Tick Tock Transformation

By Kate Riley June 19, 2009

It’s a strange thing.  When I first started “thrifting” I was able to browse leisurely with just a few other patrons.   Yet the other day, I couldn’t find a parking spot at the local Goodwill. 

Perhaps this speaks to the state of our economy, or the opening of other’s eyes to the treasures that await at the local thrift.  Better still, perhaps this is part of a growing movement to repurpose and revamp what already exists, without resorting to buying something new.

Despite the growing shoppers at the Goodwill, I did find a fabulous highboy dresser that I’ll be redoing for my entryway. 

And I also found the TACKIEST oversized octagon clock for $10 with brass detailing and just had to give it a CG makeover. 

Disclaimer:  The final product may not be your favorite, or even your style, but the point is to “thrift outside the box”.  Happy hunting, friends.

Here it is BEFORE in my garage:

clock before


clock final

I spray painted it with our favorite, Rustoleum’s Heirloom White.

heirloom white

I carefully pried off the brass detailing with a screwdriver.  Then I removed the leftover adhesive goo with a razor blade, and some “Goof Off”. 

goodbye brass

razor blade

goof off

I dismantled the clock face, and painted the hands:

clock face

I used my Cricut machine to create new vinyl numbers for the face.


Here is the clock face before and after the new numbers: 

clock face before

clock face after 

And yes, this clock actually works !

I must tell you, it is nearly impossible to photograph mirrored decor, because in my case, it is always reflecting the mess in the background.  And there tend to be many messes in the CG household.   Well, I had made my bed, so I propped it up in my master, just to show you the detail.  I have plans to hang it in my office opposite the window, when that space is complete.  

clock in master


Finally, I have this wonderful gift assortment to giveaway from my visit to the Lavender Bee Farm, a $60 value.  Basket not included.  These all natural products include:

  1. Linen napkins with embroidered lavender detail
  2. Satin beaded sachet of fresh lavender buds
  3. Lavender hydrosol linen water
  4. Bee Bar (beeswax and olive oil) for elbows, heels and rough spots
  5. Tin of lavender & sea salt culinary blend
  6. Fresh sprigs of Provence lavender, cut this week
  7. One dozen lavender recipes, including salad dressings, desserts, and savory dishes
  8. Jar of all natural honey
  9. Sonoma County Farm Trails booklet


To be eligible, simply leave a kind comment !  The winner will be chosen by Random.org.  Giveaway ends Sunday Jue 14th at 8 p.m. PST. 

Happy Father’s Day Weekend !




  1. holy freaking cow!! That is amazing! I would have NEVER thought to buy something like that. You have such a eye girlfriend. Also are you on Twitter? I just tweeted about your site & told everyone to check it out. YOu have some really creative ideas and they are easy to duplicate! Kudos to you girl!!

  2. It came out very nicely. Mirrors don't look so nice in my home- dunno why but spills somehow seem to shoot right for the things that would normally never get dirty.

  3. Hi there! First time in visiting….love your blog….I can see you are a project girl like myself! Cool clock redo! cherry

  4. Fabulous job on the clock. It looks very high end and awesome. Love it!

  5. Lavender reminds me of my mom. She LOVES it! That clock project is great! I love your inspiring ideas. Keep it up!

  6. I love interior decorating, reading home improvement literature and coming across unique blogs like yours. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement you provide though you know me not. :-)

  7. My gosh, I would have run away from that clock had I seen it at GW, but you absolutely transformed it!

  8. Wow, Kate! Job well done!! I don't think I would have thought to peel off the icky brass. :) Do you have the original Cricut?? That's what I have (at least it looks like yours!) and I didn't know it could cut vinyl!! This opens up worlds of possibilities. :)

    I'd love to be entered in the giveaway! :)

  9. Great clock transformation and I'm so jealous of your Cricut!! And I would love to win your lovely giveaway! :) It doesn't get much better than lavender, does it?

  10. Hello Kate – love what you did to that mirror/clock! Great inspiration. And thank you for the chance to win your fabulous basket of lavender goodies! Fabulous.


  11. ok, so I really wish I lived near your Goodwill. In the past two weeks I have been to three Goodwill stores around here and I haven't found ANYTHING! Your transformation looks great as always!

  12. Wow! You did an amazing job with that mirror clock, it looks awesome now! It really went from fuggle to wow. :) I'm not as good with the spray paint as you appear to be! It always gets everywhere when I do it.
    Wonderful giveaway too!

  13. great job! from tacky to terrific!

    i'm not all that happy on more ppl getting hip about thrifting, only because it makes it harder to find the good stuff!

