Thursday, November 1, 2012

Steampunk Clock Made From A Chipboard Album

Just Steampunk Volume 2 from Scott Publications

Steampunk Clock with Clock Keeper in Daylight I'm not much of a scrapbooker. In fact, I've only done one scrapbook! I just can't seem to focus on documenting my photos and experiences. I know I should, but it's just not for me. I do love making home decor pieces though, and I especially love "altering" something - changing something from one thing in to something else. And that's the first thing that came to mind when I saw the Sprightly Sprockets Chipboard Album from Want2Scrap.
  Sprightly Sprockets Chipboard Album from Want2Scrap
The cover is a collection of sprockets with space between them, so you can see through the openings to the full size page below. When I saw the cover I immediately thought of a clock. Not just any clock, but a clock with a pendulum... and someone to maintain the clock. That idea became the Steampunk Clock with Clock Keeper that just recently appeared in Scott Publication's Just Steampunk Volume 2 magazine (Oct 2012).

Steampunk Clock - The Keeper in DaylightSteampunk Clock at NightI wanted to give the clock a solid feel and covering the sprockets with metal foil would do just that. Cutting out the shapes was a breeze, since Spellbinders' Sprightly Sprocket Dies match the sprockets on the cover of the album perfectly. I had some metal foil but wanted a bit more variety. That's where my friend Shirley stepped in. She had metal mesh and kindly gave me some!!
When I saw the mesh, I started to think about how cool it would be to see through the mesh to the background. Better still, what if there were lights behind the sprockets! A string of tiny battery operated LEDs from a party supply store would work just fine. I wired the LEDs underneath the sprockets and now the clock could be turned on at night. Tiny lights would appear behind the sprockets to give off a soft glow. There could even be a light in the Clock Keeper's apartment!

There's even a little Want2Scrap bling decorating the wall of the Clock Keeper's apartment.

Here are the basic steps I followed to assemble the clock. If you have questions or need a bit more information, please reach out to me. I'm happy to help. You can connect with me on my facebook page at
  Steampunk Clock with Clock Keeper - Back
  • To avoid a square front, and to make room for the Clock Keeper's window, cut away the upper right corner of sprockets from the album cover. You can re-attach those at the bottom of the clock to add shape to the overall piece.
  • The solid pieces of chipboard are layered, with ¼" balsa wood strips sandwiched between them, to make the entire clock about 1 ½" thick.
  • Cut a niche out of the top layers of chipboard to create the Clock Keeper's apartment.
  • Cut a "keyhole shape" in the back layers of chipboard to make room for the clock mechanism and the swing of the pendulum arm.
  • Paint all the chipboard pieces and balsa strips black before assembling the clock. I used  from Mars Black Perfect Pigments™ - Pure Liquid Acrylics™ from USArtQuest.
  • Die cut the metal foil for the sprockets and adhere it to the front before assembling the piece. By doing so, you can use clamps or even books to hold the metal in place on the chipboard while your adhesive sets. You can use a liquid adhesive or artist's cement. I ran the pieces through a Xyron to make each one a "sticker" and then applied them to the chipboard.
Next time you see a chipboard album, maybe you'll look at it a bit differently. It could be a clock or a wall hanging or who knows what! I'll be posting another "album turned in to home decor" project later this month, so stay tuned! Happy Crafting! Joe Rotella


  1. WOW, WOW!!! This is absolutely amazing!! Just gorgeous!! The detail is awesome!!


  2. This is fabulous, Joe! Thanks so much for sharing your design process.

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