Cable Spool Clock

Do you ever have an amazingly original idea only to find out that it really isn’t that original at all? This post is about just that.


Back around Memorial Day, an idea popped into my head to make some sort of large clock out of pallet pieces. That could be cool, right? Then Emily told me about a big wooden cable spool she purchased from a garage sale. I thought that if I could find one of those, I could totally pull it apart and use the round end for the clock, instead of spending time putting together and cutting out pallets. Lucky for me, our parents had an old wooden cable spool hanging out at their house, not being used. (Thanks, Parents!)


I brought it home and took apart all of the fittings, thanks to a little elbow grease from the Hubs. Sadly, the poor thing sat in my garage for a few weeks. During that time, I happened to come across a photo on Pinterest, of all places, with virtually the same idea. So, I did another search on the picture pinning website for “cable spool clock” and, of course, there were 730,000 different ones. Ugh. So much for trying to be original. Oh, well. I knew I still loved my idea, so I continued on with the project without looking back.


You can see from the photos that it was in pretty rough shape, but I wanted the clock to look old/worn and I welcomed the imperfections.


After a little sanding and cleaning, I covered the surface with two coats of white spray paint. Once it was dry, I sanded it again with 80 grit sand paper to really give it a worn look.


For the numbers, I printed out the font I liked onto cardstock, cut each one out and temporarily taped them on the clock. (I just eye-balled the placement.) Then, I traced around each number with a pencil.


After that, using a tiny brush, I filled in the numbers with chalkboard paint. I intentionally did not paint down into the cracks and crevices.


Finally, all that was left to do was add a hanging apparatus (mounted D ring) and hang the clock up.


The space I had originally planned to hang this just looked off scale once the clock was up, so for now, I’m brainstorming ways to juggle wall decor around and make this work in our home. And obviously, this isn’t a functioning wall clock. Look, Ma! No hands!


What do you think? Not a bad project for practically no money, huh?


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23 thoughts on “Cable Spool Clock

  1. Erin

    This is great! I just picked up 4 spools from the basement at work, but they are smaller than this one… Not sure what to do with them yet… I’m loving this clock idea! Maybe for our rec room?

  2. Amy | Canary Street Crafts

    Love how this turned out! And I’ve honestly never seen a cable spool clock anywhere else. I had the whole not-so-oringinal idea thing happen to me recently. I picked up a thrift shop item and came up with a repurposed use for it, then came home and googled it…aaand it’s already been done. Oh well,, I’m still working on it for a future post :).

    1. Erin

      Thanks, Amy! It’s so crazy how these things happen. I’m just going to chalk it up to the whole “great minds think alike” thing. Best if luck on your project!

    1. Erin

      Thanks, Katie!! Check out Craigslist. I’ve recently seen a ton listed, one of which was 7ft wide! Maybe they will have some listed in your area. :)

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  6. Stefanie

    Hi…love this idea…just wondering what the diameter of the clock is…I have a spool but not sure if it’s too small! Thanks :)

  7. Rachel

    This is beautiful!! I have a couple spools I want to use and they are dirty!! How did you clean yours???


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