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Creative DIY Clock Ideas

Updated on June 5, 2014

A clock is such a simple thing. A couple of nuts and bolts, two, maybe three, hands spinning in circle. Yet, a clock keeps time - such a powerful concept that dictates almost every aspect of our individual lives. While so simple, a clock is paramount to the survival of most. These simple DIY clock crafts will not only provide their essential function they will also add some style and creativity to a room. Mostly customizable, you can really make these clocks your own. Just pick up a simple clock set from your local craft store and get to work!

Supplies Needed

  • A book
  • A clock kit
  • A pencil
  • An xacto knife or box cutter
  • A drill (maybe)


Book Clock

The amount of crafts that you can do with just a few books is very surprising. Included is a variety of ways to make unique clocks. The first idea is simply to put the face of the clock on the book cover. To achieve this, hollow out the inside of the book where you would like to place the clock. Push a hole through cover and arrange the clock as you would like, with the electronics hiding in the books pages and the front on the cover, ticking away.

The second DIY idea is relatively the same. Instead of the face on the outside cover, there's the option to place the face in the interior of the book - on a hollowed out section of the pages. With this method, the electronics would be hiding behind the back cover, while the book would rest open on a desk or such along with the clock.


Dish Clock

An old ceramic plate or dish could easily serve as a brand new clock. With careful drilling a mechanism can be placed on the backside of the ceramic to create the plate/dish clock. A few quick tips:

  1. Cover the spot you would like to drill with masking tape so the drill bit will not slip.
  2. Have a spray bottle full of cold water at hand to use to prevent the drill from overheating.
  3. Use a G-clamp and a scrap of wood to ensure little movement of the plate whilst drilling.

Picture Frame Clock

As you may start to realize, the possibilities are endless. This crafty idea uses items from your home as the numbers for your new wall clock. Using whatever framed (or even unframed) pictures you like (and as many as you want!) as the surrounding numbers a clock can be quickly assembled on a spacious wall. Cluster the photos, or scatter them on the wall. Place the clock kit mechanics wherever your heart desires and within minutes you have your own personal time-keeping machine!


Bicycle Wheel Clock

An old bicycle wheel makes for the perfect circle for any wall clock. It's as simple as drilling a hole right through the middle of the wheel to place the clock mechanism. While the small hands may not be long enough for the desired effect, a number of other household items could be attached to the hands for elongation including: yardsticks, silverware, wood, tools, kitchen whisks.

Re-purposed Wood

A wooden plank is one of the easiest things to come by. Old wood can serve many a purpose. In this case, a clock. With or without paint, an old wooden plank can make a great rustic wall clock. The wood can be kept as is, a rectangle shape, or it can cut to resemble a the circle - the stereotypical clock form. Another option involves multiple planks of wood intersecting in the center with the clock mechanism positioned on the overlap. You could get very creative with paints or keep it simple with the old wooden plank. This is an easy one that can really change up a room!


Chalkboard Clock

This creative DIY is family oriented and only involves a chalkboard. Whether the chalk board is already on the wall, or the clock is placed on a small chalkboard itself, this craft is extremely customizable. With a few simple strokes, numbers can be drawn out, appointments noted, pictures doodled.

Crayons Galore

Have an array of crayons lying in that old plastic bin downstairs and not sure what to do with them? This craft is fun for all ages. This one is easiest when a cheap plain clock is already prepared. Using a hot glue gun, arrange the crayons surrounding the entire edge of the circular clock. This craft can be duplicated with other household items including: Popsicle sticks, paint brushes, pencils, pens, colored pencils, silverware, rolled paper.


Cigar Box Creations

Old cigar boxes are great DIY tools that are easily accessible to anyone. Bars often get rid of these boxes and are usually willing to hand over a few for free! This clock just involves a drill and an old cigar box. Simply drill a hole on the outside of the cigar, place the clock mechanism inside with th hands on the outside. In just a few minutes you can have a unique desk clock of your own.

Vinyl Clock

This clock is yet another that can be made in just a few minutes. With just a clock kit and an old record you could create a very neat display that doubles as a time-keeper. All you've got to do is attach the mechanism to the back of the record through the middle hole with the hands displayed on the front. If you're feeling courageous and creative, you can carve designs in the record with an endless list of possibilities.


Canvas Paintings

This is yet another super simple DIY idea that just involves a piece of artwork on canvas and a clock kit. A cheaper piece of art can be found at antique shops or even home stores including Marshalls, HomeGoods, TJMaxx, etc. Place the clock at your choosing be poking a hole through the canvas and attaching the clock mechanism to the back using super glue. If you want something personalized try painting your own canvas.

Embroidery Hoop Clock

Using an embroidery hoop a crafty clock can be pieced together in a short amount of time. For this no-sew option, first separate the two hoops and place a piece of fabric over the smaller of the two hoops. Fasten the second larger hoop around the first as if you were going to start an embroidery. For extra support, move onto place two strips of cardboard on the back of the hoop, overlapping in the center. To finish it off, poke a hole through the center of the hoop and the cardboard to place the clock. Voila! In just a few minutes you've made a classic clock with no sewing involved.


Need More Inspiration?

As you may now realize the possibilities are truly endless with a simple clock kit. Anything is possible! Need some more inspiration, check out this list of ideas to consider along with more photos of innovative clocks:

  • Use a map as a clock background
  • Paint numbers on wooden blocks that you place around the central clock mechanism
  • Consider using kitchen items as DIY clock tools (i.e. strainers, whisks, silverware, etc)
  • Get crafty and make cardboard cutouts that you use as clock artwork for the wall
  • Use cork board or a dry erase similar to what you would do with a chalkboard
  • Dig out your old board games and use them as clock backgrounds (i.e. Monopoly, Twister, Life, etc)
  • Use old Legos for a children's room clock



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    • profile image

      Deborah Sexton 3 years ago

      Great clock ideas for clocks. I have designed a few myself to sell

    • alyssagoesgreen profile image

      Alyssa S. 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks!! That's one of my favorites as well by far.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This is very creative. I can just imagine the possibilities. I particularly like the hollowed out book idea. Voted up +++, sharing, and pinning to my Crafts board.