Paper-mache Clock Face




Introduction: Paper-mache Clock Face

Ordinary clocks can be incredibly boring, so here's an easy way to make an interesting time piece.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

You’ll need:

A clock motor set - made for a 1/4 inch clock face

A sheet of cardboard 1/8 inch thick


Exacto knife

Pattern paper

Masking tape


Acrylic Paint



One AA battery

Step 2: Make the Pattern

An easy way to make a circle is to trace the circumference of a large lid or bowl – I used an 8 ½ inch lid. Trace the lid onto a sheet of paper for the pattern. The paper pattern can be folded and treated like you would a piece of paper when making a paper snowflake, but the pattern doesn’t always turn out exact due to the layers of paper. A more precise way is to cut out the desired shape from a piece of scrap paper and trace it on the exact spots needed on the pattern.  Mark out a center hole for the thread of the clock movement. Then cut out the interior shapes.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Clock Face

The clock face will actually be made out of two layers of cardboard. As with the pattern, merely trace the lid onto the cardboard two times. Using an Exacto knife, carefully cut out both circles. Make sure to place something under the cardboard to protect the surface you are working on.

Tape the pattern to one of the circles and trace the interior shapes onto the cardboard. Make sure to mark the center point as well.  Then, cut out the shapes with the Exacto knife.

Step 4: Papier-mache

The paste: 1 part glue to 1 part water, mix until completely blended.

Cut a piece of paper about the size of the clock face. Brush the surface of it with the paste mixture and carefully smooth it down onto the cardboard. Cut the left over paper around the edges into tabs, and then fold them over onto the back. Repeat the same technique with the inside cut outs. This will keep the edges smooth and neat. Only a couple layers of papier-mâché should be necessary to make the cardboard sturdier.

Step 5: Assembling the Face

Once both pieces are dry and pressed flat, take the top piece and spread glue on the back. Carefully align the front and back parts of the clock face and press them together. It helps to put them under a heavy weight so the pieces fully adhere together.

Finish off the surface with a final layer of papier-mâché, particularly along the edge to create a nice finished look.

Step 6: Paint

Using the paints of your choice paint the clock face. To make precise edges and shapes when painting, it helps to use masking tape to block the areas you don’t want painted.

Step 7: Finish

Follow the directions that come with the clock motor set to properly assemble the clock face and hands.

Hang and enjoy!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great looking clock, I like your choice of colours.