So I might be slightly obsessed with making clocks… There was this recent Marble wall clock and now this terracotta mantel clock version. You might easily feel that clocks belong to a bygone era. Why would you need a clock when you have a smartphone? That’s precisely why I love clocks so much: it’s a rare occurrence of getting information without having to look at your smartphone! It also helps that this DIY mantel clock is beautiful in its japandi simplicity. Terracotta and nothing more. Read on to find out how to make a terracotta mantel clock in 3 easy steps!
This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and supplies I love and may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through my links.
Click on the categories below to find more DIY projects
For this DIY Mantel Clock, you’ll need…
Step 1: Shape the DIY mantel clock body
To begin, work the clay to soften it and roll it out on a piece of parchment paper. Cut out the clock shape with a sharp knife. I used a pattern I drew on cardboard to help cutting out the shape in the clay. You can play around with the shape and make it more of a semi-circle which would also look fantastic!
Next, cut out a triangle in the extra clay that you discarded when you cut out the body of the clock. This will be a backing foot at the back of the mantel clock which will help stabilize it.
Once all your clay pieces are ready, pour some water into a small glass. Dip your finger in the water and run it along the edge of the clock body. The edges tend to look very sharp when you cut clay with a knife and you want to make them as smooth as possible, like the edges of a ceramic bowl. You can also smooth out any irregularities from the front of the clock body.
Now that your pieces are smooth, insert a pencil or a metal drinking straw to make a hole for the clock mechanism.
When you’re done, leave your clay shapes to dry for a day, turning them over every now and then. If needed, you can sand them a little when they’re dry with sanding sponges.
Step 2: Attach the clock mechanism
Your clock kit will come with a set of hands – or even different sets of hands for you to choose from! I selected the simple straight hands as this fit the minimalist look of this DIY clock best. The hands were originally black and I spray painted them gold.
Insert the clock mechanism from the back with the rubber washer that came in your clock kit. If the clay is not thick enough, you can add a few drops of hot glue around the hole at the back of the clock and let it cool down. This will add some depth and your clock mechanism won’t poke out so much at the front.
Next, add the metal washer and screw on the bolt. Make sure you tighten the bolt well with a spanner as this will hold the clock mechanism in place. You want the clock hands to move, not the mechanism itself!! Now, add the Hour hand (the shortest one) by pressing it onto the larger tube, like in the picture above.
You will see a smaller tube coming out of the large tube, this is where you should place the Minute hand (the longest). Finally, push in the little cap that came in your clock kit. It might have a Second hand (the thinnest hand) attached to it, you should be able to remove it and keep the little cap only.
Step 3: Glue on the backing
To finish, take the small triangle piece of clay and apply a line of hot glue. Press it onto the back of the clock and let the glue cool down. You might want to sand the bottom of the clay to flatten it and ensure the clock is stable.
That’s all! Pop in a battery and set the clock to the current time. The hardest part is to decide where to place your new mantel clock… Give your shelfie some clock love? I can’t decide between the credenza and the bedside table, so I’m just going to make another one!!