What do you get when you cross an outdated clock, vellum paper and decorative lights?

DIY Repurposed Clock

This repurposed clock was a fun project I knocked out in two days, in my spare time.

I received the clock when I decided to go yard sale-ing via the internet and my mother, who lives a few states away. I don’t recommend it…the shipping costs were high. Luckily, I ended up receiving the items for free because Mom was helping her neighbor downsize.

repurposed clock

It had some blemishes, so a quick sanding helped smooth them out after I gutted the insides.


I gave it a few coats of DIY chalk paint in white. Then I dry brushed in a stone gray I had picked up in a sample bin at one of the big box stores.

While that was drying, I found a quote I liked, added a little extra touches in Pic Monkey, and printed it in the vellum paper to a size that would fit the glass from the clock.

It takes a little longer for ink to dry on vellum so resist the urge to touch it or it will smear.

I touched up the handle in top to match and then put it all together.

The vellum is on the outside of the window, and the glass is behind it to support. I did this for two reasons…I didn’t want the paper to have direct contact with the lights, and it also allowed me to position it without any adhesive so I can change it out down the road when I’m in the mood for something different.

Once it was all together, this is what I had…

Clock After

The dry brushing in gray helped accentuate the gorgeous curves of the clock base.

Clock Repurposed

Prepping the handle with gesso, then painting it in the stone gray with a white dry brush got rid of the dated brassy tones and helped tie it all together.

clock unlit after

For the final touch, I stuffed the decorative lights in the back…

repurposed clock after lit

One of the touches I added in Pic Monkey are those little stars you can see printed on the vellum…


I like that I can change out the quote with a picture or something a little different down the road. But for now, I’ll stick with Buddha.

Before and Afters


20 thoughts on “DIY Repurposed Clock

  1. That was a really great idea! I don’t have any clocks that would be suitable, but I think a memory frame would also be a good idea. There are so many ways to use a quote about “light” too! This would make a beautiful and appropriate gift for almost anyone’s bedroom, and also serve as a night light so to speak. I love the vellum idea, and there are tons of things you can print on vellum, to have a different scene or quote to change with the mood or seasons! Very versatile and creative. Quotes could be customized to the person you are giving the gift to. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, old, young and in between! Religious references would be good for a teacher or pastor as appreciation, etc. You are a “goldmine” of inspiration!

    1. Hi, Alice…I love your enthusiasm! Actually, the thought-seed of this project was making a shadow box out of a salvaged photo frame, and use the little LED tea lights in there for the light, then put little hinges on the frame so I could open it without taking it off the wall to turn the lights off and on. Then the clock showed up in my stash and I thought it would be good for this project on its own. I hope you have fun with it 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment!

  2. You are quite welcome. I have a number of things that I want to re-purpose that my dad who was a carpenter made, like a footstool that has sides shaped like a porthole, and a table he made for their house the year I was born, which I didn’t know that but since my parents have passed away, I brought it home, and turned it over the other day to look at the wood he had used, when I saw his name and the date 1943 on the inside of the top, which has gotten damaged on one edge. So, I have enough projects to keep me busy until I’m 90…Hah! I am also always trying to figure out how to make something special for family birthdays, so I just may do the “Light up my life” frame sooner rather than later, since Dad made me a bunch of frames for things over the years. I do a lot of crafts with Grapevine wreaths, some of which I made by hand myself until I began to have carpel tunnel problems. Now I have to buy them and add more wild grapevines until I’m happy with the look. Then I add silk flowers and birds, etc. sometimes I give as gifts, or I have sold them at bazaars, but furniture, I have not experimented with that, but I’m getting ideas from you…Thanks so much for your inspirational work.

    1. Thank YOU…that means so much to me. I think it’s beautiful that you’re going to work the same pieces that were built by your father’s hand. My father is a wood worker too, so I know how special they must be to you.

  3. So pretty and very creative!! It’s so cool when you can see something in a piece other than what’s originally there 🙂

    1. Thank you, Colleen! And I thought the same thing about your Metal Wall Decor project…I think it’s beautiful!

  4. I liked the old clock, but I absolutely love it’s new incarnation!

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