Many weeks ago I picked up this dated plastic clock at a thrift shop. It was $0.99 and I thought it had nice lines and the face swiveled so I brought it home.
For some reason, this little clock reminded me of the appliances in the The Brave Little Toaster. I was lucky enough to have a little sister who loved watching this movie over and over so I know it quite well. For those not familiar with the animated film, it’s a story about forgotten appliances left in a family’s summer home that take an incredible journey to be reconnected with their young master. Oh, and the appliances sing. The premise is a little bizarre, but somehow the movie works. Trust me kids love it.
To me, the movie had a very strong message about using the things we have (or are used) instead of constantly upgrading to the newest version. And in the case of this thrift store clock, I was reminded how many cool items are out there for the taking. So long-story-short, I was really excited to do a little makeover on this clock and bring him into our concrete family.
For the makeover, I contemplated painting him all white, but in the end I decided to give him a pop of yellow instead. The back of clock was missing so I decided I’d make a back for it. The clock was pretty loud without one. So first, I did my best to tape up both the front and back up to protect the clock.
Then I sprayed about five, thin coats of yellow paint until the whole clock was covered.
I stashed the clock in our unfinished bathroom for about a week to dry completely. Then I removed all the tape to see what I wanted to do next.
Once I saw how bright the yellow was against the black clock face, I decided to soften the look with a thick, white line. I picked up a white chisel paint pen at the craft store and then slowly traced around the clock face with it.
This technique isn’t perfect, but after a couple of applications I got a nice opaque line. There was an inconsistent gap between the plastic clock face and the frame so I used some white puff paint I had to fill it in like caulking. I softly smoothed it over with my finger.
Then, I left all the paint to dry overnight before I did something to screw it up.
Next, I worked on attaching a piece of blue ribbon to the back of the clock. This would become the pull to remove the cork backing once it was installed. I glued the ribbon to the clock back with a little super glue and cut it down to size so only a short tab shows when the back was inserted.
I liked the idea of using cork with the yellow/white/black color scheme for a more modern look. I cut out a piece of cork for the clock to sit on with my trusty X-acto knife.
Then measured and cut a circle of cork to fit in the back of the clock. Cutting cork is a big pain because it crumbles. I found using a sharp knife after lightly steaming the cork worked the best for me.
With all the glue dry, I began putting the clock back together by screwing the clock back into the frame.
Then adding a battery and inserting the cork backing into place.
And there you have it, a simple upgrade to a black alarm clock. The photo shows a summary of what I did on the front of the clock…
and here what I did to the back.
Overall, I am really happy with the makeover. The clock now has a cheery persona. The cork accents make it current and modern while the yellow/white/black color scheme keeps it classic. I’ve put it in my office for the time being. It looks great with all the black and white accents in there.
I should also mention that this project took weeks to complete. A lot of it was drying time, but I also spent a lot of time playing with the white paint to get it right.
With this clock finally completed, I am excited to find my next “brave little toaster” project to work on. You never know when inspiration may strike.
Project Materials List & Budget
- Clock ($0.99)
- Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Sun Yellow Spray Paint (I had it)
- White Chisel Tip Paint Pen ($3.82)
- White Puff Paint (I had it)
- Cork Tiles ($1.99)
- X-acto Knife (I had it)
- Blue 1/2″ Ribbon ($2.00)
- Super Glue (I had it)
Total Spent- $11.79