Native American Drum Style Wall Clock: Instructions-How to Make

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Native Drum Clock

My guy is very artistic. He spends a great deal of time on his art works. He has produced some incredible carvings. I am going to write a hub to showcase some of his pieces soon.

This past while my guy has been creating Native Drum Clocks to sell at local farmer's markets, gift shops, craft stores and online.

Materials You Will Need

Materials needed:

  • A 6,8, 10 or 12 inch round tin. Cookie tins work well. Most dollar stores carry a variety of tins in different sizes that are economically priced. We also keep our eyes open for tins when we are cruising the local thrift stores.
  • Clock guts ( motor, hands). We often purchase cheap clocks at a dollar store and use the mechanisms from them. We occasionally buy the innards at a craft store but the prices are higher, usually around 8 or 10 bucks compared to a buck or two at a dollar store.
  • Deer, elk or any kind of tanned hide, enough to cover the tin size you choose. A good source for this material is also a local thrift store. We buy old leather coats, skirts etc: and cut them up.
  • Cut two or more round pieces of hide about 12 inches in diameter out of the hide. These will be used for the lacing. I will explain how to make the lacing in the next section.
  • 12 or so duck, goose, owl, raven or any kind of feathers you like that are available to you. We go out hiking to look for feathers. Feathers can also be purchased in a craft store. They are reasonably priced.
  • Handful of ponybeads.
  • A small hand or power drill.
  • Tin snips.

Spiritual Philosophies

Do you believe in the kind and gentle Native American spirituality practise that emphasis respect for Mother Earth?

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Assembling the Drum Clock

  • Cut a round hole in the back (bottom) of the tin using the tin snips. Cut the hole about an inch to an inch and a half from the outer edge of the tin.
  • Measure the clock motor stem. Using a drill , drill a hole exactly in the middle of the face of the tin(center of tin lid), exactly the size of the clock motor stem.
  • Place tin face first on a piece of hide. Measure two circles on the hide that when folded over the edge of the tin,will reach halfway.
  • Cut a hole the size of the hole in the back of the tin in the center of the round piece of hide to be used for the back of the clock.
  • Using your hole punch make holes about a quarter inch apart around the perimeter of both pieces of round hide that you cut to cover the front and back of the clock.
  • Take one of the rounds you cut to use for lacing and start a quarter inch in from the edge, begin cutting carefully around the perimeter of the hide. When you have gone full circle continue cutting, angling down another quarter inch, going around and around, until you have reached the center of the hide. You have created your lacing.
  • Center the tin face up on the piece of hide with the hole in it. The hole gives you access to the inside of the tin when it is time to attach the clock guts. Drape the intact round of hide over the top of the tin.
  • Using a needle with an eye large enough to accommodate the leather lacing, begin sewing the front and back rounds of hide together, using a loop stitch through the holes you punched around the perimeters of the hide pieces. If you cut the rounds correctly, they should meet at the halfway point on the side of the tin. Whe you get all the way round back to your starting point, secure the lacing with a tidy knot.
  • Make a hole through the hide on the face of the tin exactly in line with and the same size as, the hole you created in the center of the tin for the clock mechanism stem.
  • Attach the clock mechanism to the face of the clock.
  • Hang six or more laces from the bottom of the drum clock 6, 8, 10 inches or however long you want.
  • Attach a feather to each one.
  • You can use ponybeads also on the laces for decoration along with the feathers. Use your imagination!
  • You have now created an attractive and functional piece of art!

The picture of Drum Clocks below poor quality but you can get the gist of the different sizes and designs you can create. I will post better quality pictures when they are available to me.

If You Want


If you are artistically inclined, you can draw or paint a picture on the piece of hide you will use for the front of the drum clock. You can also use a picture on a piece of heavy construction paper, of anything you want, a native design, flower, wolf or other animal as examples. Paste the picture, preferably cut round in diameter an inch or so in from the edge, on the front of the hide used for the front of the clock.

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Comments 4 comments

ShyeAnne profile image

ShyeAnne 3 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada Author

I believe my guy uses black marker, or red, fine tip for his designs.


June 3 years ago

Can you use oil paint to paint a drum?


ShyeAnne profile image

ShyeAnne 5 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks Pamela, I appreciate the comments.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

These are really beautiful and a great idea.

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