A few months ago I stumbled upon Projectophile, thanks to a Facebook post made by Scott from King Crow Comics about his new chair which his wife, Clare*, the very funny and talented writer of Projectophile, had found in an alley and reupholstered.
My first thought was, Cool! My second thought was, I need a hubcap clock on my wall!
A week later I went out to The Chicago Diner for dinner with my band mates and found a perfectly shaped hubcap lying in the snow right where I had parked my car on California. So without hesitation, I popped my trunk open and threw it in. The hubcap clock was meant to be!
First order of business was to scrub it clean, rinse and then scrub again using an old toothbrush to get into all of those nooks and crannies. Like, Clare, I’m a renter, so I just threw it in the bathtub without a second thought and used a little Bon Ami to cut through the grime.
I cut off the zip tie and broke off unwanted pieces of plastic on the back of the hubcap at this point and then dried it (I used one of the towels we use to bathe the dogs to dry it off). Then I set it aside while I sketched out some possible color schemes.Squeaky clean hubcap, front and back. I wouldn’t eat off of it, but it’ll do!My original plan was to turn it into a black and white straightedge clock with 12 x’s instead of numbers, but after a bit of consideration I decided against that since I don’t want my apartment to look like the home of some 23-year-old youth crew boy.
Nick and I have been working towards a joint aesthetic ever since our roommate moved out and we turned his old room into our hobby room. Nick tends to go for simple, clean, square lines and earth tones, while I like bright colors, high contrast, rounded edges and texture. It’s been tricky, but it’s been fun and I’m trying to keep these things in mind when it comes to home projects and ask for his input, so we’re both happy.
I roughed out some sketches using MS Paint and ran them by him and surprisingly he was into the teal clock, which was one of my favorites.So I went out to the burbs to buy some glossy teal spray paint once it was warm enough to work outside and I was lucky enough to find a glossy white spray paint in our hobby closet. I also stopped by Joann’s to get a clock kit for $4.
Tip: Don’t ever buy anything at full price at major hobby stores. They all offer coupons ranging from 10%-50% off individual items and/or entire purchases if you sign up for their e-mail lists. Use them wisely. This will require doing a little math (ewww math**), but it’s worth it!
Once I had my clock kit I was able to figure out how big the whole at the center of my clock had to be and I got to use Nick’s power drill to make the hole myself!***We do all of our spray painting on our back porch (pros of renting from a landlord who doesn’t care much about what we do). I started out by taping a sheet of paper up to our back window to keep it as paint free as possible and got to work.
If you decide to make one of your own, be sure to coat evenly and let the paint dry between coats so you don’t get runny paint lines.While I waited for the hubcap to dry, I took the numbers and hands out of my clock kit and spray painted them white, because gold it my least favorite metallic color. Besides, I wanted the numbers and hands to pop against the background. Once those were done I went over the hubcap a few more times making sure all of the nooks and crannies had proper paint coverage.Then the clock pieces alternated between the dining room and the hobby room, while I tried to find the time to finish them and finally, I got to them this past week!
Before gluing my numbers onto the hubcap, they needed some touching up. This is were having a partner who’s main hobby is painting miniatures came in handy.I used his file to get rid of excess plastic and the finger-pointing looking thing to scrape off excess paint.I did all the numbers since I wasn’t sure whether I was going to use all of them or just some. After filing and scraping I touched them up using some white acrylic paint Nick had in his stash.After a quick lesson in proper painting technique when using a good brush I was good to go.
For those who are curious, here are the key things to remember when using fancy paint brushes:
- Dip your brush in water in between each paint application and water your paint down a bit before you use it.
- Use a paper towel to wipe excess water off before dipping in paint again.
- Hold your brush like a pencil for better control.
- Don’t let paint get on the metal part of the brush.
- Don’t ever leave your brush standing in the jar of water or your bristles will get splayed out ruining the brush.
- If you must leave your brush, rinse it and lay it down on the paper towel before leaving.
After playing around with the numbers for a bit, I decided to divide my clock in quarters since space was tight and then I laid my numbers down.
Once the glue was dry I added the clock mechanism and hands, a AA battery, set the time and voila! I now have a functioning clock.Here’s the greater picture. Please ignore the mess and chipped paint – our built-in needs some major work.
* Thanks for the idea and the photo, Clare!
**Math is cool, I just have a love/hate relationship with fractions and percentages.
*** Woohoo, power tools!