DIY Pocketwatch Props

| October 18, 2010 | 1 Comment

(reposted on CGE with permission of the author, originally posted September 21, 2010 on her blog, “One More Time, I Promise! … Now, Do it Again .”)

Well, we spent Labor Day making the pocket watches for our fall show, titled “I’m Late.”

finished pocketwatch

Here’s how you can do it… in 25-ish steps.

Day 1:

Step 1: Find a fiancé that is willing to help.

Step 2: Hit Home Depot for adventures in “how the heck are we going to build this thing.”  You will be there for a while. Here’s what we bought after 90 minutes:

  • Insulation for the foundation of the watch face.
  • Flat washers to add weight between the foam discs.
  • Ice maker supply line for the top piece of the watch.
  • Screws and plates to attach supply line to foam insulation.
  • Brass decorative chain to go from the top of the watch to the handle the guard will use to swing it.
  • All-purpose fiberglass resin to adhere the insulation and weights in.
  • 5 Hangalls to serve as the handle for the guard to hold on to.

Other items: drop cloths, paint brushes for the resin, pizza pan (for stencil purposes) something to cut the foam with, small drill.

Step 3:
Go to the diner and get lunch.

Step 4: Make and test working prototype. We needed more washers for weights than originally anticipated.

working prototype

Step 5: Return to your local home improvement superstore for additional items.

Step 6:
In short: Assemble. In longer: Attach supply line to foam. Insert weights so that they will appear between the 2 foam discs. Resin the inner sides of both foam pieces and sandwich them together.


Step 7: Let the resin set and clean up your mess.

Step 8: Call it a day. It has been a looong one, and you are only half finished!

Day 2:

Step 9: Wake up. Get diner breakfast.

Step 10: Go back to Home Depot for additional supplies. In our case: A sander, gold metallic spray paint, matte white spray paint, paint brushes, and polyurethane.

Step 11: Round the edges of the foam with the sander using a fine paper to get a smoother finish.

Step 12: Brush a coat of water-based polyurethane all over the foam. Let dry.

Step 13: Drag willing fiancé to your parent’s for a Labor Day BBQ. Drink some beer, eat a lot of food, and go home and sleep!

Day 3:

Step 14: Return to your new home – Depot , that is – for even more supplies you’ll need. For us: Numbers for the clock (adhesive 3″ black) and paint stirrers (free!).

Step 15: Spray-paint the foam white. Let dry for 15-30 minutes. Repeat until you have covered the surface completely or have run out of paint.

 post white spray paint

Step 16: Using a disc- shaped piece of cardboard cut smaller than the clock, spray-paint the edges with a metallic finish. We used a brassy color. Let dry.

 post metallic spray paint

Step 17: Rejoice! For this is when the contraption starts to look like a clock.

Step 18: Place the numbers on both sides of the clock. We decided to use 12, 3, 6, & 9.

Step 19:
Call it a day.

Day 4:

Step 20: Have fiancé put another coat of polyurethane on the clocks. Let dry.

Step 21: Figure out what you want to do for hands on the clock and do it. We used electrical tape.

Step 22:
Paint one last coat if polyurethane. Let dry.

finished product

Step 23: Sit back and enjoy the product of your labor.

Step 24: Stop being lazy and go write some work.

Step 25:
Make sure your guard knows how much work went into their prop and subtly promise them permanent flag-bag duty if they damage one!


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Category: "DIY", Design, Equipment, Floors & Props

About the Author (Author Profile)

Amanda Baker has been instructing outdoor color guard at Lenape High School in Medford, NJ since 2003. Visit her blog “One more time, I promise! … Now do it again” at

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