  14. Hmmm. It has to be a kind comment! Just joshing you. The photos and description of your visit to the lavender farm wanted me to hop on a plane and join you.

    Oh, and I actually just did a shout out to your decorating skills on my blog yesterday!


  15. Wow! Such a great transformation! Such a great giveaway as well. Each item in the basket is lovely. Lavender and Honey are two of my favorite things. Combine them and I'm in heaven!

  16. Your redo projects totally rock! Seriously, I' m like "wow, that's cool" and then you do a new post and I think, "This girl is crazy good!"

    I hope I win :)

  17. I avoide those mirrors at all costs LOL! You have inspired me to take a second look!! What a great transformation tacky to classy ;)

    Thanks for the nice giveaway! I love the smell of lavender!

    [email protected]

  18. My first comment wouldn't post, so I'm trying again. I was inspired by your blog to visit the new Long Beach St. Vincent de Paul this morning. It was fun, but I came away empty-handed. I'd love to win the lavender products and share them with my family and friends.


  19. I'm new to your blog and now I find myself looking for thrift stores and consigment shops to see what I can find! I'm impressed with what you can do – you have a great sense of style! Have a good weekend.

  20. Love all your makeovers–and would love to win! I am also following you on twitter. :)

  21. The clock looks amazing – I don't know how you do it.
    Great giveaway too!

  22. Wow, usually a mirrord clock would make me run in horror but you made it quite gorgeous. What an incredible transformation. Well done!

  23. I was a little worried when I saw your clock but I love the transformation!!! Nice work.

  24. What a lovely giveaway! Your blog is always so inspiring. I would have never in a million years dreamed of re-vamping a clock like that. Brilliant!

  25. That clock looks amazing! I am searching our local goodwill's for an old dresser of sorts for our entryway as well and have been for weeks! I also have the same problem of finding a parking space in the goodwill parking lot. It blows my mind that when I step out of the office to run to the bank for work and hit up goodwill on the way back (1 or 2 in the afternoon) and the goodwill is full! Go to work PPL! lol

  26. I can't understand how you even looked twice at that clock when you saw it, but WOW, what a transformation! You have a wonderful gift to be able to see the possibility in things that others see as unusuable.

    Enjoying your blog….

  27. What a wonderful prize! I love lavendar. I bought a potted plant of it this year and have already killed it. So I'm stuck with buying the flowers I guess. Or winning them!

    I love how you show all of your projects on your thrift store finds. My mom is like that too. I sometimes get lucky and have a great idea. But usually I can't get past looking at a piece of junk and just seeing junk. I wish I could remake things as well as you!

    [email protected]

  28. Ah, Kate, that clock is so fun. I looked at the before and thought 'no way, what on earth can she do with that' but it looks so spiffy afterward!

    Is it legal to confess to being a lavender junkie? I'm the youngest person I know who adores the stuff. I just discovered you can cook with it too (I noticed the recipes mentioned above) so needless to say I have my fingers crossed for this one.

  29. Great post! I wish I had an ounce of your creativity! You should do a post of your 'Best Moments' in DIY. Best spray paint, best restoration, etc. That would be fab. :)

  30. I wouldn't have even looked twice at that ugly clock! LOL! You did an awesome job on it!

    Lavender smells so wonderful, what a great set.

  31. What a gorgeous clock- great job!! In high school tech class, we made clocks using old records- putting the little clock mechanism on the back and all. This reminds me of that. :) Anyway, I digress- hope I win the lovely lavender!!

  32. I always enjoy stopping by your blog. The clock is amazing. I wouldn't have thought twice about that clock if I'd seen it at Goodwill. Love the Lavendar too. I'm actually trying my hand at growing some right now.

  33. Wow, I would have looked at the clock, thought it was ugly and walked by it. You have made it look beautiful! (I LOVE the chandelier in the reflection.)

  34. Yeah, I'm one of those newcomers to thrifting you were talking about – not so much because of the economy, but because I'm so inspired by all the transformations I see online. Love what you did to that clock, BTW.

  35. I am so pleased to have found your website. It is very inspiring. I was not much of a thrift store shopper until now. I've found all sorts of great bargains and have transformed them with paint, thanks to your creative ideas. Thank you ever so much for sharing.

  36. Okay, so I was going to leave a comment about your clock transformation not knowing there was a giveaway too, so double score! Anyway, I was going to say that you are incredible- I would have never seen the potential in that crazy clock!

  37. Everything you re-create is amazing! Lavender is my FAVORITE scent. :)

  38. Great job on the clock!

    And, oooh, lavender!! I love lavender anything!

