Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tim Holtz Sizzix Vault Series 2024 - Picture Show Pocket Watch with Gears Working Clock

Hello Everyone! I think this is a record for me...I've had sooo many messages asking for this tutorial to make the Picture Show Pocket Watch with Gears Clock, using two of the new Sizzix Dies from Tim Holtz, the Picture Show and Pocket Gears Thinlits. So I'll just jump right in...grab a snack because this is LONG, and I included many photos from different angles as this was difficult to photograph especially all the detail. OH AND....if you are going to make this, buy the miniature clock mechanism (got mine on Amazon and read first step below for the details) and 2.5 inch Dome from Sizzix ahead of time to be ready. Don't forget that I have a print button below so you can print the whole thing easily. AND PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT if you are making this so I know that this tutorial was worth the time and the energy, as sometimes I wonder, so help a girl out! Enjoy!!!

This is the Clock Movements Mechanism with Short Hands and ½” Tall Shaft Clock Kit I purchased on Amazon. I could not find another kit anywhere that was small enough and had the ½ inch tall shaft (the center long part that goes through the hole in the middle), that also has the short hands. If you get any longer than ½”, the clock parts will be too big to fit under the shaker dome. The kit comes with several hands to choose from and two battery mechanisms so you can make 2 clocks with several choices of hands for $10. 

Using only the thicker Metallic Classics Kraftstock (to make the clock as durable as possible), add two sided tape to the back of a black metallic piece first and die cut the picture wheel from it from the Vault Picture Show Thinlits set. You can punch out the windows and save those for another project. You will not need this die set anymore, fyi. Add two sided tape to a gold piece and die cut the pocket watch from the Vault Watch Gears Thinlits. Die cut a silver pocket watch with no tape on the back this time, as this piece will be the very back of the clock. Take the black picture wheel and cut through all the arm pieces that are flush with the very top of the square opening as the wheel is a little larger than the pocket watch. It should look like a wagon wheel with spokes but with no outer circle wheel part. Punch a 5/16” hole in the very center of the wheel, the gold watch, and the silver watch, making sure they will all line up once adhered together. (NOTE: If you don’t have a 5/16” hole punch that is deep enough (at least 2 inches to punch a hole in the center) you can use the ‘zero’ thinlit from the Sizzix Postale Set as it’s the perfect size to fit the width of the shaft. Just die cut the zero in the center of each piece and pop it out, as I did because I didn’t have a hole punch. AND, there are enough zeros to die cut all three pieces at the same time. AND as a cool addition, if you die cut these with a pretty used up cutting pad that has lots of scratches and cuts in it, those images will transfer easily onto the Metallic Kraftstock and add a fabulous distressed detail into the paper, a bonus if you like the distressed look. If you don’t then make sure to use clean smooth cutting pads on the Metallic Kraftstock.) Remove the backing on the wheel and adhere it to the Gold Pocket Watch making sure a square at the very top is centered correctly where the number 12 will go just like a clock face. Remove the backing on the gold and adhere the silver watch piece over making sure the silver is face up (again, this part is the back of the clock). Using more Black Metallic Kraftstock, die cut the small set of numbers from the Watch Gears Thinlits. There are already the correct amounts you need for a clock on the die which is SOOOOO nice and convenient. 

Before adhering the numbers, and to make that part a little easier, die cut another silver pocket watch with two sided tape on the back (You might as well die cut 2 more in silver and one in copper while you are at it.). The die cut piece has two embossed circles in the center to help you figure out other die cuts. Use scissors to cut out the largest circle part so that there is just a 1/16rim left on the pocket watch. I used a hole punch a few times in the circle to help me get started cutting the circle. You can also use the circle die that comes in the set but you will still need to cut the extra little bit of ring away with scissors. Once cut, remove the backing and adhere this over the wheel pocket watch part so that now it looks like a silver pocket watch frame with square openings for the numbers. Now you can adhere the numbers better knowing the room you have a lot easier, especially for the double digit ones. I tried to position mine so that they would be seen in the same linear fashion all around the clock face. Once the numbers were down I checked on the depth of the clock shaft and hands to see how thick the borders of the clock needed to be so that there would be enough room for the hands to turn correctly, and decided to keep building up the borders a little for that reason. So I added four more silver pocket watch frames on top (silver pocket watches with the centers cut out) to add more thickness. I also wanted a thin border of copper to show for more cohesiveness with the colors of the upcoming gears, so on the copper pocket watch, I die cut the center out with the circle die that came with the set so it left a wider border of cooper than the other silver ones that I hand cut. On top of the copper, I added a silver cut out pocket watch for the very top piece. I die cut all the gears I thought I needed from each of silver, gold, and copper Metallic Kraftstock with two sided tape on the back, as well as two each of the of the handle loop pieces from the die set (one for the front and one for the back) in silver with two sided tape on the back. I also place all the gears and handle parts that had been die cut back into the machine with the scratched up die cutting plate so that the distressed design would be shown on all the pieces. To further bring out the distressed designs I dabbed on Black Soot Distress Paint from Ranger over all the pieces, waited a few minutes and then wiped off the paint leaving it in the recessed distressed designs for a more vintage look. If you want a smooth shiny look then skip the distressed plate for a smooth plate and don’t use the paint. I tested out the paint look first on the whole silver pocket watch on the bottom right of this picture to make sure I would like the look, so you can look at it to understand what I mean by distressed design with the black paint look, as well as the old cutting plate I used up top in the photo. Metallic papers will pick up all the designs on the cutting pads as you probably already know. Once the paint was dry, I inked the edges of all the gears, the handle parts, and rims of the clock with Vintage Photo Archival Ink. Then I added the handle parts on both the front and back of the clock, and played around with the gear placements until I liked it and adhered those down. I of course had left over gears and that pocket watch I didn’t use that I tested the paint on, and I will use those in another project. 

