Upcycling – Turn an Old Book into a Working Clock

clock_bookUpcycle those old books laying around the house and turn them into a working clock! If you are an avid book reader then this project is for you! You can make a clock for your kitchen or dining room area and use an old cookbook. You can use an old childhood favorite and create a clock for your little one’s room. This would also make a great gift for the holidays or special occasion for that book lover in your life. Your new book clock will be topic of conversation when company comes and you’ll be sure to have people asking how you did it. If you’re a nice person you could tell them how you made it or you make one for them. Find out what their favorite book is, and go wild!

Things you need:
1 – Book (of your liking)
1- Clock Kit
1 – Utility Cutter (optional)
Drill Press (a cordless drill will also work)
Dremel (optional)

Things to do:
1. First, find a book that you absolutely love, use an old book that you don’t mind cutting up or make sure you have an extra copy because the story will be rendered useless after the clock is made. Make sure that it is at least a half an inch thick, just remember if you plan on hanging your book clock that if it is too heavy it will be harder to hang. A thick book would be perfect to display on a table, using the cover to hold itself up or use a display easel. Also, keep in the mind that the cover shouldn’t be too busy, you will want to see the clock part of the book right away when you look at it.
2. Next, drill a hole through the cover where you would like the hands to be (you may want to make sure that the hands are completely on the book cover or they will be prone to bending). Make the hole big enough for the part of your clock kit that holds the hands to go through. If you don’t have a drill, you can try starting a hole with your utility cutter and then poking through the cover with a pencil or something similar.
3. Before you can start assembling your clock completely, you will need to to trace your clock motor on the first page and begin cutting a hole into the pages thick enough to for your motor to fit in. You can also just tear out the pages until the book can close normally. I prefer the first method so that the book looks full and you do not see the clock motor at all.
4. Put batteries in and place the clock motor behind the front cover, poke the piece that holds the hands through the hole you drilled earlier and place the hands onto your clock. I prefer to leave the clock book without numbers but you can buy stickered numbers or use buttons, tacks, anything you can think of really. And there you have it… a book clock!

Photo Credits: Ruffles and Stuff

You may also like


  1. Nice clock, when I was younger I made a couple of clocks in a similar manner. One of my favourites was a chopping board inlaid with some sawn up dice for the numbers.

  2. Pingback: A Book Into A Clock | Upcycling | Why Recycle when you can Upcycle.
  3. Pingback: Quick and Easy Clock for the Literary Crafter | Away with Words
  4. Pingback: Upcycling | thesunnysideupshop