Thursday, June 25, 2020

Turn Back Time - Little Niche Pocket Watch

Hi again,

It's Elle here from Empire of the Cat and today I am sharing this little pocket watch niche which I made for GSL this month.


I was looking at this little pocket watch and thinking about time, and then that Cher song popped into my head - you know the one! And so I started thinking about turning back time, literally turning it, and so I decided that this little project would have a front and a back.

GSL Products Used

Little Niche Pocket Watch D64H
Miniature Bookplates Shape Set D70A 2 bookplates
Steampunk Lightbulb Set D20D some cogs and 1 clock hand
Gears Shape Set BB13some cogs

Overview of Process

So firstly find a photo that will fit inside the niche.  I am using photos from this Prima Vintage Photobooth sticker set.

Then decide what kind of embellishments you want to use on your pocket watch.  I decided to use some cogs from a couple of GSL sets that I had been using recently and also two of these little bookplates.

When you have all your pieces ready, it's time to cover them all in black gesso.

I'm painting both sides of everything because for this project both sides will be seen!

At this point your niche is still flat and unassembled which makes it easier to insert the photograph sticker.  These stickers are slightly bigger than the niche size so carefully trim off the excess with a scalpel or craft knife.  Once you have the photo stuck down inside, you can assemble the niche using some craft glue.

In this project, the back of the niche also gets its own photo.  As I hinted above, this is all about turning back time and so these two photos (probably different people lol) are going to symbolize the past and the present.  If you also want to create this idea of past and present, make sure to choose two suitable photos.

To give the photo sticker a more vintage feel, I used a Tombow ABT marker and a waterbrush around the edges.  You could also use Distress markers, watercolour or other water soluble markers or pencils.

Repeat this process on the back photo.

As the insides of the niche are painted with black gesso, which makes it quite dark inside, I decided to line the sides with silver mirror cardstock to allow the light to bounce around in there. Once that was in place, I gave the photo a coat of Deco Art Liquid Glass to also capture more light and reflection. Put this aside to dry while you work on the embossing.

To make the plaques for the back and front, I used some black cardstock, and these small word stickers from an old Prima sticker set.  I then painted around them with black fluid acrylic to make the cardstock as dark as the stickers.

I heat embossed all the little doo dads using Wow embossing ink and the Wow Weathered Gold embossing powder from Seth Apter.

Now that the Liquid Glass is dry, glue the niche onto the pocket watch frame using craft glue or the glue of your choice.  It's now time to decorate, so let's start with the back.  I use Deco Art Metallic Lustre Black Shimmer wax and just rub it in to the back with my fingers.

On the front, I again used my fingers to apply some gold paint to the body of the frame, mostly around the outsides as the middle will be covered up.

Then I applied the same gold paint around the edges quite thickly as shown below.

Then I used the same process on the back of the pocket watch, using silver this time.

Next, I grabbed the black card with the word stickers on it, and glued them to the bookplates that I am using as plaques.  I found some brads in my stash that were just the right size to add to the plaques and the clock hand.

Now all the pieces were ready to glue into place, starting with the front and then moving on to the back pieces.

Line the two plaques (bookplates) up so that they meet at the bottom and then pop some glue in between and hold them together till they stick.  You don't have to do this but it makes sure that nothing is overhanging from the other side and it looks better overall.

Here's a look at the shine from the Liquid Glass coating on the photo.

For some extra interest, I used some thin bronze wire and wrapped it around the top of the pocket watch.  This step is optional.

The final step was to twist the end of the wire into a loop to hang my pocket watch from, but this niche does come with a hanging device which you can see glued onto the back in the photo below.  If you don't have wire, you could use metallic thread, linen thread, twine, hemp cord etc.

And the pocket watch niche is complete.


One side shows the couple in their youth in the forever past, and the other side shows them many years later in the always present. This little niche would be on display in their home, and all they need to do to turn back time is turn the pocket watch to the other side.

Thanks for making it all the way to the end. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Project Recipe:

Little Niche Pocket Watch D64H
Miniature Bookplates Shape Set D70A (2 bookplates used)
Steampunk Lightbulb Set D20D (some cogs and 1 clock hand used)
Gears Shape Set BB13 (some cogs used)
Black gesso
Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive
Prima Vintage Photobooth stickers, Archivist stickers
Deco Art Fluid Acrylics - Gold, Silver, Black, Liquid Glass, Metallic Lustre Black Shimmer wax
Tombow ABT marker
Wow embossing ink, Weathered Gold embossing powder
From Stash:  black card, brads, wire, wire cutters


  1. Fantastic I love how yuh showed the couple through the year. Like a time traveler we see their love endure!! Just wonderful!!