Justina Blakeney Shows Us How to Make a DIY Kuba Clock
With just $7, less than a half-hour, and patterned fabric, you can turn a plain-old clock into a work of art
Justina Blakeney is an L.A.-based designer, author, and stylist with a playfully bohemian heart. Over the years, her eponymous lifestyle blog has provided us with tons of visual inspiration, and now her recently released anthology, The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes, aims to do the same. Filled with ideas that utilize color, pattern, and plants to reveal a home that is at once cozy, organic, and stylish, the book decodes the six categories of boho, from modern and folksy to romantic and maximal.
Here, she shares her instructions for how to get the maximal boho look with just a bit of patterned fabric and the time it takes you to watch an episode of Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. "This clock is an easy way to bring a pop of pattern into the home, even if you’re not a maximalist," says Blakeney. "I love this project because it’s so fast and easy; it’s functional and easily customizable to fit your taste." She used a piece of tie-dyed raffia kuba cloth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; you can use whatever you wish.
Time: Less than a half hour
Estimated Cost: $7
- 1 scrap of amazing fabric, at least 11½" × 14" in size
- 1 piece of stretched canvas, 8½" × 11" in size
- 1 clock mechanism. (I chose white so that the color would stand out against the dark fabric. I bought it on eBay for $3, but mechanisms can be purchased at most craft stores.)
- staple gun, plus staples
- tape measure
1. Before you cut the fabric, be sure to think about the pattern you’re working with and which part of the pattern you want on the canvas and where. Then cut the fabric so that it is 3" larger than the canvas on all sides.
2. Lay the fabric facedown on a clean, flat surface and center the canvas facedown on top of it. Make sure the fabric grain is straight.
3. Fold up one side of the fabric so that it rests flat on the back of the canvas.
4. Staple the fabric to the back of the canvas frame at the center of one edge, then move out toward the corners. Place the staples about 1" apart, stapling a little at a time. Pull evenly out toward the corners to get any lumps out, stopping 2" from each corner. Staple the opposite side, then repeat with the remaining two sides.
5. Finish the corners as if you were wrapping a gift. Feel free to cut and remove any fabric under the corner folds, but be careful not to cut any of the fabric that will be visible at the end. Pull one side over the corner edge and secure to the canvas frame with staples.
6. Decide where you want the clock mechanism to be placed on the canvas. I like the look of the clock being off-center to add a bit of quirk. Measure the clock mechanism to make sure that the hands don’t go past the canvas frame and mark the spot on the canvas.
7. Using the tip of the scissors, carefully puncture a tiny hole through the fabric and canvas. Follow the clock mechanism instructions to install the hands on the front of the canvas and the battery mechanism on the back.
8. Hammer the nail into the wall at the desired location and hang the clock. Now enjoy the ticktock of the cutest time teller on the block!