together.
  3. sand paper, sanding block and or electric sander
  4. Flotrol acrylic paint treatment
  5. several small cups to mix your paint in (the cups i used were 5oz)
  6. Popsicle sticks
  7. a place to put your clock to dry where it won't get touched or have anything land in it for at least a few days
  8. paper towels
  9. torch lighter
  10. a spray bottle with water in it
  11. Minwax One coat polyurethane (water based for easy cleanup)
  12. paintbrush
  13. felt
  14. spray adhesive
  15. a Cricut (helpful but not necessary) I used mine to cut numbers and silhouettes (If you don’t have one you could just buy number stickers or use stick on jewels in place of the numbers)
  16. a template for where to place the numbers
  17. adhesive vinyl ( I used glitter purple and matte black
  18. clock hands and movement
  19. Scissors that will cut felt
  20. drill and drill bit( A tiny bit bigger than your clock movement shaft)

Step 1: Step 1: Prepairing the Records

First things first, you will need to prepare the record that you will be painting. I learned through trial and error if you don't remove the label the top coat will make the print bleed thru and mess up your design. I place the record on a table in my back yard and use an electric sander with 220 grit sand paper to sand it until the words are gone. Once the label has been removed, rinse off the record and dry it. Once dry spray either flat white or flat black spray paint where the label was then place a small piece of tape on the back side of the record to plug the hole in the middle.

Step 2: Preparing the Paint

  • You need a separate cup for each color of paint you are going to use.
  • In your cup mix Foltrol, paint and water IN THAT ORDER.
  • I fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full with Flotrol as shown in the first photo.
  • add a few squirts of paint. (I added the paint first in second photo ONLY to show how much paint is used.)
  • add 2 sprays of water from a spray bottle and use a Popsicle stick to stir until the mix is completely blended.
  • Continue to do this for however many colors you choose to use.
  • In 3rd photo I have shown the colors used for this clock.

Step 3: Pouring Your Paint

There are many different ways to pour your paint and no wrong way to do it. I call this method the pour and drag method.

  • pour the paint on the surface of the record use white on one side and put all the colors on the other side of the record (see photo 5-6)
  • use a damp paper towel (or in my case i used the record sleeve and dampened it with a few sprays of water.)

very lightly (so it is just touching the paint) drag the damp paper across the whole surface starting from the side where the white paint is. drag the white paint over the other colors of paint.

  • And this is where the magic happens. (see photos) Wait for 2-3 minutes to see the full effect of the paper.
  • at this time you can tip the record from side to side until the desired image is achieved.
  • once satisfied take a small handheld torch lighter and quickly swipe across the whole record to remove any air bubbles taking care not to let the flame come into direct contact with the paint or the record.
  • place it in a dry safe and level location and leave it alone for 3-4 days

Step 4: Once Dry

  • After at least 3-4 days you can check on your record to see if it is dry. If it is ALL the way dry you MAY need to sand it with a very fine sanding block if the surface is very rough.
  • if you sanded it, gently wipe clean with a DAMP (not wet) rag.
  • add the numbers to the clock. get creative! i have used shells, little jewels or stickers.
  • I used my cricut to cut out the fairy silhouette and a template for the clock so you place the numbers in the right places.

Step 5: Clear Coat

Now time to clear coat your clock so that it is sealed and protected. I used Minwax triple thick one coat polyurethane. read and follow directions on can. use the torch to pop any air bubbles in the finish. I like this finish because it does not stink like regular polyurethane does. I use a synthetic paint brush but since the finish is water based the clean up is easy. Just rinse well with water. Now place in your safe location and wait a few more days.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

  • Once finish is dry use a drill to make the hole in the middle just a tiny bit bigger.
  • cut a 12 x 12 piece of felt.
  • spray the back of the record with spray adhesive and stick the felt to the back of the clock.
  • cut a little hole in the felt just big enough that the spindle of the clock will go thru the hole.
  • screw It down with the bolt that comes with it.
  • To decorate the hands i just used a few scrap pieces of glitter adhesive vinyl.
  • I placed the hands upside down on the sticky side and cut out around each hand with a razor knife.
  • Last but not least flip it over and add the hands (size matters... put the hand with the biggest hole on first usually the hour hand then the minute hand then the second hand) and you have a nice clock to display in your home!
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