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Making a Clock


Making your own clock requires little more than an inexpensive frame and a simple motor. To personalize your clock, cover the front with decorative paper, a color photocopy of a favorite wallpaper pattern, or fabric.


  • 5-by-7-inch frame
  • Pencil
  • 2 sheets of 6 mm craft foam
  • Sheet of decorative paper
  • Utility knife
  • Clock mechanism with a 3/16-inch shaft
  • Grommet punch or handheld drill with drill bit
  • Clock-face template
  • Compass cutter
  • Linen tape
  • Bulldog clips
  • Ruler
  • Pushpins
  • Double-sided tape


  1. Step 1

    Remove the glass and backing of frame; set frame aside for another use. Using the backing of the frame as a template, trace the outline onto the foam pieces and decorative paper. Cut the foam and paper using a utility knife. (In order for the clock hands to move freely, the thickness of the foam should equal the depth of the shaft.)

  2. Step 2

    Using a grommet punch or a handheld drill at a very low speed, make a hole in the frame backing at the pencil mark that is the same diameter as the clock shaft (most shafts are 5/16 inch).

  3. Step 3

    Download and print out the clock-face template. Using the frame backing as a template again, mark the center of the shaft hole with a pushpin onto the foam pieces and onto the decorative paper. Using a compass cutter, cut out a circle in the foam and decorative paper, larger than the clock hands and appropriate to the size of the clock face.

  4. Step 4

    Align the hole of the clock face with the hole in the frame backing. Adhere the clock face to the frame backing with double-sided tape.

  5. Step 5

    Insert the clock motor shaft through the back of the frame, and assemble the clock hardware (including clock hands) provided. Stack foam pieces, with decorative paper facing out, on top of the clock face. Place the glass on top of the entire assembly, and temporarily secure with bulldog clips. Permanently secure all sides with linen tape that's cut to size. Remove the clips, and insert battery into the motor. Set the proper time.

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Reviews (7)

  • lesterlu 9 Mar, 2010

    i am having trouble following these instructions.

  • Hilarina 16 Sep, 2008

    I would also like a closer picture, and especially to see the steps illustrated with pictures also. I also learn better from pictures with the steps.

  • Anna_Marie 15 Sep, 2008 the black around the outer edge linen tape? and not the frame?

  • DebbieDurham 15 Sep, 2008

    How cute! I can't wait to try this. I love to make accessories that match my room decor! This would also make a great graduation gift for the continuing student. Decorated in their college theme - how perfect.

  • diefenbaker 15 Sep, 2008

    Great Idea! Perfect for gifts or customize for your own office. Another inexpensive resource for the clock are Dollar Stores. They often sell clocks that have the same mechanism for a fraction of the price, check them out. Dollar Stores are also a great place to purchase picture frames as well.A fun craft that could be personalized with your child's picture or favorite drawing.

  • auntiria 15 Sep, 2008

    It would be really nice if you had a up close picture of it....

  • QutiePie 15 Sep, 2008

    I would love if You Martha could make every step into a picture also. It would make it even easier even for those who don't understand reading better than pictures.. :-)

    Just a tip for the future!