- Arts and Design
★ DIY Clock Tutorials | Roundup of Fun Craft Projects ★
How to Make Your Own Clocks
So many objects can be transformed into unique clocks, including game boards, vintage cameras, bike wheels and books. Makeovers and recycling projects are a lot of fun, but you could also build a clock completely from scratch in your own design, and you don't even need any previous experience or skill do do this. The design possibilities are almost limitless; big, small, stand-alone, wall hanging, giant size, on the ceiling, traditional, modern or pretty much any type of clock you can imagine!
On this page you will find a huge roundup of step-by-step tutorials showing you how to make a wide range of clocks, and you can either follow these instructions to the letter, or you can use them as inspiration for your own ideas.
I hope you find this page useful :-)
Photo by Vanya Mornie.
Photo Wall Clock
Clock Movements & Kits
There is a good variety of clock mechanisms available to buy - including different sizes and types - but you could also recycle old clocks by taking the mechanism out of those and re-using them in a new project.
3 Ways To Make A Unique Clock
Making a clock can be one of the most simple crafts to try, or you can make it complicated on purpose as a challenge! Most of the projects listed on this page though are really easy, and are fun for kids to help with too.
When creating a clock, there are really only 3 options:
1) Buy a plain clock and embellish it or use the bare bones of the structure as a base for your own design
2) Buy a clock mechanism and insert it into another pre-made product (such as a book, a soup tin, a frisbee, a dinner plate etc.) to repurpose it into a clock
3) Buy a clock mechanism and build the rest from scratch completely
The most simple option is to embellish an existing clock frame, and this can be as basic as sticking on pom-poms or wrapping the frame with fabric.
For the clock mechanism you can buy a regular quartz movement, or you could buy a pendulum mechanism for more of a statement piece. If you are knowledgeable about electronics, you can also get creative with digital clock displays.
Acrylic Cut-Out Clock
DIY Clock Projects
- Asterisk Clock
Contemporary style star clock made from wood.
- Tin Letterpress Clock
Recycle an altoids tin to make this crafty item.
- Recycled Book
I particularly like that an antique looking book was used.
- Tree Slice Clock
How to take a wood slice and turn it into a clock.
- Wood Disc Clock
With a free download for clock numbers too.
- Techy Word Clock
Electronics based clock art made from scratch.
- Halloween Pumpkin
Making the traditional jack 'o' lantern into a clock.
- Tape Measure Clock
Inventive idea with a linear clock dial.
- Knitted Frame
Revamp a pre-made clock with a knitted border.
- Paper Clock
Low cost material to make a clock from.
Fun Metal Sign Clocks
Clock Making Tutorials
- Marble Tile Clock
A chic wall clock made from a marbled tile.
- Custom Clock
How to buy a clock and then personalize it.
- Plate Clock
Turn a ceramic plate into a functional decoration.
- Globe Wall Clock
Giant clock made of large globe halves.
- Ornithology Clock
Bird themed clock using an embroidery hoop.
- Bike Cog Clock
Cool industrial style clock, particularly great for guys.
- Sesame Street Clock
Made from scratch in MDF wood.
- Pin Clock
Clean and simple design created with few materials.
- Jar Clock
Unusual and inexpensive idea.
Vintage Plate Clock
Click here for more details on this project.
Fun Clock How-Tos
- Embroidered Clock
Use thread on fabric to create your own design.
List of user-submitted projects and unique ideas.
- Stenciled Clock
Where the dial is painted directly onto the wall.
- Tea Cup Clock
Whimsical statement piece.
- Embroidery Hoop & Fabric
The background can be any fabric you like.
- Personal Photo Clock
Beautiful decorative design, perfect for a gift.
- Trompe L'Oeil Grandfather Clock
How to make a huge and striking frame for your clock.
- 6 Easy Ideas
6 examples of what to turn into a clock.
- Family Clock
A clock makeover to include family photos.
- Skateboard Wheel Idea
Fun design recycling skateboard wheels.
License Plate Clock
Pendulum Clock Movement
Creative Ideas & Clocks to Make
- Customized Photo Clock
Fun and easy idea for personalizing your clock.
- Family Photo Clock
Use 12 family photos to represent the numbers.
- Wall Numbers
Very simple design using wood numbers attached directly to the wall.
- Flickr Inspiration
No tutorials, just photos to give you design ideas.
- Decoupaged Wall Clock
Using a pre-cut wooden plaque.
- Clock in a Cup
Novelty clock inside a tea cup.
- Cool Idea
Printing an image of a clock onto canvas.
- Embroidered Cuckoo Clock
And if you can't embroider, print or paint the image instead.
- Vinyl Record Clock
How to transform an old LP.
Homemade Nixie Clock
How To Make a Fun 2D Canvas Clock
This DIY is my own idea and I think it would look cool on a wall or side table! There are a few different ways you can interpret the idea, which I will suggest below.
