Fish Pendulum Clock

Libby Hodges makes a whimsical fish pendulum clock.


Materials and Tools:

1/4" birch wood
1/4" poplar wood
1" poplar wood
balsa wood
fish stencil
wood glue
E6000 glue
4, 1-1/4" wood knobs
scroll saw with jeweler's blade
acrylic paint, green, aqua, cobalt blue, neon pink, yellow, orange, magenta, white
sea sponge
watercolor paper
yellow and orange dimensional paint in squeeze bottles
belt sander
hole punch
X-acto knife
rubber bands
safety glasses



1. Draw a freehand clock base design on 1-inch poplar wood. Cut out base design.

2. Draw a freehand clock face design on 1/4-inch birch wood. Cut out face design.

3. Draw and cut out three fish on 1/4-inch birch using fish stencil. Tip: Stack three pieces of wood and cut all three fish at the same time.

4. Draw a seahorse design on 1/4-inch birch wood. Cut out three seahorses. Tip: Stack three pieces of wood and cut at the same time.

5. Cut out 12 pieces of sea grass in various lengths from the 1/4" poplar.


6. Drill a hole in the face for the clock movement component.

7. Sand pieces on a belt sander.

8. Paint the underneath base of clock cobalt blue and let dry. Paint the top of base aqua and let dry.

9. Sponge the top of the base with a darker aqua paint. Let dry. Paint the base edge yellow. Let dry.


10. Paint the four 1-1/4-inch knobs magenta and let dry. Glue the knobs to the bottom of the base for feet.

11. Paint sea grass strips light green. Let dry. Splatter sea grass with yellow paint.


12. Paint half of the clock face aqua and the other half cobalt blue dividing the face diagonally. Blend the paints together with a brush at the center. Let dry.

13. Paint the top half of the fish magenta and the bottom half white, blend colors with brush. Let dry. Paint the face and tail of the fish aqua. Let dry. Decorate details with yellow dimensional paint.


14. Paint seahorses orange and let dry. Decorate details with yellow dimensional paint.

15. Punch out eyes for fish and seahorses from balsa wood with a hole-punch. Paint eyes of fish magenta and white and paint eyes of seahorses' red and white. Glue eyes on to fish and seahorses.

16. Glue sea grass to the face of the clock. Glue front and back bunches of sea grass together and clamp with rubber bands. Let dry.


17. Cut bottom of "bunches" of sea grass on a scroll saw so they’ll stand straight. Glue sea grass to base using E6000 glue. Let dry.

18. Glue fish and seahorses to the sea grass.

19. Insert the clock movement on the clock face.

20. Paint the pendulum rod cobalt blue and decorate with yellow dimensional paint. Glue a fish on the bottom of the rod.


21. Cut a "second-hand" fish out of watercolor paper. Decorate with dimensional paint. Glue on to second-hand.

With a degree in design and some carpentry skills passed down from her father, Libby Hodges of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., decided to try her hand at clock making. Her timing was perfect! Soon her vibrant and whimsical pieces, much like her personality, earned her the title, "The Clock Lady." Her love for nature and the ocean inspired her latest timepiece a fish pendulum clock.


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