Up-cycling Clocks

Up-cycling Clocks

Sometimes, there’s this moment when trash turns to treasure. I love that moment… My local thrift stores have shelves of old ugly clocks that I’ve never paid attention to before. This project made that junk into part of my homemade Christmas gifts for the guys this year. The men are all into biking so I made some bike sprocket clocks for them. I got the idea from here, but I put a practical twist on it and up-cycled the clock parts. I got those old clocks for between $2- $5 and that made this project easier on my pocket as the clock kits were $8- $10 new. I also liked the variety of clock hands available at the thrift store!

You can make just about anything into a clock if you’re not so into biking yourself. My boy had the idea to make the background of one clock out of strips of nails from a nail gun and that clock turned out to be my favorite. I used paper, birch bark, or fabric to cover stiff cardboard or wood shapes for the others. Read on if you are interested in designing and making your own clocks. Today I’ll tell and show you how I took apart old clocks to harvest the parts to use for new clocks- it was easy. Tomorrow I’ll post about how I made the sprocket clocks.




Up-cycling A Clock

First comes demolition. Some of the clocks I found had screws holding a cover in place over the glass, some just had plastic clips. The first goal is to take off the glass to get to the hands of the clock.







Next, carefully but firmly pull straight up on the topmost clock hand at it’s base. It should come straight off. Then pull off the other clock hands, one by one, in the same fashion. If there is a screw or washer or both on the shaft, remove them.




Turn the clock over once all the hands are off. You may have to unscrew something or unclip something again to remove the square piece from the back.




Once that is off, you can replace any nuts, washers, and the hands back onto the shaft and discard the old clock pieces. Now the guts of that old clock are ready to be reinvented however you chose.



A few of the parts we got from old clocks.

A final note: you can shorten the second, minute, and hour hands if needed for your project. In the before and after picture at the top of this post I clipped off the ends to make the hands work better with my new clock. I also did not end up using the second hand at all. Scissors worked ok for this but for a nice even rounded edge, I used fingernail clippers and they worked really well.