Introduction: DIY Clock From Travel Books

Picture of DIY Clock From Travel Books

I found a whole bunch of old Lonely Planet travel books at the second hand store and knew I wanted to turn them into something nice. Since I still needed a clock for my craft room, I proceeded to make a unique travel book clock.

The books are from the late 90s and probably not useful to any travellers anymore. I mean, one still has a price in French Francs on it, so I’m guessing the information will be pretty outdated.

This is a great DIY project to put those old Lonely Planets to good use, but since doing this I've been noticing all the nice covers of old books. They are just too beautiful to sit on a shelf at the second hand store, so go make your own!

What you'll need:

- Stack of old books

- Clock mechanism (with a long pin if you're using paperbacks)

- Drill

- Sharp craft knife

- Metal ruler

- Cutting mat

- Craft glue

- Colored markers in case you do any damage to the book covers

- Rubber bands + more books for weight

Let’s turn these books into a clock. You can watch the video or read the steps here, whatever you prefer.

Step 1: Drill the Center Hole

Picture of Drill the Center Hole

The mechanism will be placed inside the books so that only the clock hands are showing. Mark the center of the stack of books and get a drill bit the same size as the pin that holds the clock hands.

I’ve only got a big and heavy hammer drill, so I turned off the hammer function, laid it down on the table in a stable position and used a very low speed to carefully drill a hole in the center of the book. If you have it, a smaller drill will work much better, but I made do with what I had.

Step 2: Cut the Holes in the Books

Picture of Cut the Holes in the Books

Next, mark the location of the hole you need to cut in the middle book to make room for the clock mechanism. Cut it out with an x-acto knife and a metal ruler. Cutting a hole through the entire book is kind of a long process, but eventually you'll make it through. It's a good time to catch up on some podcasts.

Continue your work with the two other books. These books don’t need to be cut all the way through, so mark the location of the hole and I make sure you are cutting from the right side. Continue to make travel book confetti until the holes are deep enough.

I did a test fit and then used colored markers to camouflage some of the damage that I caused to the book covers.

Step 3: Glue the Books Together

Picture of Glue the Books Together

Put some white craft clue on the cover of the bottom book, spread it around, and then place the middle book on top. Place the clock mechanism inside and add the top book. Put a whole bunch of rubber bands around the books to make sure they stay in place and stack some extra books on top to provide some pressure while the glue dries.

Step 4: Cut the Clock Hands to Size

Picture of Cut the Clock Hands to Size

While the glue is drying, cut the clock hands to the right length. Mine are made from thin metal and they are relatively easy to cut with just normal scissors. I rounded the edges to make them look nicer.

Once all the glue isdry, all that's left to do is removing the rubber bands and adding the clock hands. Because only the covers are glued together, you can still open up the books to place the battery inside and of course replace it when it’s needed.

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Bio: Hi. I'm Ellen, PhD student by day and sewer/crafter/maker by night. I believe anyone can be a maker, so I post videos ... More »
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