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Arrive In Time: How To Make Your Own Clock

With today’s fast paced lifestyle, it can often be hard to find enough time in the day to complete all the tasks that you want to get done. Things can be even harder when you don’t have a clock around to help plan your days! But don’t rush out to the nearest department or home decorating store. Why not make your own decorative clock out of materials that you already have in your own home? Clocks are easy to make and can be customized to suit any personality or décor. You can even make special clocks for each room in your house! Here are some fabulous tips on how to make the clock of your dreams!


Before You Begin

Before you start fashioning a unique clock for your house, consider these design factors first.

Choosing a Clock Face
When it comes to picking out a clock face, may people get stuck in a circular rut. But clock faces don’t necessarily have to be circular, nor do they have to be boring! With a clock kit (available at craft stores or online) and a few simple tools, you can make a clock out of practically anything. Here are some great materials to use for your clock face:


  • a ceramic plate
  • an interesting piece of wood
  • sheet metal
  • glass
  • framed fabrics
  • a favorite picture or poster


You can even make cool clocks out of such strange materials as lunchboxes, purses, or cereal boxes!

Choosing the Numbers
Most clocks use roman numerals or Arabic numbers to help you tell the time of day. But you can also mark the numbers on your clocks in more stylistic ways. When it comes to choosing the numbers for your clock, try using:


  • decorative gemstones
  • sequins
  • copper nails
  • thumbtacks



Making a Tray Clock

Teatime anyone? You can make a fantastic wall clock out of a simple metal tea or serving tray. All it takes is a few tools and materials.

You will need:


  • a clock kit (containing a mechanism, hands, and a battery)
  • a metal serving tray (any shape or size)
  • paint, stain, or markers to decorate the tray
  • a set of stick-on numbers or other markings for the hours
  • a drill and a set of drill bits
  • a hammer and nail
  • a metal file
  • pliers
  • safety googles


How To Make The Clock:


  • Once you’ve found the tray that you want to use, add any decorative flourishes you would like, using paint or markers.
  • Mark the place where you want the clock face to go. (This doesn’t have to be in the center of the tray).
  • Using the nail and hammer, make a slight dimple where the clock movement will be placed.
  • Using your drill and a cobalt drill bit, drill a hole through the tray. The drill bit should be the same size as the stem on the clock mechanism. Be sure to wear your safety goggles.
  • Using the file, sand down the edges of the hole.
  • Pass the stem of the clock mechanism through the hole. Add the hanging clip and rubber washer to the back of the clock.
  • Place the brass washer and nut on to the front of the clock. Tighten with a pair of pliers.
  • Place the hour hand on top of the nut. Follow with the minute hand and the small brass nut found in your clock kit.
  • Place the second hand on top of this nut and cover it with the cap provided in the clock kit.
  • Attach your numbers every 30 degrees around the clock face.



Rotary Phone Clock

This decorative table clock will add a sense of humor and whimsy to any room. And, its easy to make!

You will need:


  • one rotary phone (that you don’t want to use for calls anymore!)
  • flathead screwdriver
  • one paperclip
  • one piece of foam board
  • craft knife
  • clock kit
  • glue that dries clear


How To Make the Clock:


  • Using your flathead screwdriver, remove the screws in your rotary phone. This will allow you to separate the plastic casing, receiver, finger hook, and number plate from the base of the phone.
  • Find the hole located on the fingerplate between the numbers 0 and 9. Rotate the fingerplate clockwise as far as it can go and insert the open end of your paperclip into the hole.
  • Pressing the paperclip down, continue to rotate the fingerplate until it stops. Remove the paperclip and lift off the fingerplate.
  • Using your screwdriver, remove the metal ring in the center of the number plate.
  • Remove the number card from the phone. Trace this onto your foam board and cut the circle out.
  • Glue the piece of foam to the original number card and place them back into the number plate.
  • Cut a small hole in the center of the foam. This is where the clock movement will sit.
  • Assemble your clock movement and attach to the back of the foam. Align the movement hands and slip them through the small hole, so that they are sitting on the front of the foam.
  • Attach foam to number plate.
  • Apply glue around the edge of the hole in the phones casing.
  • Turn right side up and press the number plate into position on the receiver.
  • Allow to dry for at least 20 minutes.
  • Place the plastic casing over the base of the phone and screw back into place.
  • Gently cover movement with fingerplate.