Poster Clock

Become a clockmaker with your favorite poster. It's easy with this free woodworking plan for a poster clock. Kids, find an adult and build this project for your room.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

Poster Clock

Can you find the clock with Mickey and his gang? (Hint: Look at the popcorn!) We gave our favorite characters a timepiece - a quartz clock movement, that is. This poster-clock project requires almost a whole day to create, but the result is well worth it. We had our poster mounted onto a heavy board at a picture-framing store, which cost under $10. Purchasing the wallpaper sizing, cellulose paste, and heavy board would cost about the same. If you have those supplies on hand, however, you might want to mount the poster yourself.

With our poster on the board, we used 13/4-inch-wide lattice and parting stop to construct a deep frame to house an inexpensive quartz clock movement. The tiny hour dots are paper stickons that we found at a stationery store.

Shopping List

The frame is constructed first. Begin by laying out the sides (A) and top and bottom pieces (B) on the pine lattice. Then lay out the side and top and bot- tom stops (C and D) on parting stop. See the Cutting List for all lengths. An inexpensive miter box will guide the apprentice when cutting these parts to length. Square ends are important for good-looking corner joints.

Parts C and D are glued to the side and top and bottom pieces (A and B). First, drive small finishing nails into the 1/2-inch sides of C and D, and then apply glue to the edge of C. Place a scrap of parting stop with its 3/4-inch side flat on top of A and aligned with its end. This piece acts as a spacer to position part C 3/4 inch from the end of A. One team member should hold the spacer in place while the other nails part C in place. Assemble the other side of the frame in the same manner.

Cutting List

The top and bottom parts are glued to D using a piece of 1/4-inch lattice as a spacer. Place the lattice on edge, even with the end of B. Glue and nail parting stop D in place 1/4 inch from the end and even with the front of B.

The sides, top, and bottom are glued together next. Coat all mating surfaces of the corners with glue. Nail the frame together with small finishing nails driven through side A into the end of D. Place a nail as far from the edge of A as possible to prevent its end from splitting.

String about a dozen rubber bands (depending on size) together to form a temporary clamp. Place the frame face down on a flat surface, and loop the rubber bands around it. Pull the ends tight and loop them over scrap wood, then twist the piece to hold the rubber bands together. Set the frame aside until the glue is dry.

We chose to place our clock in the top left-hand corner. Depending on the poster you choose and where you position the clock, you can vary the diameter of the clock face to suit your design.


Use a compass to lay out the clock face template. It's easy to mark the hour positions on the circle if you first divide the circle into quarters, just as if you're cutting a pie. Next, put the compass point at the 3:00 position and set it to the radius of the circle. Swing it until the pencil intersects the circle are, and mark this point. Then swing your compass in the opposite direction, and mark the other intersection. These points are the 1:00 and 5:00 points. Do this from the 6:00, 9:00, and 12:00 positions, and all hour positions will be accurately marked on the circle are.

Cut out your clock template and place it on the poster. Mark the center of the clock face on your poster by pushing the compass point through the small hole in the center of the paper template. Remove it, and drill a 5/8-inch hole through cardboard for the clockworks'shaft. Replace the template, and use it as a guide when placing the self-adhesive dots or numbers on the poster face.

Screw the clockworks' shaft through the hole, and then thread on the locking nut. The hour hand slips on the shaft, and the minute hand fits over the smaller keyed shaft in the center. Turn the time by adjusting the knob on the back of the clockworks until the minute hand points directly at the twelve. Then adjust the hour hand (it has a press fit and will move around the clock shaft) to point to any hour.

An acorn dress nut is supplied by the clock manufacturer. Thread it on carefully, and do not overtightens. All that's left to do to get the clock working is to place a AA battery in the clockworks and set the time. Attach your poster clock to a wall with plastic wall anchors. We used large picture-hanging brackets and finishing nails driven into the lath of a plaster wall. If your walls are made of drywall, use plastic wall anchors. Tighten the anchor screws until their heads are 1/8 inch from the wall surface, then hook the picture brackets over the screw heads.

TIME REQUIRED Eight hours for cutting, building, and assembling, plus drying time for glue and finish.

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Find helpful advice and tips about tools, finishing, safety practices and a glossary of woodworking terms at Before You Begin