M-113 Steampunk Clock

M-113 Steampunk Clock2017-12-27T11:23:08-05:00

Project Description

Finished steampunk clock

The finished clock, featuring a mannequin (M-113, from the gear on his back) cleaning the clock face.

Over the past six months, we’ve been going to thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales looking for things we could incorporate in to our craft projects. I’ve been especially interested in wooden pieces that I could upscale using paper collage and stamping. One of our finds was a small battery operated clock in a wood frame. It measured about 8″ square and only cost me $2.99. When I saw the Design Team call on the Viva Las Vegastamps! blog, I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to dig it out and turn it in to a steampunk clock. The name, M-113, comes from the tiny serial number printed on the gear I adhered to the mannequin’s back.

Stamps & Supplies



  • Plate 1336 (Viva Las Vegastamps!)
  • SC0382 Time Flies (Hampton Arts)
  • Get It In Gear (Technique Tuesday)
  • HS64213 Escape (Heidi Swapp)
  • CS4387 Post Script Alphabet Large – LL (Hampton Art)
  • Requiem Font Alphabet Stamps(Martha Stewart)
  • Steampunk Candle Machine Item 17448
  • “Dissected head” (Carmen’s Veranda)
  • 656636 Gadget Gears
  • Bigz Die (Tim Holtz Alterations)
  • Cuttlebug embossing folder
Thrift store find - a $2.99 clock

The original clock, battery operated, from a thrift store. Only $2.99!

  • Clock (Thrift store)
  • Watch parts (gear)
  • Gesso
  • Dictionary page
  • Cabinet Handle
  • Matt medium
  • Mannequin
  • Acrylic paints
  • Pattern tissue
  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum Tape
  • Small piece of cloth
  • Silver embossing powder
  • Embossing ink
  • Alcohol inks
  • Distress inks
  • Wooden blocks (used as spacers)
  • Aleene’s Quick Dry “Tacky” Glue
  • Pop‐dots
  • Screwdriver
  • Dremel
  • Emory board
  • Sandpaper
  • Steel wool pad
  • Paintbrushes
  • Non‐stick craft mat
  • Felt applicators to apply inks
  • Die cut machine (e.g., Vagabond)
  • MercArt metal embossing tools


1. Disassemble the clock by removing the clock face from the frame and the clock hands from clock face.
Disassembled Clock

The clock disassembled and ready to be primed with gesso

2. Lightly sand the clock frame to give it some “tooth.” Paint the frame using acrylic paints.
Clock painted with acrylic paints

After a couple of coats of gesso, the clock was ready to be covered with acrylic paints

3. Scan the clock face so you have a duplicate to work with. Print the scanned image on white cardstock. Lightly apply distress inks using felt applicator. Stamp the clock face using embossing ink and heat emboss with silver embossing powder. Adhere over original clock face.
A new clock face - steampunk style

A new clock face created with distress inks and a stamped image embossed in silver

4. Consider the composition of the final piece and select stamps.
5. Stamp images on pattern tissue and cut out.
6. Collage the pattern tissue pieces on the clock frame using mat medium.
7. Cover cardboard with aluminum tape. Cut out faceplate and emboss using embossing folder. Die cut gears. Emboss using embossing tools. Apply alcohol ink to pieces and let dry. Gently sand the embossed pieces using steel wool to expose the aluminum.Add a wash of transparent acrylic paint to the frame to blend the edges of the pattern tissue pieces.
The clock face and gear parts, ready for final embellishments and assembly

The clock face and gear parts, ready for final embellishments and assembly

8. Paint and distress mannequin. Distress small piece of fabric and adhere to mannequin hand to resemble a cloth. Adhere a small watch gear (e.g., M‐113) to the back of the mannequin.
9. Drill holes into frame for cabinet handle. Use small wood blocks to raise support the handle and front plate. Attach handle.
10. Line interior cutout of frame with dictionary paper that’s been distressed with ink. Adhere the cardboard gears in layers using pop‐dots to fill the space between the frame and the face plate.
11. Adhere mannequin to cabinet handle and side of frame.
12. Assemble clock face. Attach clock to frame.
Finished steampunk clock (side view)

The finished steampunk clock, seen from the side, showing the different layers of gears

I really enjoyed working on this project. It went fast and I’m thrilled with the result. Now my fingers are crossed that the team at Viva Las Vegastamps! will like it too!

Viva Las VegaStamps!

Viva Las VegaStamps!


Project Details


  1. kristi November 29, 1999 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    OK, this is just way too cool! I love it so very much! You are a busy busy fella!

  2. Tanya K November 29, 1999 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    OMG – Joe you are on a total roll with the steampunk ideas! This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Carole Lassak November 29, 1999 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    I love your little mannequin!! He adds just the right touch of whimsy!!

  4. Jamie C August 31, 2011 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    SO awesome! Love the clock Joe! :0)

  5. Barbie C September 1, 2011 at 5:40 am - Reply

    LOVE IT! Shows how creative you are. Great job, Joe.

  6. Terri Sproul September 1, 2011 at 6:20 am - Reply

    LOVE IT… thanks for submission for the design team for Viva Las Vegastamps!

  7. kari September 5, 2011 at 6:12 am - Reply

    Wow! Way to go Joe! So proud of you- it's an awesome piece!

  8. Joe Morgan September 15, 2011 at 9:45 am - Reply

    This clock looks even more amazing in person! You would never know it started out as something so plain.

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