  39. There are several projects that have been waiting in my home to be done! Your blog has given me great ideas and I've now done a bunch of them and even found more to do. Thanks for fun inspiration and motivation. I've learned how easy it is to do a lot of cute things myself instead of pay the big bucks!

    Trinna Adams

  40. The clock looks wonderful! I'd be thrilled to win the lavender basket!

  41. My 13 yr old daughter exclaimed that that is the coolest clock. Who knew?

  42. What a great transformation! My Mom loves the Goodwill. She finds a ton of clothes still NWT.

  43. The clock looks amazing, and I loved reading about Lavender Bee farms! I make soap, and lavender essential oil is one of my favourites. :)

  44. My husband and I are going thrifting tonight for our date and I had to check your latest inspiring finds. I think you did an awesome job on the clock. I am starting to see hidden potential so much more.
    Yay for lavender too. Thanks for the giveaway.

  45. You truly see the potential in items I would gag at…LOL! Love the clock transformation :) Beautiful.

  46. The clock looks amazing!!! I would never imagine it could look this pretty! I would love to win the giveaway… lavender… my favorite scent!

  47. I wish I had your vision for just one day. You turned an tacky piece if 80's junk into a modernist gem. Simply awesome.

  48. WOW!!!! I really love how you can see something new and pretty in something old and ugly! I want so badly to be creative, but it just doesn't come to me. So, I keep coming back to your blog to get ideas! Hope you don't mind a copier! Thanks for sharing your how-to with all of us in blogland.
    Just amazing!

  49. I am always amazed by your ability to see the beautiful "to be" in something that's shabby, neglected, or just plain ugly.

    I'd love that basket!

  50. In the midwest you can sprinkle lavender on your flower bed or pots in January and have beautiful blooming lavender in May for pennies. I have joggers that stop by my planter mail box just to touch the leaves and smell it on their fingers. Give it a try! Love your blog.

  51. I had never stepped foot into a thrift store (other than a time or two at Goodwill) until I found your site….Oh my word, I am now a junkie!!… :) I have been researching all of the possibilities around town and looking for my own treasures…thanks for the inspiration…
    Ashley at [email protected]

  52. I have been wanting a Cricut. Do you like yours?

    Love the clock. Who would have thought? Not me. You see the true diamonds in the rough.

    Hoping I win….. =)

  53. I was inspired by your site to repaint my table set (2 end tables, coffee table and console table) and it has the exact same brass trim! It looks so much better now that its a BM Decorators White.

  54. I am amazed at that clock transformation! You are so amazingly talented!

    Great giveaway!

  55. I love all your projects. I practically live at Goodwill, and now I'm constantly on the lookout for cool furniture to paint.

  56. My jaw literally dropped. Okay, figuratively. But I am truly impressed! It takes vision to pick something like that up and bring it home.

  57. I love how you have influenced me to look at things in a new perspective. Nothing is "yucky" anymore. Now I wonder how I can make it prettier. Thank you!

  58. Yep. Neeeever would have taken that baby home. Another fabulous makeover! You open up whole new worlds of trash to treasures…

  59. Great job with the mirror!! I thought I had vision but nothing in comparison to yours!!

  60. kind comment, alright. here is a short list of things i like:

    1.spray paint
    4.your blog (i've got it linked on the left side of my blog).

    things i have to admit to not liking
    1.your clock. before or after. :)

    but i'm glad you posted your clock, 'cause it reminded me I have to find a new way to hang the clock I made out of a scratched janis joplin record. it kind of fell off the wall. temporary setback!

    i love many of your projects though, and appreciate your blog.

  61. I love how you make me think outside of the box. Thanks for the great ideas and the wonderful giveaway!

  62. I LOVE to check your blog and see what you have done this week! First can I say, you are amazing! Second, where in the world do you get all your energy? You are one busy lady!
    I also have been astounded at the Goodwill crowds lately! I don't know why it has become so popular all of a sudden. I guess I shouldn't be greedy :) I love your ideas for repurposing. I alsol like to repurpose but you can really think outside the box!
    Can't wait to see what you do next!

  63. Great job on the clock!! And I bet that giveaway smells fantastic!!!


  64. "Leave a kind comment"? That's tough CG! ;) Ok, let me give it a try:
    1. Love your house
    2. Love your creativity
    3. Love that clock
    4. Love myself for have found your blog!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  65. So, I was at a local thrift store enjoying a leisurely walk-thru (kids free) when I spied a desk lamp like the one you just "rust-oleumed". The shade was beat up and they wanted more than I could/would spend. But it reminded me of all your DIY projects. I looked all over for a good find that I could justify and needed but alas no prizes. I did price the Rust-oleum for future projects though.

