Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just Showing Off: My DIY Clock Upcycle

Thanks to the hustle and the bustle of Christmas, it's been far too long since I've talked about any kind of project. Or at least too long since I've talked about a project without complaining about it! As much as I enjoyed making homemade gifts this past Christmas, it was something of a burden considering how much time I devoted to editing and writing, caring for the Babby, and keeping the house up to spec.

So if I seem a little happier than is strictly nice that the holidays are over (and not just for the obvious reasons), that's why.

But it wasn't all Christmas crafts, all the time around here! Or all work, either, and thank goodness for both of those things because otherwise I would have gone out of my mind. I did, around the start of December, get a chance to try my hand at making a DIY clock...

DIY clock

Okay, so it's less of a DIY clock and more of a clock upcycle, thought I did kind of DIY the second hand.

Why'd I do it when there was already so much on my plate? Mostly to prove I could. Long story short: a coworker came to me with an unloved Staples clock that's been hanging around the office and said "I hear you can make stuff. Make it better." And thus my DIY clock aspirations were sparked!

Here's how I did it and how you can make your own DIY clock:

1. Get a cheap clock from Staples or Walmart or Target or the Family Dollar or the dumpster.

2. Dismantle it. For me, that meant taking the battery out, unscrewing the back, unlatching the motor case from the hand mechanism, and having the guts to pull hard enough on the hand mechanism to get at each individual hand.

3. Paint or paper and Mod Podge over the backing, being sure your design lines up with the 12 if you want it to and that you don't cover over or gum up the hole in the center. Let it dry.

4. To make a custom second hand like I did, cut it down enough so you can still glue something on it. Then glue something on it - I chose a heart, where the point at the bottom keeps the time. (You could do this with all the hands if you're careful.)

5. Gently reassemble your DIY clock, being especially gentle when you reassemble the hands. Replace the battery and test it - you may need to manually turn the hands around a few times as if you were setting the correct time if they stick.

And voila! You have a DIY clock that no longer bears a Staples logo and is unlike anything you'll see in the aisles of Target!

I feel a little bad that my own upcycled DIY clock attempt is currently hanging in my kitchen - keeping perfect time, I must add - instead of in my workplace. Hey, at least I took a few pictures to show my poor clockless coworker in lieu of actually giving him the clock back, right?

P.S. This is the closest thing to a tutorial I've ever written, so if you have any DIY clock tips to add, please share in the comments!


  1. Thanks very much! I actually chose it because it was the one paper I had that would let me make some kind of marker for hour 12 :)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your DIY clock at the Kiss & Tell party over at I Gotta Create!
    <3 Christina

  3. Such a great idea, I've actually got a couple of clocks that could do with a bit of an upcycle pampering sesh!!


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