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How to Design a Clock Face

Updated April 17, 2017

Designing a clock face is relatively easy. You can buy ready-made templates with numbers already printed on them in the correct place, but it is simple enough to work this out using basic math tools. You can then transfer the design on to whichever surface you want and add any artistic elements to the clock face to make your clock unique with colours that will suit the room.

Place a pencil in the set of compasses and draw a circle of the size you wish your clock face to be on to a sheet of paper.

Place a ruler running through the hole in the middle of the circle where the compasses were. Use the protractor to set the ruler to a 90-degree angle and draw a straight line from top to bottom of the circle. This will mark where the numerals 12 and 6 will go.

Use the protractor to set the ruler to an angle of 180 degrees and repeat step 2. This will mark where numerals 3 and 9 will go.

If all 12 numerals are required, repeat Step 2, using an angle of 30 degrees to mark the line that will lead to numerals 4 and 10; an angle of 60 degrees to mark the line that will lead to 5 and 10; an angle of 120 degrees for the line leading to 1 and 7, and an angle of 150 degrees for 2 and 8.

Decide where you want the numerals to appear on your finished clock design. Remember to leave enough room round the edge so the numbers will not be hidden or obscured by any frame. Use the ruler to measure the same distance along each line in toward the centre circle from the outside edge and mark the point with a pencil.

Transfer the sheet of paper to the clock's face and use the sharpened pencil to make a hole at each point and mark through onto the surface of the clock. You now have a precise guide for where to place the numerals.

Attach or draw the numerals in the appropriate places. Then add further decoration according to taste.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheet of paper
  • Set of compasses
  • Protractor
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Mary Stewart has been a news and features journalist since 2000. Her work has appeared in U.K. national newspapers and magazines, including "The Times (of London)," "The Sunday Telegraph," "The Mail on Sunday" and "The Guardian". She has a B.A. in journalism from Napier University.