Here is the clock face up close with the gears stuck on as well as the handle parts, all ready to go before the clock mechanism goes in. I also used some of the inside circle parts (the throw away parts) from some of the gears to add centers and nail heads on the clock face. On two of the larger ones I made lines down the middle for a nail head look with the blade of my scissor.

The clock mechanism comes with not only all the parts you need and more, but with also a metal L bracket to attach the clock to a wall, but I am using this bracket as a base piece so that it can brace the clock securely on the bottom to use on a table top. Since it has a bend in it for the wall fastening I thought to bend it back to make it longer to help secure my base. I used pliers to gently bend it flush with the other part. See the original and then see what mine looks like. After I bent it in place, I attached the circle part opening around the indention for it on the shaft, and snapped it in place, then I added a little Collage Medium to the rubber circle washer and pushed it over the brace, and let that dry.

Here is a different angle so you can see the bend I made with the pliers.

I added a bit of Collage Medium on top of the rubber washer and then added the clock face on centered correctly with the 12 lined up in the middle and let it dry. Then I added the shortest clock hands in the kit in order that they go per the photo on the instructions. I used the shortest because I didn’t want to risk any hands touching the dome in the next parts. HOWEVER, depending on the length of not only the hands you need to factor in the length of the shaft in the middle, so keep that in mind when building up the borders of the clock. Also, from a distance it was very hard to see the black colored clock hands, so I ended up painting them silver with a leafing pen and toned down the gold middle part with a gold leafing pen as it was the wrong color gold and a bit too bright.

To construct dome cover, I die cut two of the pocket watches in silver with two sided tape, and then die cut the smaller circle inside the watch, to not only have a wider border but the two inside circles will be used as well. The 2.5” Shaker Dome is a tad small to fit over the whole clock face, so having the wider border on these two will make it fit great. I also snipped off the top handle parts and run all the other parts through the machine with the scratched up die cutting plate to distress those. I added the Black Soot Paint on, waited a few minutes and then wiped off the rest.

I removed the backing on the Dome and adhered it to the top of one of the watch borders. Then I added the other watch border on top of this lining up the borders best as I could. Using the small Hinge I lined it up where it would go on the bottom middle of the dome and I used a pen to make the marks where the Mini Fasteners would go. I have a jewelry mini hole punch and I used it to punch the holes for the fasteners, and then inserted them into the Hinge holes and secured them tightly with pliers following the edge of the border of the pocket watch.

Taking one of the circles, I marked where the holes would go with the other end of the Hinge on the very edge of the circle, leaving as much of a gap as possible between the Dome and circle so that there would be plenty of working room for bottom circle part later. I used the pliers again to make sure the fasteners were on tight and flat

Looking through my Idea-ology stash for a Swivel Clasp, I came across an old Toggle Clasp from the first release of Tim’s Assemblage line. It was perfect for that authentic look from an old pocket watch with a connecting chain, so I used an old Assemblage chain as well, and replaced the chain from the Swivel Clasp with it, using pliers to open the links and exchanging them, and using enough to go from the top of the handle on the clock to the were the ‘o’ clasp will go. On the ‘o’ part of the clasp, I took the other circle and punched a hole at the very edge and inserted a Mini Fastener in the hole on the clasp and secured it tightly with the pliers. I also wanted to make sure that the bracket on the clock would be secured with something as well, so I used a larger fastener and marked where the holes would go to secure it, but I didn’t punch them yet to make sure I would have the correct placement once the Dome was on. Then I removed the back on the Dome and added Collage Medium for reinforcement and then added the Dome on lining up everything like a clock, and let that dry.

I added the Swivel Chain on the handle of the clock and then laid the circle with the ‘o’ clasp on top of the other circle (not securing yet, so the backing is still on) to make sure things would line up and work the way I wanted, and then I punched the holes for the large fasteners to secure the bracket. I removed the backing on the circle and then pushed the fastener through and bent the arms in place, holding up the clock so that the bottom circle was just hanging there. Once the bracket was secured I adhered that circle to the bottom circle, pressing all around to make sure all parts were stuck together. Then I pushed the toggle through the ‘o’ clasp. 

Here is a close up of the fastener holding the bracket down, and the toggle through the ‘o’ clasp.

Then I adhered the Hardware Head to the front of the handle with Collage Medium. 

(Paper Trimmer, Two Sided Tape, Die Cut Machine, Die Pick, Scissors, 5/16” Hole Punch, Ink Blending Tool, Pliers, Mini Hole Punch)
-Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Metallic Classics Kraftstock, Hinges, Mini Fasteners, Swivel Clasp, Hardware Heads
-Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits (Vault Series 2024): Vault Picture Show, Vault Watch Gears
-Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits: Postale
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Paint: Black Soot
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Archival Ink: Vintage Photo
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium: Matte
-Sizzix Shaker Domes: Circle 2.5”
-Tim Holtz Assemblage: Gunmetal Chain, Toggle Clasp
-Miniature Clock Movements Mechanism with Short Hands and ½” Tall Shaft Clock Kit

Thank you truly for all the love and support with this means so much. I will be back again next week. Until then, I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!


  1. Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing

  2. I haven’t built one yet, but just read your post top to bottom and it all makes sense to me! I think I have everything I need, but will have to check the size on the clock mechanisms in my stash (I love building paper clocks!). Really love this project, thanks for detailed instructions!!

  3. This is awesome. I’m getting my supplies to make one.


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