    And all that lavender… my fingers are crossed!

  66. HI, I was visiting your blog from a link on the Nifty Notebook blog. And WOW! That clock turned out awesome, I NEVER would have envisioned that. I am getting so much inspiration from blogland! And I am really wishing I could afford a cricut machine so I could make vinyl adhesives. :-)

  67. Your clock is awesome…I am so jealous of your finds. And I so want to win that wonderful basket. Please pick me!!!

  68. I wish I had your ability to "see" the beauty that can be made from your thrift finds. I did buy a lamp there today that I'm going to give a new coat of color but its just not in me to make such a wonderful transformation like you did with this clock.

  69. oooh enter me…quick question…what do you use for your vinyl lettering. Do you tun contact paper through it?

  70. Hi all, the vinyl adhesive paper is made by Cricut and sold wherever their products are sold. If you can stomach the cost of Cricut products, ouch ! Hub bought that machine for me two years ago on super sale, and I confess I've only used it three times. Scrappers, don't hate me.

  71. I'm a new reader of your blog, but it is already one of my favorites! I'm a graduate student married to another student, and we're always on such a tight budget; but your projects give me such inspiration! This past weekend I bought my first can of spray paint and some sandpaper – I'm finally going to try my hand at some CG-esque DIY! Wish me luck! :)

  72. I really love seeing your newest finds and redesigns. It's great to see the potential in things through someone else's eyes :)

  73. You're such a delightful inspiration with all your redoing and improving. Love it!

  74. It really is amazing, you can turn the ugliest of froggy clocks into princly time pieces!

    (I'm sorry if I have offended any frogs lovers, I think they're quite cute myself!)

  75. Just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and you are now my favorite of my favorites! thanks for all the inspirational ideas…i've even dragged my boyfriend over to the computer to show him some of your ideas i would like to try.

  76. While I do think the economy has an impact on "thrift store" shopping, I think a lot of us are reading blogs like yours and are getting bitten by the bug! I look forward to your posts and love seeing the things that you transform/create. While the clock would not work in my decor, I love the transformation of something that was pretty darn ugly to something beautiful, sleek and new!

  77. You are so talented with makeovers. When I first started reading this article, I was sure I wouldn't like that clock, no matter what you did to it. I love it. I also love lavender and baskets. Hope I win.

  78. Ok, I've learned to hone my eye for potentially fabulous furniture. But I never, repeat NEVER would have seen the potential in that clock. I'm just amazed what you DIY pros can do! I just love it.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Kristinkay81 {AT} yahoo {DOT} com

  79. I love your blog and check it daily. I am always curious to see what are you transforming each day. I wish I had even an ounce of your creativity! Thanks for sharing and for the inspirations.

    -Jenna W

  80. Terrifying to Terrific! Your transformative powers are amazing! Who knew under that tacky peice of junk was a super hip mirror! Thank you for blogging!

  81. Lavender….mmmmmmmmm.

    I am amazed at your transformative skills! I just don't have the eyes to see the possibilities for these things, but I am slowly learning!

  82. Wow what a great transformation on the clock. I love when I am able to transform something that was not appealing into something that I can use and actually like. Thanks for sharing.

  83. Your eye for "what could this become?" is amazing! I've been telling people all about this blog in the short time since I came across it. Even as my husband and I were walking past a thrift store window last weekend I said "Ya know, Centsational Girl would be turning THAT into something amazing!"
    [email protected]

  84. you have quite the touch, great job! You have opened my eyes to many possibilities and I have a Goodwill just down the street.

  85. wow! I thought how is she going to turn that ugly thing into something beautiful…and of course, you did. Lovely!

  86. Loved your clock transformation. You have an eye for seeing potential in stuff I would just pass by. I wish I could be so creative! I loved your lavender bee farm post too. Looks like you had a great time!

  87. 'it is so true! Stopped by one of my favorite thrift shops this morning and darn if it didn't look like Target inside! So many people browsing!
    Love the clock redo btw!

  88. I'm loving your mirror re-do! Really, you see potential in everything! I'd also really love to win the basket of lavender. It's one of my most favorite fragrances.

  89. I just love your blog, I have to read it everyday to see what awesome thing you have transformed. But I have to tell you I would never have thought of that clock, Nope, never you are very very creative. What an imagination you have. Love the clock
    love the Lavender
    Love your blog!!!!
    [email protected]

  90. I've recently started reading your blog and I enjoy your thrifty decorating ideas. When I saw that clock, I couldn't imagine what would make it look good, but you did! :)


  91. Hi Kate! Love your blog and all your wonderful ideas. Loved your post on your visit to the Lavender Bee Farm. Thank you for giving us fun tours that we probably will not be able to do ourselves. Very educational!!

