Twas the night before Christmas and guess who is stirring

Twas the night before Christmas and guess who is stirring
Twas the night before Christmas and guess who is stirring

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Hold it right there. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

Obviously Mr. Moore didn’t take time to actually check on the mice. All he had to do was remove the grandfather clock face to see what the mice were really up to.


On the night before Christmas, they were busy admiring the Christmas tree and


Hanging stockings. Did you notice even the clock has a clock?


Look at what Mr. Moore would have seen if he had opened the clock door: tiny little mice enjoying a late night cup of hot chocolate and


Riding their toy train.


In fact, he would find only one wee mouse nestled in for the night–using a discarded Santa hat for a sleeping bag.


If Mr. Moore had bothered to open the clock’s drawer, he would have found another surprise.


Tutorial to make Twas the Night Before Christmas Clock


You know when they go to the doctor’s office and they have you fill out multiple forms with a zillion questions? And you know how one of those questions is how much alcohol you drink? I always check the “Rarely” box. This is not because I am prohibited from drinking nor because of some moral stand–it is simply because I am, well, frankly boring. However, I may have to change my answer after this project. Hiccup!

Okay, I am exaggerating. I didn’t start drinking (too) heavily during this project. I am still just as responsible boring as ever. But I made this project so much harder than it had to be due to poor planning that I was tempted to open a bottle or three.

The good thing is I definitely learned some things along the way. The key to making this project work is knowing the opportune time to glue things together. While I will share my insights with you in this tutorial, I will try not to share the creative word combinations that erupted from my mouth.

First, assemble the amazing 11 inch grandfather clock. Use a strong glue, like Beacon Fabri-tac to adhere together. I love this glue because it quickly creates a super strong bond, yet allows a few moment to adjust positioning. Wait! Do not glue on the front face of the clock cabinet and do not attach the doors, the top arches or the side decorative strips.


Next make two small shelves and four simple shelf brackets from chipboard and add them inside the clock. Then line the inside with faux leather sheets.  Oops! I spy my always nearby can of Lime Diet Coke in this picture. I will make no false claims about my intake of caffeine during this project.


Like I said, the key to simplifying this project is knowing when to glue things together, such as when to glue on the paper. Believe me, I learned the hard way. On the back side of a sheet of faux leather paper, trace the outline of the front panel of the grandfather clock cabinet, including openings, and cut it out. Set it aside for later–do not glue to the paper to the chipboard.

Doors and drawers

Next make the door and drawer panels by embossing gold metallic cardstock. You will need two top door panels, one bottom door panel, one for the clock face and one drawer panel.


Then rub brown ink along the raised edges of the embossing to add definition.

I forgot to take pictures of the process of making the doors, but first add the faux leather paper to the front side of door frames.

Then, for the top door, adhere your embossed paper to one side of the arched inside panel piece. Place glue along the outside edges of the panel and inset it into the faux leather frame.

Make hinges by adhering two small strips of narrow gold ribbon to the back of this piece with the ends hanging free. Then adhere embossed paper to the back side. Because you added the frame, this piece will be slightly larger than the embossed paper you added to the front.


For the bottom door, make hinges by gluing two small strips of narrow gold ribbon to the back of this piece with the ends hanging free. Adhere the embossed paper to the back side of the faux leather frame.

Also cover the outside of the bottom drawer and the front side of the clock face with the embossed paper.

To make the handles, put on safety goggles and move all pets and observers to another room. Use a wire cutter to cut off all but a small portion of the metal from three stick pins. I did this process with my hands deep inside an empty tall trash can to reduce the risk of sharp bits of metal flying across the room for some poor paw to find. Cover the round ball of the stick pin with metallic gold paint and let dry.

Make a small hole in the chipboard where you want to place each handle.Dab a little glue on the pins and insert into the holes.

Now line up the door panels with the front panel of the clock cabinet and adhere the other ends of the ribbons to the inside of the front panel. It is important to leave enough play in the ribbon so you can fully open the doors.



Now comes the fun part–decorating the inside! As you can see, the mice use the clock gears to climb from one level to the next and they even repurposed a gear to use as a picture frame. It’s amazing that this clock still runs! You can see a link to the many collage sheets I used for this part at the bottom of this  post. I also used lots of bits and bobs I had in my studio.


To make the window where you can see reindeer flying across the sky, first cut out a curtained window from Room with a View, then adhere it to a picture of flying reindeer. First glue one side of the window to the picture. Let it dry, then arch the picture before gluing the other side. this will give your window some dimension. Trim away the excess reindeer picture.


.  After you make the elements, adhere the wallpaper, windows and one-dimensional furniture to the interior of the clock.


To make the furniture, print out digital collage sheets at a reduced scale (I printed several reductions to find just the right size). Then cut small rectangles of stiff plastic packaging and adhere to the back side to create invisible stands for the furniture.


The white mice were from a lot I found at a garage sale this summer, but Alpha Stamps sells adorable metal mice. I used one of these as the ornamental top for my clock. I would never have imagined tiny mice would come in so handy, but I have already used them in two projects and am certain I will use more of them in the future.

When you add the three-dimesional objects such as the tree, table and mice, make sure you leave enough space in the top cabinet to insert the clock face.

Final assemblage

Once your interior is decorated. it is time to finish assembling your clock. Glue the front panel of the clock cabinet to the clock. Now is the time to add the faux leather to the exterior. First adhere the front clock piece that you earlier traced and cut out.

Now is also the right time to add faux leather to the sides, top, back, decorative arches, side bars and the front of the back feet. I made the mistake of adding the paper before the clock was assembled and while it looked okay, some of the chipboard edges remained visible (and made me yearn for yet more alcohol). Finally, adhere the arches and side bars.

Clock face

You already added the embossed paper. Now add the face of the clock, hands and a couple of chipboard tabs to the back so that the face will stand upright. Now you can add or remove the clock face as you see fit.


Finishing touch

Paint a metal mouse with metallic gold paint (one of those gold paint pens work wonders). Let dry and adhere the mouse to the top of the clock.


Alpha Stamps provides an easy way to find most of the materials I used in this tutorial with this link.Thanks for stopping by to see my Twas the Night before Christmas Clock. Candy cane kisses to all! -Betsy

Great stuff

Collage Sheets

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