Mundane objects often make the best upcycles and this cool clock is no exception, as it uses an old box of children’s dominos to great effect. It’s the perfect accessory for any man den or the ideal gift for a dominos enthusiast. The background ‘wood’ is in fact wallpaper, and although a roll is quite expensive at £19.99 you can make lots of clocks from one roll. If you’re making a few of these timepieces to sell, make sure you get the most from your MDF too, marking out a few squares at a time and careful cutting can mean extra profit. If you don’t have wood effect wallpaper, try experimenting with different types and textures of wallpapers for a range of effects.
If you like this project, how to make a domino clock, take a look at our other upcycling articles – we love these gorgeous DIY birdhouses – or how about these wine bottle lights! If you’ve got a few corks lying around the house, why not turn some into tiny cork planters, or how about upcycling a plain mat to make this easy, but effective, thanksgiving doormat.
You will need:
- 9 x 61cm (3½ x 24in) MDF sheet (3mm thick)
- Stanley knife
- Cutting mat
- Drill with 8mm bit
- Wood effect wallpaper (or wood effect patterned paper)
- An old set of dominos
- Clock mechanism with medium spindle and 86mm minute hand
- PVA glue and extra-strong glue
How to make a domino clock
Place the MDF onto a cutting mat and mark out a square measuring 35 x 35cm (13¾ x 13¾in). Use a Stanley knife and a metal ruler to cut along the marked lines. It will take a few attempts to cut through the MDF but once you’ve scored through two or three times the cutting becomes easier.
Mark the middle of the square on one side of the MDF. To do this quickly, draw a line from corner to the opposite corner, then repeat for the remaining corners. The centre will be where the two lines cross. Drill a hole.
Roll out the wallpaper, front-facing down, then place the MDF square onto the back. Mark out and cut a square of paper about 6cm (2½in) larger than the MDF.
Remove the MDF from the paper and coat one side of it with PVA glue. Place onto the back of the wallpaper while the PVA is still wet. Turn over so the pattern side is facing up, and smooth out any air bubbles. Leave for around 10 minutes, then turn the MDF over and fold over the wallpaper onto the reverse; cut into the corners and stick in place using PVA glue, for a neat finish.
Using a small pair of scissors, cut the paper at the position of the small drill hole to allow the mechanism to push through.
Cut a piece of wallpaper measuring 2cm (¾in) smaller than the clock. Stick to the reverse of the clock, and push scissors through the mechanism hole.
Starting at 12 o’clock, position the dominos at 12, 3, 6 and 9, then add in the remaining numbers. Arrange so that they are 8.5cm (3¼in) from the hole in the centre and evenly spaced. Stick the dominos in place with extra-strong glue and leave to dry.
Push the spindle through the hole in the centre of the clock, then assemble the hands as per clock mechanism instructions.