Blast from the past: DIY a space age, Atomic-Style Clock

How cool is it that you can DIY your own Atomic-Style Clock using STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam? A real atomic clock is an “extremely accurate type of clock that is regulated by the vibrations of an atomic or molecular system such as cesium or ammonia.” Not to worry, we’re not messing with molecules today!  This very retro clock has nothing to do with molecules and everything to do with 1960s Space Age style. If you’re into a retro look, or just want a fun clock, here’s how you can DIY your own Atomic Clock.

Make your own Space Age, Atomic Style Clock from STYROFOAM Brand Foam.

To make an Atomic Clock, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 6” x 1-1/4” disc; and two, 2-1/2” and four, 1-1/2” balls
  • Acrylic craft paint in metallic blue or other color of your choice
  • Lightweight stucco or spackling compound
  • Clock mechanism with hands
  • Wood skewers, one dozen, 10” long
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Serrated knife; candle stub or bar of soap; sharp pencil; stiff round and medium flat painbrushes; putty knife; craft snips; fine-grit sandpaper
How to make a retro-style Atomic Clock.

Atomic-style clocks look like a solar system, with planets orbiting around a sun.

To make an Atomic Clock:

1. Wax the serrated knife with a candle stub or bar of soap (this will make cutting a little smoother). Cut all of the balls in half. Place sandpaper face up on work surface and gently rub the cut side of each half-ball on the paper. Gently roll the rims of each half-ball against the work surface to smooth. Brush away all loose particles.

2. Insert a skewer into the side of each half-ball. Holding the skewer like a handle and using a stiff brush, apply a thin, even coat of stucco medium on the round side of each half ball. Apply stucco to the flat, cut side using a putty knife.

3. Using the putty knife, apply a thin, even coat of stucco medium to the front and sides of the foam disc; let dry completely. Optional: Apply asecond coat of stucco and let dry.

4. Remove skewers from half-balls. Use craft snips to cut the skewers into four, 3-1/2″ and eight 3″ lengths. Use flat brush to paint skewers and foam pieces metallic blue pearl; let dry.

5. On the back side of the disc, mark off clock number positions using the sharp pencil. Begin with 12, 3, 6 and 9, and then fill in the remaining number positions.

6. Glue and insert longer skewers straight into the side of the disc at 12, 3, 6 and 9; push skewers about 1″ deep. Glue and insert shorter skewers into disc to mark remaining number positions.

7. With flat sides down on work surface, slide larger half-balls onto quarter-mark skewers to a ½” depth. Remove balls, apply glue to ends of skewers and replace balls. Repeat with smaller balls on remaining skewers.

8. Use sharp pencil to make small hole in exact center of disc. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to assemble clock, pushing shaft through hole. Add washers and nuts to shaft, and then add clock hands to front side.

You’ve made your own Atomic Clock! Today wraps up the mini series on DIY clocks. Be sure you also check out the Tuscan Tile Clock and Terra Cotta Garden Clock.

I hope you’re having a groovy day. Do you have anything fun planned for this summer kick-off weekend?

Happy crafting.


This entry was posted in Craft Tutorial, Home Decor, Wall Art and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Blast from the past: DIY a space age, Atomic-Style Clock

  1. roylcoblog says:

    I would love to make this in the near future! Faving this tutorial! 🙂

  2. LisaM says:

    Cool clock. Something for the guys in the house.

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