Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Challenge 14 Submission: Atomic-look Ball Clock with Tutorial!

My atomic-look clock inspired by George Nelson's ball clock.
This submission is dedicated to chronically late, of which, sadly, I am one.  So, to get myself organized, I decided to make a clock for my TV room to help me keep track of time.  My prediction?  I'll still be late, I'll just be more aware that I'm late!

Here's the original George Nelson clock which retails for about $400:
Here's mine again; it cost about $10:

Here are the instructions for making your own Atomic-look Ball Clock.

Materials Needed:
  • 6-inch diameter round tin
  • 12 ping pong balls
  • 12 bamboo skewers
  • Clock works
  • 6-inch diameter styrofoam circle
  • Gloss spray paint
  • Awl, heavy duty punch, or large nail
I bought the tin and the clockworks at Goodwill for a total of $1.34.  I took the clockworks off another clock that I bought there.  I used leftover spray paint from other projects.  I got the ping pong balls at a sporting goods shop for about $7.


Step 1:  Poke a hole in each ping pong ball using your awl (I was too lazy to search for my awl so I used a seam ripper).  Insert a bamboo skewer.
Poking a small hole in the ping pong balls.  You want a hole that is just big enough for the tip of the skewer.
Step 2:  Spray paint your skewered ping pong balls.  You also will need to spray paint your tin.  I used 5 different colors (one is not show in the photo below).  Light pink (for the tin), and hot pink, yellow, light blue and lime green for the skewered ping pong balls.
Skewered ping pong balls waiting to be pained.
I poked mine into cardboard to dry.

How cute are these?
Step 3: Hollow out a square space in the styrofoam circle for your clockworks.  I used an Xacto knife to help with this, but mostly I dug it out with my finger nails.

The clock works fit snugly into a carved out hole in the styrofoam.

Step 4:  You will need to poke 12 holes into the rim of the tin lid.  I used my Cropadile which worked great.  If you don't have one of these, go get one.  But in the meantime, you can use your awl or a hammer and nail.  You will also need to punch a hole in the center for the clockworks.  For that, I started the hole by pounding a nail through the tin, then widened by stick a closed scissors in it and turning it in a circle until I had the size I wanted.  Poke hole for hanging the clock on the bottom of the tin.

Here you can see the holes punched in the side along with the styrofoam and clockworks inserted.  You can also see that I jacked up my paint job by touching it too early.  I had to sand it and paint over it.  Moral of the story:  let your paint dry before touching it.
Step 5:  Insert styrofoam with clockworks through the hole in the top and add the hands.  Put the lid on the rest of the tin.  Note:  I didn't like the hands that came with the clockworks so I glued black cardstock cut to a shape I did like onto the hands. 

Step 6:  Insert skewered ping pong balls into the twelve holes, enjoy your new clock, and get where you need to be on time!

Skill Level:  Anyone can do this.
Cost:  If you have the spray paint already, this will cost you about $10.
Time to Complete:  About an hour.

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Janet said...


Jamie @ DIY Home Sweet Home said...

What a great idea. I love the colors. I'm your newest follower. I'm having my first link party tomorrow (Monday). It would be great if you could stop by and post your project.

Kara said...

I love this! My three year old is obsessed with clocks lately so I just may need to make her one of these! Thanks for sharing the how-to!

Jamie @ DIY Home Sweet Home said...

Thank you so much for joining the More The Merrier Monday Linky Party. Be sure to come back next week. I look forward to seeing more of your projects.

Unknown said...

so beautiful!

Liz said...

This is fantastic and you are so clever! Visiting from the hop! Have a good day!

Unknown said...

I like very much your way of presentation. I am so much interested to join your network. Thanks for sharing this post. Keep blogging.
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