Literary Clock





Introduction: Literary Clock

Super easy project, make a book into a clock. Perfect for a child's bedroom--use a storybook. Or the kitchen--use a cookbook.

I made one for my friend's two-year-old (who is currently obsessed with clocks) and it went over well.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

This is a really easy project that hardly needs explanation. Once you see the idea, I'm sure you'll come up with all sorts of cool variations.


A book*
A clock set**
spray paint (optional)

A drill

*The book needs to be hardcover with a reasonably simple cover (not too much text). It should also be quite thin and large enough for the clock hands. Save money and get your book at the thrift store, no point in ruining a new book and it doesn't have to be in perfect condition.

**I got my clock set at Michaels. I've also seen them at Wal-Mart. Easy to find. Pay attention to the length of the "stem" of the clock. They come in 1/4 to 3/4 inch lengths depending on the thickness of your book.

Step 2: Remove Pages!

I forgot to do this and I'm mad at myself! Before you start, you may want to cut out a few pages of the book to frame to complement your clock. Imagine framed children's book art on the wall next to the clock made out of the cover. So cute but less cute when there is a giant HOLE in the pages :(

Also, mark the center of your book by going corner to corner with a straight edge. Or maybe your clock will be off center on the book? Mark wherever you want to drill.

Ok, moving on....

Step 3: Spray Paint

This is optional but all the clock sets I found were in a nasty brass color. I spray painted my hands and numbers matte black.

Step 4: Drill

While your paint is drying, drill a hole in the spot you marked. I used a 5/16 bit but you'll want to follow the instructions that came with your clock pieces. A drill press is great. A cordless drill will be fine.

Step 5: Assemble Your Clock

Follow the instructions that came with your clock parts. The only tricky part is the thickness of the book. I kept finding my book too thick for the post on the clock. In this case your options are:

1. Buy a clock with a longer post (they vary in size)
2. Make a table top clock by opening the book and inserting the clock back between the last page and the back cover
3. Cutting a large, square hole in the back cover to inset the clock mechanism (or maybe removing the back cover? That might look weird from the side.

Step 6: Stick on the Numbers

You may want to use glue, the stick-um on the numbers is weak.

Also, use the longest hand as the guide for where the numbers should be. If you have time, make a circle template so your numbers aren't as lopsided as mine. Either way, start with 12, 6, 9 and 3 and then fill in the other numbers.

Step 7: That's It

Seriously easy, eh? And a great gift for a kid. Or for anyone. There is a book for every hobby...

Have fun,



    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest
    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Pocket-Sized Contest

      Pocket-Sized Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    My toddler brother tears a lot of books, so I am sure glad to see them recycled!

    love this kids will love it

    You've just given me really cool idea. Granted it will be similar to your design, but with personal modifications. If I ever add it as an instructible I'll be sure to credit you.

    Just made this for a friend. Came out great!


    Oh I think this is fantastic! We have books that get discarded due to age and wear and tear at work all the time. I'm going to look for some cool covers and make one and gift it back to the library, I think it will really spin kids wheels and imaginations! Great 'able!!

    suka mendaur ulang juga ya...:) iam too. lets save the word. go green

    hahaii....sama om.

    Fabulous!!!!! I buy books at the local thrift store that kids have scribbled in. There are always pictures that haven't be attacked. I use those pages for gift wrap or I frame them in dollar store frames. Love your clock idea! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    Any chance you can make one of these clocks with a chapter book? I want to make one for a teenager. Can you just do it on the cover or something?