What You Will Need:
* A canvas (stretched); You can buy art canvases quite cheap at budget art stores.
* A photograph (or other printed picture) of a clock OR a variety of paints
* An awl or something else pointed and strong
* A PC and photo editing software (optional)
* Double-sided tape OR glue
* Clock mechanism
* A method of hanging the canvas up on the wall; this could be a couple of nails in the wall, or a screw.
This project is straightforward to make, with the main step being to transfer a picture of a clock to a canvas. You have a few options for this and you can use the one you like best:
1) You could use a photo of an alarm clock which you have taken yourself or one you have found on the internet. Use photo editing software to remove the clock hands from the image. Then either enlarge the photo to the size of your canvas, or choose a canvas the same size as the photo, and print out the image. This will look most effective if you print (or get it printed) on thick photo-quality paper in matte finish.
You would then make a hole in the center of the clock face on the paper using an awl or small scissors so that it's big enough for a clock mechanism to fit into. Either use double-sided tape or a suitable glue to attach the print to the front of the canvas
2) You could create the image of an alarm clock directly on the canvas by painting one yourself. Use an awl/scissors to make a hole for the clock mechanism in the canvas.
3) You could create the image of a clock using collage and decoupage methods by gluing different colored shapes of paper or card onto the canvas e.g. a circle of yellow card for the clock face, half circles of blue card for the 'bells' etc. You could also use suitable cut-outs from magazines. This is fun for kids to do.
Once you have transferred a clock picture to the canvas and created a hole in the center of the clock face, you can attach the clock mechanism. Glue or tape the mechanism to the back of the canvas if necessary.
Then you simply hang the canvas on the wall using your preferred method.
* An alternative to using a canvas would be to use two rectangular pieces of wood in an L shape (as shown in the diagram), which you would display on a table instead of on a wall. The wood should be approx. 4-8mm thick, and you will obviously need a drill to insert the clock mechanism into the wood. I recommend putting a block of wood (shown as a triangular shape on the diagram) behind the join for strength and reinforcement, and this would allow you only use glue in your project. Otherwise, nails may be needed for strength depending on the weight of the wood you use.
To decorate the wood you can use a photograph again, and/or use a painting method.
* Another way of applying this idea is to put your printed (Photoshopped) photograph of an alarm clock into a picture frame rather than putting it onto a canvas. Don't use a frame with glass in (or just remove it) and then simply drill a hole through the back of the picture frame for the clock mechanism. The frame will have to be big enough to allow the clock hands to rotate within the display area.
Clock Making Videos
More Cool Clock Projects
- Cuckoo Clock
A free printable lets you make this fun and charming clock.
- Chalkboard Pot Lid
Fun idea for converting a saucepan lid.
- Whiteboard Message Clocks
Why not incorporate a clock into a dry erase memo board?
- Button Clock
Really simple crafty design.
- Knitting Themed Clock
Starburst style created with knitting needles.
- Skateboard Deck Clock
Super cool use for an old skate or snowboard.
- Posterboard & Paper
Minimalist design with a splash of colour.
- Color Block Clock
Minimalist paint job on a blank wooden base.
- Copper Blocked Clocks
Geometric shapes and a clever use of copper contact paper.
- Chalkboard Idea
Framed chalkboard with a clock painted or drawn on.
- Alarm Clock Display
Using 12 alarm clocks to create a giant, creative clock.
Simple Book Clock
Keep In Time With Style
- Classic Tree Slice
A rustic design based on a clock from Pottery Barn.
- Wire Clock Frame
Attach a clock mechanism to the centre for a cool clock.
- Tray Clock
Turn a wooden tray into a clock with this easy how-to.
- Mad Men Clock
Simply add text and a recognisable falling man image to this IKEA clock.
- Disposable Cutlery Clock
Upcycle disposable flatware for a stylish clock.
- Brownie Camera Clock
Turn a vintage camera into an unusual timepiece.
- Paper Plate Upcycle
For the thrifty at heart.
- Minimalist Wheel Clock
Easy-to-make clock in a modern but timeless style.
- Globe Clock
Made from a cardboard globe, this clock is perfect for travelers.
Quilted Collage Clock
Vinyl Record Clocks
Further Ideas & Inspiration
- Chrysanthemum Clock
Excellent petal border made with plastic spoons.
- DIY Moon Clock
Mysterious space-themed design.
- Photo Frame Clock
Maybe you could incorporate the framed photo into the overall clock design.
- Ceiling Medallion Clock
Ornate ceiling medallions can easily be repurposed into magnificent clocks.
- Thought Bubble Clocks
Fun design; fab for kid's rooms.
- Retro NES Game Cartridge
Practical way to recycle old games.