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Personalized Oversized Wall Clock

custom diy oversized pallets personalized reclaimed materials

The project began with searching through pallet inventory for just the right pieces to create the perfect wall clock. Next up, we had to organize the slats with the knots in consideration so that they would be strategically placed to not interfere with the text that would be carved on them. To glue the sections together, wood glue and clamps were important. While the glue dried the decision-making got a little challenging. There were sooo many options available in how to complete the clock. Do I paint it black and then carve so the clock numbers and personalization be the color of wood? Or, do we carve it and then paint the design that’s carved leaving the majority of the clock the exposed wood grain? I decided to take a few days to think about this…

Once I returned to the shop and the clock base had dried, I decided that after carving it we could ponder the finish because either way paint or stain would be involved, it would just be a matter of what parts would be painted or stained. Before carving, we realized some of the slats differed in height which could have been a problem for anyone, but what I found to be a unique characteristic of my clock. Ryan had previously designed the clock with the text, our last name, and our wedding date so we just needed to place it on the table to carve. So, on the table the wood went and as the clock outline and numbers were being carved, I couldn’t help but get that giddy child feeling because this was going to turn out so AWESOME and it was going to be mine!! In less than thirty minutes, the clock was carved to completion and I needed to start deciding on how it would be finished. I decided I really liked the appearance of the grain and the individual knots on the clock, that’s where the real character of this rustic clock was displayed so the design and text would be painted black. So Ryan gave me some sanding lessons with the hand sander and I went to work on the surface. I had very little experience with sanding and after this project, I felt like a pro! Ok, maybe just more experienced, we all have room for improvement.


Once sanded, I painted all of the carved areas with black paint. The best part was that I didn’t have to paint within the lines because I could sand off all of the excess. You know what makes a painting project really easy to do? A lazy susan! Ryan miraculously pulled one out of his entire inventory and this made it so much easier to rotate the clock as I painted. As the paint dried, I contemplated the type of stain I would use for the surface of the clock. I decided on Golden Oak because it was just light enough to still be able to see the grain and knots and was a great contrast to the black paint I used for the text. Sanding off the excess paint was an exciting part of this project because I couldn’t help but stop every 5 inches, or so, to see how great it was turning out! I could see the clock coming to life! I can’t tell you how many times I stopped to just stare at it before it was finished! I used the air compressor to clear the excess sanding debris from the carvings and then stained the exposed wood on both the front and back. After staining, I was finished! This is where I took the opportunity to take pictures and brag to all my friends about what I had been working on because it looked so great! Now, I plan to purchase a clock kit with ornate arms to make this a functional clock.


During sanding process. 

oversized wall clock made from pallet wood

And a close up....

This was a great project to do for many reasons. One, Ryan was encouraging and taught me different methods in creating and finishing my wall clock. Two, it displays an important part of my life with my family’s last name and my wedding date. And lastly, I worked on this to ease the stress of preparing for and awaiting results of my NCLEX exam! It’s amazing what creativity and hand tools can do for passing time and easing the mind. Can’t wait to get my hands involved in another project!

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