  92. Very creative clock makeover. And what a generous giveaway. I can almost smell it from here.

  93. Fabulous makeover. I love how you think outside the box and challenge others to do so as well!

  94. Happy father's day~!

    (gosh, what you did to that clock—i don't think i can do that! amazing!)

    katch05 at gmail dot com

  95. I cannot find American Accents paint ANYWHERE! I've searched Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. Any suggestions???

  96. Wow! What a great giveaway. Sign me up. LOVE the clock!! My style for sure.

  97. You really do have an eye for turning trash to treasure. I love goodwill stores as well and I can't go by one without stopping and checking it out…drives my kids crazy!

  98. That's a great transformation for the clock!
    I love lavender as well :)


  99. You are so inspirational. I love how you find the most random "junk" and turn it into something that people would pay a fortune for. Simply amazing.

  100. Hello! I just stumbled across your blog and love all the things you've done.

  101. Your site has inspired me to renovate a very old, very weather-worn cabinet I have. I bought my first can of polyurethane because of you! Love your blog!

  102. You never cease to amaze me with your transformations and I am coveting your machine! LOL! Count me in!

  103. Hi Kate!
    What a suuuuper treat to see your giveaway!!! All natural, purple, and non-toxic to boot! Just my style. Same as your crafts. I have to say, I was uber impressed you were confident enough to take a screw driver to a mirror (over 12 times, no less) to get those numbers off! Way to go-you continue to inspire me. I am, however, itching to see that highboy in the before state right off the truck. Do show! (Even if you have not yet got to it…it builds the suspense!). Thanks again for showing all of your creative endeavors, and I love what you wrote about having messes around. I can relate!
    Great job, the clock is mod fab!
    ~Holisticgal Jen
    [email protected]

  104. Love the transformation! And the relection in the clock mirror isn't messy at all–looks like it could be featured in any decorating magazine.

  105. Your blog is the best! So inspiring and I just love what you do with the tacky brass. You make it look so new and fresh!

  106. I have been looking for a cool second-hand clock. I'll have to consider remaking one. Hmm…

  107. I love visiting your blog. You inspire me to look beyond my own visions and think "outside" the box. I would have passed by the tacky mirrored clock, shuddering because my parents had one in the 70's. You have made it beautiful and functional.

  108. Love the clock re-do, I just may need to steal that idea. Thanks for the chance on the giveaway, love me that lavender.

  109. OOoooh! I am addicted to large clocks and this one is beautiful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I win. :o)

  110. It just goes to show that even the most hopeless looking item should be studied for possible redemption! I really didn't believe you would be able to transform that ugly thing into something so classy and beautiful. Good job!

  111. I love your blog and the beautiful inspirations you create


  112. What a great ideA

    (my dog was so impressed he had to comment, too)

    Seriously, I would have just passed by that clock without a second glance. My husband and I just finised a project that I'm really excited about – here's a b/a picture: http://twitpic.com/7kd2h

  113. What a great job on the clock…I'm not sure if I'd have seen that 'vision' in it…and oh, lavender…yummy. I could marinate in the stuff…oh wait, I do! Whenever possible!

  114. Just found your blog recently. Love it. Love bees (and their products) and lavender, too.

  115. Hello Centstional girl! Don't even remember how I found your blog – u know how that is – but I'm lovin' it! Thanks for sharing all the inspiration!!

  116. What a great idea! I'm pretty good with seeing something and thinking what else it could be. The problem comes in when I try to think how ;)

  117. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and have been so inspired! After reading an idea here, I get almost desperate to get to the Goodwill to see what I can find – you take thrift store shopping to another level.

  118. Kate,

    I love your blog & i've recommended it to a few of my girl friends! Also, lavender is one of my favorite scents!

    Keep up the great work I alway love your DIY's!

  119. Wow, Awesome job on the clock. I would not have seen the possibility there. My Goodwill is overpriced on most things worth scooping up, every once in a while I find a treasure. Thanks for all your great tips!


  121. The revamped clock is actually very cool. The pic in your master makes it look very chic with the chandelier reflected in it.

  122. It just goes to show that with a little imagination almost anything can be improved:>) I just found your blog and love it! I may be here all night catching up.

  123. I was sitting here wondering HOW in the world is she going to make over that clock??? No way will it look cute…but I was SOOOO wrong! I love it you did a great job. I have to start think outside the box….maybe if I keep reading your blog it will help me!

  124. Wow. Way to modernize the mirror. Most people would have sent that to a corner to be yard saled but you pulled it off nicely

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