May 3, 2012

▫Ballard & RH▫ "Quad" Clock Knock Off

Hey cute friends!  I hope you're not tired of all my copy cat knock offs- cause I have yet another one to share today! I've had this guy saved on my "to do" list for months and months now. It's a retro clock that sells at both Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware! 
Newgate is an English company- and they seem to specialize in vintage looking clocks, that mimic the look of London railway station clocks. Sweet, right?

My knock off is of their "Quad" model- at RH is measures 22 in square and is on "sale" for $279.Isn't she a beaut? I love the old-school charm.

Here's what I did- my mind automatically thought of Ikea's Ribba square frame- to recreate the shape of the clock. It comes in at 20 in square, and also has the deep profile. Similar to the width of the Newgate clock- but also VERY IMPORTANTLY deep enough to house the clock gears.You could use whatever frame you want, but keep that in mind.

Materials: Picture Frame {I used the 20x20 Ikea Ribba Frame} $15
2 Sheets of poster board- $1
2 sheet of Foam Board- $2
Glue- {I used Rubber Cement}
Paintable Caulk
 Primer, Silver Paint, Dark Silver Glaze, Rub n Buff
Ruler & Carpenter's Triangle
Black Marker
Number Stencils- $4
Clock Mechanics Kit - $8
Decorative Nails
Total:  $ 30

This will seem like a lot of steps- but none of them are hard {I promise.}

[1] Prime: You want a good primer if you're using the same frames I did. I wish I would have mixed some chalk paint instead, since Ikea frames are MDF coated in that shiny plastic-y paper. I used some leftover plastic primer- and just in case you were wondering...Kilz will not work and force you to peel all your paint off and start over- not that that happened.  :-(  Make sure to prime the frame and the square spacer insert that comes int he Ribba frame behind the glass.
[2] Cut: Start by recreating the look of the "top" of the clock. To do this, cut a piece of poster board the same size as the top of the frame. Mine was 20 x 20- just like the frame. This will mimic the look of the metal sheet on top of the clock. Cut a piece of foam board two inches smaller in width and height.

[3] Glue & Cut: Center the foam core on the poster board, with the shiny side of the poster board facing the foam board and glue them together. {This way the poster board will absorb less paint.}
Now cut out an opening for both pieces. You want this to be the size you'd like the clock to be. I cut my opening 16 in square.
[4] Caulk: Use the caulk to fill in the gap between the foam core and the poster board- to mimic the look of smooth metal. Try to make the caulk as smooth as possible! It really helps to have a wet finger when dragging it to smooth out the caulk- this also keeps ugly fingerprint lines away.
 [5] Paint: Use some silver acrylic paint, then using white and black paint mix a few slightly different shades. Use a rag to paint them onto the frame, mixing the colors a bit when you apply them. Try to blend them but still allow for different levels of saturation in different areas. 
Paint the inside of the square spacer that came with your frame. 
Then give the poster board/foam board combo the same paint treatment. {More about the paint treatment here.}
*Be very careful not to bend or crease the foam board! This would make your project kinda suck- not that I did this part twice or anything!*

[6] {Optional} Silver Finishes: I use Rub n Buff in spots to give the clock extra sheen and shine. {You can find this info in depth here.} 
Then I finish up with little spots of dark silver glaze {the same silver paint mixed with more black paint and 1:1 ratio of glaze.}

 I think this step helps create the look of imperfections and really mimics the look of metal super well. I like to paint the pieces individually, before they are all put together so the final clock will look like different pieces of metal with scattered imperfections.

[7] Glue: Use rubber cement {or some other multi-surface adhesive} to glue the poster board/ foam board combo to the top of the frame.
And this is what happens when your camera is on the wrong mode- and you only take 1 pic- while you stencil with one hand...
[8] Clock Face: Cut the other piece of poster board to fit inside of the frame. You can use the backer board as a size guide. Using a ruler, a carpenter's triangle, and a black marker start to draw out the face of the clock. I made the outside borders around the face each an inch wide. The carpenter's triangle is perfection to recreating the hash marks found in the inner boarder. 

[9] Stencil: Use number stencils to make the clock face. I filled them in with marker- not paint; it was super easy. Mine are 2 inch numbers and, though I paid for them, you could print some off and cut them out and glue them on or even make your own stencil.

[9] Add Gears: Create a slit in the center of the clock face and insert the clock kit, per the kit's directions. 
Cut the last piece of foam board to the same size as the backer board/ hard board that came on the frame. Then remove a portion of the foam board to allow the clock gears a bit more breathing room.
[10] Compile: Put your frame together in this order: frame, glass, square spacer, poster board clock face, original picture mat, foam board with space removed for clock gears. I used a little spray adhesive to hold the "clock face" to the picture- that way it provides more support to keep the clock working well.

[11] {Optional} Nails: Hammer in a few nails, for purely decorative purposes. We're trying to make it look like these nails hold on the metal sheet {aka poster board} not glue! The inspiration piece has three on each side.

Now hang her up, sit back and admire you work!
Wow! That seems like a lot of steps- but they're easy and fast...just not fast to write them all down!
All in all, coming up with this plan and determining the better way to do it- took me the afternoon. 

Which was nowhere near 300 bucks! In fact, mine came in at 1/10 the cost- 30 dollars!! Shewee- that sure is sweet! This is one of those projects that I just wanted to see IF I could do it, ya know? I feel pretty good about its new home, too. It's hard to decorate with vaulted ceilings; hard to find items the right scale.
I was worried it would look cheap, you know, like poster board and markers or something. But even my critical eye is happy with the finished look.
 I am sure there are a million typos in this post- but it's three in the am- hello! And I want to get this finished before the hubs and I take off for a few well deserved days away! I'll miss you!