DIY West Elm Herringbone Clock

DIY West Elm Herringbone Clock

It’s been a while since the last update. There are just so many little projects going on, but nothing worth sharing yet. Well, not anymore, got a few things done, and one of them I will be sharing today.

Since I am in the process of decorating our living room, I have been looking at a lot of living room decor. I’ve never really shopped at West Elm, except for a few special occasion gifts, but I have discovered that I love their site! Most of their products have been styled in 2 or 3 different ways so you can browse the photos and better imagine how a product might fit in your interior or how you may decorate it. Also, if people tag #westelm in their instagram accounts, it will link their photos to the product page so you can also see how the product looks in “real life”. Anyways, now I am just babbling. My point is that I was on the West Elm website and came across this clock.


Not sure why, but I really liked it. $100 seemed like a steep price to pay for the clock, but I almost bit the bullet and ordered it until I checked the dimensions and confirmed to myself- although it is beautiful, $100 is a lot for a 12″ x 12″ clock when you have so many other (more important) things on your shopping list (dining table and chairs, new front door, fridge, etc.). But I really really like it! What to do? Well, why don’t you just make it? So I started thinking (sometimes I do that). I considered buying tiles and sticking them to canvas but that seemed a bit complicated and on a pricier side. I also considered ordering sticky vinyl paper to stick it over the canvas, but that would make the pattern “too perfect”, where I like a more random pattern of the WestElm clock. Again, I have not even seen the clock in person, so my impression of it is strictly based on the online info. So I thought, ”Why don’t I just paint the canvas!” What a great idea! You’re so creative! Well… so I thought! Someone had already beat me to it. This blogger loved the clock too and had the same idea! I must admit, I was a bit disappointed to not be the first in the e-world to write about this, but having a veteran “West Elm Herringbone Clock DIYer” made me more comfortable to move forward with the project. So after work I headed to Michael’s, and the rest was history…

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1

At Michael’s I picked up a 12″ x 12″ canvas (I went for a wider frame, slightly more expensive version at $20 it was the most expensive part of this project, but there were other 12″ x 12″ canvases for under $10, and if you have 50% off coupon, you should be set!). I got super lucky with a stencil, because they had a chevron stencil exactly 12″ x 12″ (I knew it was meant to be!) for $6; Easy-Tack to keep the stencil sticky to the canvas without damaging the material for $8 (a tip I learned from YHL in one of their stenciling tutorials, and it worked great on this project too!); I also picked up a new brush for $4, and some acrylic paint in black and white both for under $2. With a 20% coupon my total came out to $36. Not super cheap, but some of the materials I can use again (all except the canvas), and you really can go with cheaper canvas. Although, one thing you don’t see in this picture is the actual clock mechanism. I saw them at Michael’s for $8, but was hoping to find a cheap clock at the dollar store. After visiting the Dollar Tree and 99 cents only store (across the street from each other), I came out empty handed. I didn’t want to go back to Michael’s again and decided to put it off until tomorrow. Which I am glad I did, because at home Dmitry reminded me about this old dusty, cheap clock we had laying around. I quickly took that thing apart and extracted what I needed! Holding time in your hands, what a feeling!

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1-5

After all the moving parts were figured out, I got to work. I spray painted one side of the stencil with Easy Tack and laid it over the canvas. Isn’t it great when things just fit? I think it is!

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1-2

And then I got to painting. I mixed some white and some black (mostly white) acrylic paint on a paper plate and went on a zig zag stroll down the canvas. I noticed that to cover the canvas well I had to make several brush strokes over it, which would turn the paint color into a solid gray, which I did not want. I was going for that more “imperfect” look of the original inspiration so I dipped the paint in just black and went over some spots and in just white in other spots.

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1-3

And tah-dah! Peeling off the stencil is probably the most exciting part because you get to see your (almost) final product. Hm.. Looks like the paint ran a little. But it’s OK; since the colors shift from lighter to darker it kind of fits the theme. The colors probably ran under the stencil a bit when I dipped the brush in water and brushed over some “harsh” spots to soften the look, but if you want a perfectly straight edge, I would use spray paint instead.

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1-4

I was also too impatient to get the power drill out, so I pocked the hole for the clock mechanism with a knife, worked great for me :).

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1-6

Not sure where I am going to put it yet, but it will probably go up on the wall at some point, maybe when we finish the office (next year?).

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1-7

After struggling with a few other projects involving spray paint, paint stripper, and sanding, it feels good to have a quick and easy no-mess 30 minute project that feels oh-so-rewarding! The coolest part about using canvas is that you can draw, stamp, or stencil any image you like, creating a custom piece of art that is also functional in a matter of a few minutes! I say, you should give it a try!

West Elm Herring Bone Clock DIY-1-9


  1. by Katya on July 30, 2014  7:32 am Reply

    COOOOL! I like it on the shelf too. You should print out Dima's portrait and put the clock's strelki where his usy would be. He should preferably be looking at his nose (cross-eyed) :D

    • by Iryna on July 30, 2014  7:58 am Reply

      Haha, although that sounds like a great idea, not sure it goes with my decor. Btw, reading "usy" confused me for a second.... Is it missing a letter? Busy? Something else... ahem, but I got it. :)

      • by Katya on July 30, 2014  10:45 am Reply

        Knew I'd confuse you :D

        Well you know, Dima could use a man cave where everything is Dima themed :D

  2. by Love Z on July 30, 2014  8:09 am Reply

    Amazing work, once again.

  3. by maya hisse on July 30, 2014  8:36 am Reply

    wow that looks awesome- great project!!

    • by Iryna on July 30, 2014  8:40 am Reply

      Thanks, boo!

  4. Pingback : Herringbone Pattern Trends for Your HomeDecorated Life

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