How to Make a Wood Slice Clock

Turning nothing into something is what I do best! I love seeing the transformation occur, especially when I can create something functional that adds value to my life, like this wood slice clock with a wood burned leafy vine!

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I teamed up with a fantastic group of DIY bloggers for this Create and Share monthly challenge sponsored by  Walnut Hollow. I was sent a basswood round, a wood burning tool and clockworks.

This was my first DIY clock, and first time using a wood-burning tool. I was pleasantly surprised that it was easier than I was expecting to turn a wood slice into a functional piece of home decor and I can't wait to show you how I did it!

The supplies I used are included below:

I know I'm showing a jar of turquoise chalk paint here, but I changed my mind (a crafter's allowed to do that, right?) and decided to go for a more neutral look with the clock face (and paint the hands of the clock)...hence the color switch.

How to Make a Clock from a Wood Slice

Before I got to any painting, I had Mr. DIY drill a hole right in the middle to fit my clock works.

Using a small flat paint brush, I carefully painted the wood slice, matching my paint to the edges that you can see above. I realize that on screen it doesn't look like the color changed much (that's what I hate about monitors..they distort reality!) Trust me when I say that the color went from pale, natural wood tones to a creamy greige with the application of the Primitive paint!

Two coats later, I had the perfect coverage.

While the paint dried, I planned out my numbers and what I wanted for my clock. Because of the oval shape, I decided to just add the 12, 3, 6 and 9.

I had a set of chipboard stickers that were just the right size. I experimented with placement.

When I liked how it looked, I lightly traced around them. Then I lined up the 'empty' space from the numbers template onto my traced numbers and lightly dabbed on black acrylic paint, taking care to used an almost dry brush and to pounce so my paint wouldn't seep under the edges. Like this.

I was left with painted clock numbers. Easy peasy!

Next I came back in with white paint and a tiny brush to add some highlights so the numbers weren't so flat. Easy does it with this step...a steady hand is needed!

Now I will admit that at this point I hadn't really considered how the wood burner would take to the painted surface.

I opted to just go for it and see what happened...after all, if it was a total fail, I still had the back of the wood slice to work with! I know, there's a bit of a rebel in me, as evidenced in this furniture makeover.

I wanted the look of a vine trailing between the numbers so decided to start off with a solid line and then add leaves to that.

The wood burner needs to be heated up for several minutes before using. I'm pleased to say that it burned right through my light layers of chalk paint, didn't gum up, and didn't set off the smoke detector! It was just like writing with a pen! A hot one!

In order to use the leaf tool, I needed to let the wood burner cool down so I could add the attachment. Once that was done, it was full speed ahead! This part was even easier than burning the line!

I alternated my leaves on either side of the line, and while I kept them going in the same direction, I varied the angle a little so it would look more natural. I did have to press the wood burner down and let it sit still for a few seconds for each leaf, but as you can see, it did a fabulous job!

Once I finished both sides and let it rest for a few hours, I finished it with a clear coat to increase durability.

Here's an overview of the steps. Please PIN for future reference!

Before I added the clock hands, I chose to spray paint them a soft minty blue, which matches my decor (and the clock) better than the gold color.

Which is perfectly fine, because I'm using this wood slice clock on the hutch in my office that I shared with you on Monday.

I admit that the wood burning tool intimidated me a little bit. I've been impressed with what they can do, and even wrote a post about wood burning projects that inspired me. I'm happy to say that it was much easier to use than I had thought and I look forward to using it more in my home decor!

So be bold and unafraid to try this crafting tool!

Walnut Hollow is currently offering 20% off everything in your cart! Use code SPRING2016.

Please click on the links below to see all the other wood projects by my fellow bloggers. I'm sure you'll be inspired!

