Sunday, November 06, 2011

An Altered Tale

Once upon a time, there was a princess.  She was a scrapbooker, but had ventured oh, so timidly into the altered arts, dipping a toe in, unsure if she wanted to jump right in.

Then one day, a parcel arrived from WeScrap, purveyors of fine crafty things.  Inside the parcel was a beautiful kit, Recess, the likes of which the princess had not yet seen.  Upon seeing it, she immediately thought to herself, "Self, dare we venture into the altered arts with this beautiful treasure?"

Self ran crying into her bedroom and hid under the bed for a day or two.

Then she found courage (and an old clock, purchased for this exact reason) and forged ahead - no holds barred.

And life was good.

The End.

Supplies used:  Bazzill Basics cardstock; Fancy Pants and JilliBean Soup patterned paper; myStamp BOX bubble wrap stamp (Backgrounds); Versamark ink; Ranger embossing powder; Fancy Pants flocked transparency; Tim Holtz filmstrip transparency; Fancy Pants chipboard banners and accents; Fiskars and EK Success punches; Cosmo Cricket word stickers; The Twinery twine; Glue Dots; Glitz Designs rhinestone; Marvy Uchida pen; tag, ribbon, wooden buttons, metal brad and flower from the WeScrap November kit, Recess.

Isn't that a beautiful crafty story?  :)  It's a true story, loosely based on a certain someone I know very well...

Here are some close-ups (I took the glass out for the photos to avoid any glare):

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!  And it's colour palette is a good match for my scrapbooking studio so I can't wait to hang it in there!

I know that there are some crafters out there, like the princess me, who love the look of altered items, but are not quite sure where to start.  With that in mind, I took photos of the process so I could share them with you!

To begin, you'll need the following items:

  • clock
  • screwdriver (if needed)
  • paint to match clock base (mine's black)
  • paintbrush
  • scrapbooking supplies to create your clock face "layout"
For your clock, look for one with a shadow box-type base so you can keep the glass on to protect your artwork.  I picked mine up at the Dollar Store for $2 - the black base is plastic and it's pretty cheap, but okay for my first time trying this.  Next time, I will try something a little more durable.

To remove the glass cover, turn it over and remove the screws.

Next, lift off the cover and the glass and set aside.

Now you need to remove the clock works.  Because I've never done this before, I'm not sure if all clocks have the same mechanics, but here's how I did mine.  First pull off the second hand.  Mine looked like a brad-like plug that stuck into a plastic tube thingy.

And why yes, that's the technical terminology for it, now that you ask!

It's a stubborn little thing so take care not to bend it.

After removing the other two hands, there was a nut that screwed onto the base (which stuck up through the base of the clock from the back).  Unscrew the nut and remove.  Place them, along with the screws from the cover, in a bowl to keep them safe.

Measure your clock's diameter.  Mine is just over 9 inches.

Now cut two circles, one in a base cardstock and another in your clock layout base colour (cardstock or patterned paper).

You may choose to cut only one base for your layout.  I used the Canadian Scrapbooker Super Stock as my base (more on this gift from the gods later in the week!), because I wanted a sturdy background to which I could attach my layout, rather than attaching directly to the clock face.  This gives me the option to switch the backgrounds depending on my mood, the season, etc.

One last step:  Paint around the base of your clock face, taking care to cover all areas about 1/4 inch in from the sides.  (The rest of the face will be covered so it's not as important to be neat, further into the circle, as I have so conveniently demonstrated here. :))

The reason for doing this is that I didn't have circle cutter big enough to cut my base so I had to trace it, using the inside ring of my cover, and hand cut it.  I painted the clock face to match the base to cover any miniscule gaps.

Now you're ready to decorate your clock!  Using your cardstock or patterned paper base, complete a layout as you would a normal 12x12 (or other) page size.  Then, using the clock face as a guide, cut a hole out for the  clock motor and just assemble it back together, taking sure to line up your layout with the top at 12 o'clock!  That's it - you're done!  EZ PZ!

Here's a few tips, to save you some heartache:

1.  If you're using a photo with people in it, make sure that there is a big gap in between them, or that they are on one side of the photo so the hole will not be on anyone's face.

2.  You can use chipboard and other dimensional embellishments, but keep in mind that they have to be thin enough to let the hands pass over them.  If it's chunky and you just have to put it on, then make sure that it's off to the side, out of reach of the hands.

3.  Before screwing your clock cover back on, put a battery in and make sure that the clock hands actually move and don't get caught on anything.  It will save you the hassle of having to disassemble and reassemble it four times... Like a certain someone I know very well :s  If you are going to photography it, I would add the cover with just a screw or two, without the glass, to avoid any glare.

Good luck!  Please share a link to your clock, if you try this out!


  1. Gorgeous, Sue!! What a great project! On my to do list as well, but you made it fabulous!!

  2. Love this...I have a clock that has been sitting waiting for me to do for FOREVER..gonna have to dig it out...thanks for the kick in the butt :)

  3. Even when you're racing against the clock, trying to meet a'll check the time and smile :) Fantastic project Sue!


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