Introduction: Custom Clock With Photo Hands

Some people are clock watchers. Now everyone can be the clock.

Other projects customize the face of the clock. This one customizes the hands of the clock.

It looks expensive, but is less than $5 dollars, and about 30 minutes per clock. Perfect for Christmas Gifts, birthday gifts, end of school year gifts or any other time.

Kids, especially those learning to tell time, always get excited about this project.

Step 1: Gather Materials

9 inch clock (usually less than $5)
screw driver
clock battery

Digital camera and basic editing skills assumed.

Step 2: Step 1 - Take Pictures of Subject(s)

Getting the right pose is important.
You want to be sure to get the whole person from feet to finger tip included in the picture straight on.

If you have a cooperative subject, the ideal pose is with their right hand next to their ear, finger extended high above their head. Empty hands at their side. Getting the right light is more important than the background since the extra space will be cut out.

If you are surprising someone, then you have to cajole them a bit. My story line then is usually along "pride" shots, and asking the person to pose as "we're #1." Try to make there there isn't too much separation between the arm and the head.

Clothing is also important. Not all clothing "cuts" in half easily. Jeans and pajamas are usually easiest.

Edit the final picture so it fills a regular 4 x 6 print.

Step 3: Step 2 - Disassemble Clock

Flip clock over onto soft surface. Keep from scratching.
Push in tabs to separate base from cover.
Flip over again and pull off the seconds hand.

Step 4: Glue Picture to Hands of Clock

Trim picture along edges.

Decide where to cut picture in half. Hopefully this is also the waist of the picture.

Add glue to hands of clock. Take care not to let any slide down hole in center.

Make every effort not to crease picture. Any curve might make it difficult for one hand to "sweep" past the other.

Wait until glue is dry.

Step 5: Reassemble and Enjoy

Put the face back onto the base.
I recommend working the bottom side, so that if there is a scratch it is less visible. Push the top tab in completely, then flex the bottom tab in, using the screwdriver as needed.

Add battery. (Test for a day if time allows.)
Be sure to autograph your gift.

Put back in box for safe transport. The box will also allow it to be wrapped as a Christmas gift, Birthday gift, or special day gift.

Optional: Adding a custom background (beach, forest, car, etc.) is almost a no brainer. Pull all the hands off. Slip out the old paper background and use it as a template for your new pattern. Glue down the new picture.

Good luck on your own project. Feel free to comment and vote.


sclements3 made it!(author)2016-05-04

This is the cutest thing I've seen today!

gizmologist made it!(author)2015-08-08

Much easier to glue picture to hands if you pull the hands off first.

skulleton12 made it!(author)2015-05-03

Gets a bit creepy when both hands are facing the same way...

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-04-19

Very clever, well done!

DalaisLlama made it!(author)2015-04-18

Brilliantness.. Epic instructable... Kudos!

funnyfun342 made it!(author)2015-04-17

This is morbidly amusing!

Jakwiebus made it!(author)2012-07-03

Thanks for the awesome idea! I'm taking this one to college :D

metqa made it!(author)2012-02-14

I've got the perfect picture for this. It's my niece in almost the exact same pose , except her hand is sorta cocked so it really does look like she's pointing. Gonna hit the dollar store for a clock. Thanks for such an easy and fun idea!!

artistalight made it!(author)2011-12-08

Es encantador tu proyecto, muy original y simpático, felicidades :)

mikroGanesh made it!(author)2010-12-09


DIYerNeil made it!(author)2010-07-11

Definitely a personalized clock for oneself or as a gift. I was also thinking if it would be motivational for men to be not late for work, to have their beautiful girlfriend's picture here?

red-king made it!(author)2010-02-23

 I like it. it's a good way to personalize clocks.

kcli made it!(author)2010-01-02

What fun...I've gotta try this SOON! 

Good luck int the contest ;o)

CanuckAmok made it!(author)2009-12-31

Thanks so much for the idea! I was stuck for a Christmas gift idea, and this was brilliant. Trying to get a 10-month-old to pose with a finger in the air proved to be somewhat of a challenge, though. In the end it worked out and the gift was loved by all. Thanks again!!

OnePrettyThing made it!(author)2009-12-10

Oh how fun! I love this idea. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

porcupinemamma made it!(author)2009-12-10

Looks adorable!  What a clever idea!!!!  Thanks so much for sharing. Wowzers ;0) 10/10

jessyratfink made it!(author)2009-12-09

I love it! A very creative gift. :D

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