Pallet Tray Projects
Pocketful Of Posies:   DIY Military Coin Shadow Box
Vintage Romance Style: Easy DIY Laptop Stand
Shabby Grace Blog: Herb Garden Tray
Vintage Paint and More: DIY Vintage Pallet Tray
Domicile 37: Electronics Tray
Iris Nacole: Bohemian Tray
Green With Decor: Decorating The Bathroom Walls

Medium Basswood Round
A Shade of Teal: DIY Clock
One Mile Home Style:   Golden Home Sweet Home Wall Art
Flourish & Knot: Monogrammed Cheese Board
Knock It Off Kim: Rustic Treat Stand
Farmhouse 40: Wood Open Sign
DIY Beautify:   Wood Slice Clock
Creatively Homespun:   DIY Children's Step Stool
Chatfield Court:   DIY House Numbers

Large Round Clock
Monica Wants It: Gold Polka Dot Clock
The Twin Cedars: DIY Lazy Susan
Tastefully Frugal:   DIY Drum Clock
Uncookie Cutter: Tabletop Clock
The House Down The Lane:   Kid's Art Cheese Tray
Refashionably Late: Stenciled Clock
My Life From Home: DIY Baseball Clock
Old House To New Home: DIY Stenciled Clock

Thank you to Walnut Hollow for providing many of the products used in this post. As always, my opinions are my own!

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This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to recreate any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility for any injuries or damages incurred. Read my full disclaimer  here.


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  1. That's a pretty doable clock, I love it and I pinned it.

    1. Thanks Bliss! Hope you try making one, it was totally do-able!

  2. I was pretty unsure about using the woodburning tool on paint but I love how it looks and that it actually works. My next project will definitely be done on a painted object. Love the whole look - so pretty!

    1. Thanks Cathy, I wasn't sure how it would work. I did the woodburning the same day as the painting, not sure if that made it easier or not as the paint wasn't fully cured yet.

  3. What a smart way to make stencils! Love the clock. :)

    1. Thank you so much! I'm all about free stencils, if I can use something I already have :)

  4. Primitive is one of my absolute favorite DecoArt colors. It's what I used for my stools. :)

    1. Thanks Brit, I agree - Primitive is a great neutral and goes with everything!

  5. I love the way it turned out - rustic and elegant at the same time! Beautiful!

  6. This is BEAUTIFUL. It has the right amount of everything! The wood burning is perfection!

    1. Thank you so much,your comments are so appreciated!

  7. This turned about super beautiful. I was so impressed when I saw it in my email last week. Pinning it!

    The Blue Birdhouse - DIY Blog

    1. Aw, thank you sweet Iris! Thanks for the post love...and the Pin!

  8. Love the wood burned details and the subtle color from the chalk paint! Great project! Pinned and shared.

    1. Thank you Tiffany, I appreciate your comments and the Pin!

  9. Oh wow! That is truly a lovely clock. I particularly like the vine detailing you did. Great job!

    1. Thank you Sarah, I was so worried about the wood burning, but it was easy! I appreciate your visit and comments!

  10. Oh my, it looks wonderful- great job! Would love it if you'd link up to Talk of the Town. :)

  11. Your clock turned out so good, I love the mint hands!

    1. Thank you Katy, the pale mint hands are one of my favorite things about the clock!

  12. Very nice! I want to make one of these for a school project :)

  13. I wouldn't mind receiving one of this for Christmas! Thanks for sharing this fantastic idea - I think I'll make a couple of these for the holiday season.

    1. Thanks Tom, so glad you like it! These would make awesome Christmas gifts!

  14. Thats really cool! i like this. Pretty looking :)

  15. A very nice project. I like the frame-stand versus wall hanging for a smaller clock.

    If doing a live-edge wooden project, why paint over all the grain? Isn't that the purpose of the live edge?

  16. Hi, I know this is an old post but I want to ask what did you use to drill a whole in basswood?

    1. No problem Maya, we used a drill with a bit matched to the diameter of the clock part. Hope this helps!

  17. A really cool project to do in Quarantine.

  18. Doesn't the paint turn toxic when burning on it?


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