How to Make a DIY Photo Clock

Happy belated Fourth of July everyone!  And to my lovely girlfriend, a happy belated birthday.

Last weekend, we celebrated these two great days of the year with a bit of well-deserved splurging.  First, we kicked off the celebrations with a round of brunch and beer at Bierhaus where we watched Germany knock Italy out of Euro 2016 ($69).  Then we headed to the Whitney Museum of American Art where we got in on free admission thanks to Bank of America’s Museums on Us program ($0).  That’s when my girlfriend remembered that she had a gift card to the museum’s Studio Cafe, so we ordered some fancy sodas at a discount ($5).  Before calling it a night, we stopped by the famous Artichoke Pizza for dinner ($23).

Then I surprised her with a handmade photo clock that I had prepared two weeks earlier.  As you probably guessed from the title of this post, I’m particularly proud of this clock and wanted to share with you all how I made it.  And given the positive and priceless reaction of my girlfriend, I highly recommend this if you’re looking into DIY gifts for a significant other.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Step 1: Pick your favorite photo and Photoshop some numbers onto it.  I used a clock template that I found off of Google to help with the positioning.  By adding the template to my photo as a translucent layer, I was able to add another layer of Roman numerals to the correct places.  Then, I deleted the clock template layer.

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Step 2: Print your photo!  I used Shutterfly and ordered a 12 x 12 print with a black border.  My canvas was also 12 x 12 like my photo, so I cut about a quarter-inch off each side of the photo to make sure it would fit.

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Step 3: Paint the edges of your canvas with black acrylic paint to match the border of the photo.  Wait for it to dry.  Then, paste your photo onto the canvas with Mod Podge and punch a hole through the center with the paper piercer.

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Step 4: Take the clock kit and stick it through the hole.  Glue the clock to the back of the canvas with E6000.

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Step 5: Add a layer of Mod Podge over your photo to give it a nice finish.  It will look a bit messy until it dries completely.

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Step 6:  Add the clock hands and battery, set the time and you’re done!

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A nice, meaningful gift that lasts.  The best part is that if the clock itself ever stops working, it is easy and inexpensive to replace.

*Note that if you decide to buy through the links on this page, I’ll get a small referral commission from Amazon. 

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