I'm excited to show you my latest project: a Family Portrait Wall Clock.
Here's the story of how it came about.
We've lived in our current house for five years. Five years, and the furnishing and decorating are still a work in progress.
One feature of our kitchen and breakfast area is a stairwell leading down to the "terrace level," which is a nice way of saying that our house is built into a hillside and we therefore have what could otherwise be called a walkout basement. Actually, the downstairs is a large part of our house, since it contains a bedroom, a bathroom, an exercise room, and a media room. So I'm very happy to have an open staircase leading down to it.
What I haven't been happy with is the staircase wall. It's huge, and until today it's been blank. I've had some ideas of what to hang on this wall, my favorite being an amazing piece of architectural salvage that exists only in my mind. But since I've never been satisfied with any of my ideas, I've just left the wall blank. Two wall sconces, and lots of wall space.
Sometime over the past few months, I thought of making a large wall clock to go in this space. I found this great kit at Hobby Lobby:
It retails for $29.99, but I got it on sale for $14.99. It comes complete with a set of Arabic numerals and a set of Roman numerals so that you can create a clock three to five feet in diameter.
I didn't want to use the vinyl numbers, though. I wanted to create my own clock "face" with photos of my family.
I combed through my pictures and found recent photos of my husband and me (for 12 o'clock), our oldest son Will (3 o'clock), our middle son Preston (6 o'clock), and our youngest son Lee (9 o'clock). I cropped photos to a 4"x4" size and printed them in black and white. That was the fun part of this project.
I found my frames at Pottery Barn:
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn
I had a Pottery Barn gift certificate, so these were free to me; the retail price for the 4"x4" size is currently $16.00. I like the look of having all the frames just alike, but you could certainly mix it up if you'd like.
After I had my clock face photos framed, all that was left to do was to hang the clock. That was the not-so-fun part of this project. For the record, the next time I try to hang pictures in a stairwell wall, I will wait for my tall husband to get home.
Hanging the clock hands was easy as pie. The wall clock comes with a hanging bracket. You simply position this where you want it and secure it to the wall with screws. (The kit contains screws that you can fasten to a stud or position in drywall anchors. I used the anchors and they worked fine.) Once the hanging bracket is in place, it's simple to snap the clock into position.
Hanging the photos for the clock face is a little more painstaking, because you want to be sure to have the "numbers" lined up exactly with the hands of the clock. The kit comes with a handy mounting template that you can tape to the wall so that you can see exactly where the numbers should go. I used a ruler and a level to make sure that my "numbers" formed a perfect + shape and that the edge of each frame was 15 inches from the center of the clock.
And here's that wall now:
At last! The great empty wall is empty no more.
Because the clock is hanging in a stairwell, it's a little difficult to get a good photo, but maybe seeing it from different angles will help you get an idea of how it looks.
From the other side:
Through the railing:
From across the room: