How to Make a Fabulous Farmhouse Clock out of a Table Top

Some projects are straightforward–like chalk painting a side table. Others require a bit more imagination, like today’s project: a farmhouse clock made out of a drum-style table top.

How to Make a Fabulous Farmhouse Clock Out of a Table Top

Note: This post contains affiliate links for [the same or similar] products used to complete this project. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my website, since I receive a small compensation whenever you click on a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you 🙂 See my full disclosure here.

Vintage drum table with broken leg

The whole project started with this vintage drum table I discovered at an estate sale a little over a year ago, priced at just $5.00–I assume because of the broken leg.

The inspiration for the clock came to me right in that moment of discovery and I wanted to get working on it right away.

Top view of vintage drum table

As you can see, the top is structurally sound, made of solid mahogany, in fact. I just needed to unscrew the base, which required almost no effort at all.

Closeup of distressing on table top

I painted the surface with DecoArt chalky paint in “Timeless” and then distressed the edges with fine sand paper.

Stenciling the vintage clock

I used a Cafe Paris stencil for the center of the clock and very simple letter stencils I had on hand for the Roman numerals.

Here, you can see  I’ve finished most of the stenciling; I just need to stencil the dots for the missing numerals.

After I completed the stenciling, I gave the surface a coat of dark wax and then buffed it with cheese cloth.

Between the sanding and the wax, the clock now has a nicely aged appearance. But my beautiful clock face languished in my office for months as I dithered about trying to find a motor and hands that would fit properly.

Clock motor and hands

I drilled a hole in the center to learn how thick the wood was (3/4″). Then I looked for a set of large hands on eBay. The motor had an 11/16th “stem” for insertion through the hole, but I wasn’t sure if this would be long enough.

Despite never hearing back from the seller I finally decided to throw $18.00 to the wind and chance it. Upon its arrival in the mail, I sadly learned that it was in fact, not long enough 🙁

But after mentioning it to my friend (and shop owner) Bob, he said he could rout the back for me, and that’s just what he did. He’s my hero!

half of vintage clock with plants

I picked it up from him a couple weeks ago.

side view of vintage clock

I originally hoped to hang it in our foyer which has a cathedral ceiling, but I have come to realize that because of its weight (solid mahogany, remember?), adjusting the time and changing the battery would be very difficult up on a ladder, darn it.

My second choice location, our mantle, currently sports my relatively new ornate mirror, which I love.

So alas, she has no where to go at the moment.

Large vintage clock with plants and fruit

But I feel strongly that I will find a home for her soon.

You might be interested
in taking a look at my clock-face table:

staged side table

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Collage of photos showing how to turn a table top into a farmhouse style clock

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  1. I cringed when I saw what you did to that lovely drum table (probably because I’ve been wanting one) but it turned out very nice.

    1. Ha ha. Yeah, if the table had been in good shape (no broken leg), I would have cleaned and waxed it back to (or closer to) its former glory 🙂 I was pretty happy to “save” the top by turning it into a clock…

    1. Thank you for sharing your fantastic at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

  2. What a great idea! I often come across cute tables at yard and estate sales that are loose and shaky. Because of this, they are usually very cheap. This is the perfect way to repurpose them. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That turned out so great, Diana! It’s a great way to use an old tabletop!

  4. I remember that original clock table you made and I love the clock! Just FYI you can get different sized clock parts at Michael’s and JoAnn’s but I’m not sure how limited their sizes are. I’m guessing you already knew that and you needed a custom size:) It’s just beautiful! xo Kathleen

    1. Yes, you’re right–I shopped all three of the big craft stores as well as building stores and all of their online stores– that was part of my dithering around. No one had anything large enough, unfortunately. Thanks for your very sweet comments, Kathleen 🙂

  5. I love this project! And I love the idea of just using the table top and hanging it on the wall; the legs can be used for something else. And the graphics you made for this post are awesome-so classic. Think I may have a couple tabletops laying around to do this…

  6. Awesome project! I have a softness for drum tables, and I hated to see that broken leg, but you most definitely rescued that sad piece. Great transformation. Thanks for sharing! Cynthia

  7. Darn, now I wish I had picked up the table I saw on the curb. The clock looks fantastic.

  8. Simply gorgeous! I love drum tables, and I’m happy you were able to salvage this one and turn it into such a lovely piece! 🙂

    I’d like to invite you to share this at the Farmhouse Friday link party, which is live right now! 🙂 When you link up, I will share it with a direct link back to your post on all my social media, including on the DIY Farmhouse Style Facebook group, which at this writing has 154k+ members. I hope to see you there! 🙂

    Michelle @ The Painted Hinge

    1. Thank you Michelle! And thanks for the invite–I headed over and linked up 🙂 I also added your party to my list of “regular” parties to attend–

  9. Love this! And I have the perfect piece to do this with! Thanks so much for the inspiration. Pinned to share.

  10. That clock is beautiful, Diana! And you just solved the same problem I had with the motor I bought for a piece of wood. Now I get to buy that router I’ve wanted. Yea! Pinned.

  11. Diana, your farmhouse clock is fabulous! What a fun way to upcycle the table. It turned out lovely. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. We’ll be featuring this at tomorrow’s party!

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