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Stenciled Clock Wall Decoration

Modeled after the ornate face of an 18th-century case clock, this oversize yet functional wall decoration all but ensures you'll never be late again.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2008


The numerals and dotted outline are stenciled in a deep green-brown, drawing out the warm coppery tones of the battery-powered clock mechanism. The timepiece is best situated so that it is clearly visible from a distance and not crowded by neighboring furniture.

Tips: When stenciling, pat the sponge in a dab of paint, and blot excess on the palette. Then apply paint in thin coats, taking care that it doesn't drip or pool, until the area is covered. The numerals can be stenciled in any order, but these directions will maximize efficiency.

Sources: Sheer trace vellum, by Borden & Riley, from Village Supplies; Japanese paper screw punch with 3 mm tip, plus 1 to 5 mm tips,; 1 3/4-inch script number stencil,; Galileo 30 clock mechanism,


  • Transparent tape

  • Drafting tape

  • Level

  • 2 sheets of 11-by-17-inch waterproof paper

  • Cutting mat

  • Craft knife

  • Japanese hole punch

  • Small sheet of glass (palette)

  • Palette knife

  • 5 to 7 ounces acrylic paint in dark green

  • Natural sea sponge

  • Arabic numeral stencil

  • Battery-powered clock mechanism


  1. Arrange vellum sheets to create full template, and attach with transparent tape.

  2. Affix vellum overlay to wall with drafting tape (making sure the top is secure). Use level to ensure numbers III and IX are aligned.

  3. Affix Roman numeral templates to a sheet of waterproof paper; secure to cutting mat with drafting tape. Cut out I, V, and X with craft knife, and cut into 3 stencils. Remove template, and discard.

  4. Affix dotted-arc template to a sheet of waterproof paper; secure to cutting mat with drafting tape. Use Japanese hole punch to make each perforation. Remove template, and discard.

  5. Align dotted arc stencil under vellum. Secure stencil with drafting tape, and tape vellum out of the way. Prepare palette with paint. Use sponge to apply paint to stencil. Let dry 3 minutes.

  6. Release vellum. Move stencil along arc, until only a few painted dots register on 1 end of stencil. Secure stencil and vellum with tape. Paint as in step 1. Repeat until dotted circles are complete.

  7. Slide Arabic numeral stencil under vellum, and position the 1 stencil for "10." (It's easier to stencil the first number of a pair before adding the second.) Secure stencil and vellum with tape. Use sponge to apply paint to stencil. Let dry 3 minutes.

  8. Stencil remaining 1, then stencil numbers 2, 3, 4, and 6, finishing with 5 and 0. Tape and release vellum as needed, leaving top secure.

  9. Slide Roman numeral stencil under vellum. Stencil Xs, then Vs, then Is. Let dry 3 minutes.

  10. On wall, mark center dot, indicated on vellum. Remove vellum. Follow manufacturer's instructions to hang clock mechanism.

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