Introduction: Vintage Coffee Sign Clock

This vintage coffee sign clock is a relatively simple project and is great for anyone who loves to get painting. The end result looks great and really suits the time era.


Four planks tongue and groove wood

Three strips of MDF or scrap wood (same size)

Paint (colours optional)


Wood glue

Clock mechanism and hands



Power Drill

Chisel or router

Step 1: 1. Cut the Wood

Each plank is 8.5cm and 42.5cm long. Depending on the width and the length of you wood, you will need to cut it to different lengths. Make sure the planks are flush and sand the edges to make them smooth. Measure two of the MDF strips (or scrap wood) against the four planks, making sure that it does not overhang, but stops just sort of both edges. Cut it to size and make that both are or almost the same. Measure the third strip against the planks and cut it so that it stops about a plank width short on the top side. This will ensure that you have room to install the clock mechanism at the end.

Step 2: 2. Glue the Wood

Take the four planks and lay them face down. Put a thin line of glue in the grooves of each one and press the planks together. Clamp them tightly so the glue sets properly. Using the MDF strips, glue them vertically down the back of the planks for extra support. Clamp those planks and leave overnight to give time for the glue to set well.

Step 3: 3. Sketch the Design

Using a pencil and a ruler, sketch out your design on the wood, making sure you don’t press too hard. Once you are happy with everything, you can allocate your paint colours for each aspect of the sign. Make sure the colours go together nicely in their specific areas.

Step 4: 4. Painting the Design

First mask off the areas you are not painting to ensure a clean finish. Then, using the colours of your choice, (or the same ones as my example), carefully paint your design on the clock body.

Step 5: 5. Finishing Paint Touches

Once the paint job is complete, you may like to finish it with a gloss finish, or you can leave it without. I left it without the finish and aged the edges of the planks slightly for extra effect. If your clock hands are a colour that don’t match your design, paint them to match and add any extra details you feel necessary.

Step 6: 6. Clock Mechanism

Using a power drill, drill a hole for you hands and clock mechanism. If the wood is too deep for the mechanism, use a router or a chisel to remove the wood in that area until the mechanism fits nicely. Then, if you haven’t already, put some batteries in the mechanism. Here is a tip: When you attach your hands, put them all at 12:00, so each time it passes the minute, or the hour, it is exactly the right time.

Step 7: 7. Install Your Clock

Install your clock wherever you plan to put it and enjoy the finished product!

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