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

Picture of 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.
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starforest7 months ago


snopek1 year ago
love this kids will love it
Blu smoke2 years ago
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.
dkimmel-12 years ago
Just made this for a friend. Came out great!
poofrabbit3 years ago
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!!
njenkins5 years ago
Great job!  Super cool idea, it looks like something you'd pay $50 for in a department store!  Someone is definitely getting one of these for their birthday!
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!!!
bravesfan135 years ago
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?
If you get a piece of wood the size of the book and use the dust jacket to cover the wood it should be fine. Also you wont have to ruin your book to do it.
Yes, you can do this with a chapter book. Just have to make sure you have enough space.
at3835 years ago
Do you absolutely need a drill to do this step? I want to make these for my flatmates and am in university so I don't have a drill handy.
In a university you should have an art department with a sculpture studio and an artist there who will very willingly drill you a hole with a dremel or drill right there on hand. Just take a walk with your book and see what you find!
Weirdfro at3835 years ago
I just used one of these. Then I stuck a pen through the hole to make it bigger. It looks fine.
Photo 117.jpg
mdhaworth (author)  at3835 years ago
A drill would be MUCH easier if you can borrow one but you might be able to do it with some patience and an exacto knife.  Or a dremel but if you don't have a drill I don't imagine you have a dremel. As long as the front cover looks tidy it doesn't matter how hacked up the inside is. Good luck.
jonnadee4 years ago
We made these ages ago in Girl Scouts, using old Readers Digest Condensed Books. We spray painted the covers a color we liked, then decoupaged a picture on the front. They turned out very nice.
Since then I've used paperbacks, simply gluing the pages together before beginning the process. (Spray glue works best.)
It's a great project, and the one I had hanging in my preschool classroom was very popular.
LeJudge5 years ago
Thanks M, I'll try one of them cause I'm interested.  Cheers.
LeJudge5 years ago
Hi Melissa,

Great time-piece.  Very interesting.  Ideal for my grand daughter's bedroom.  Where did you buy the 'movement'?  Or did you dismantle another clock? :-)

J. Attard
mdhaworth (author)  LeJudge5 years ago
J, the clock parts can be bought at almost any craft store (like Michaels) or online from Clockworks. They come as a kit.

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.


Nancy Ward
mdhaworth (author)  craftdesigns5 years ago
Hi Nancy,
Thanks for letting me know about the link. It's fine with me for you to link back here and it's great to see so many folks enjoying this instructable.
lukeea5 years ago
Thanks for the instructable! I'll be making one of these for my English major girlfriend. I found using a dremel to cut a square into the pages worked quite nicely.
katznemma5 years ago
I loved this idea!  I made this for my daughter's 1st grade teacher for x-mas.  I used an old book my daughter had colored in long ago....so it wasn't really going to waste. 

Again---great idea!  Thanks for sharing!
Great Idea, however if I was given one of these, I would want to read the book especially if it was on a fav. topic! I still see it as book murder but it looks good!...romanyroamer
jbicb35 years ago
Very cool idea! And I like Layan's comment on doing one with a cookbook. This way it can go to someone who enjoys cooking, not just for kids. And the same principal can be used for almost anyone with a hobby. Science book, sailing book, photography book. The list goes on and on! Love it!
Lolabella5 years ago
 Wow, this is a great way to reinvent books!  Especially if you don't want to read them.
Hazel Twig5 years ago
Brilliant Idea. Going to make 2 of them for my twin Grand-kids b/day. Good job they're a boy and a girl.
Hazel Twig5 years ago
Hope you didn't really spray paint "your hands"
chile.limon6 years ago
wow, those were my fav books growing up. i love this instructable!!
I LOVE this idea!!! This will be my next baby shower gift! Thanks!!
First time instructable, first time post. Just completed the project, using an old hardcover book I didn't like, but I did like the cover. It took awhile, but I like how it looks, and the feeling of accomplishment feels great. Great instructions, pictures, and results. Thanks for the idea!
mdhaworth (author)  The Lost Carol6 years ago
Great, glad it worked for you!
Well, I just did this project, and it turned out pretty good looking, but it took a lot longer than I thought it might take. Here's a few pictures of mine, I added a stand so It could stand up, and cut a square out of the back cover because my book wasn't thick enough, and I also posted a picture of the clock post from the side because I was wondering how it went the whole time I was doing this project. This project requires alot of patience, but it is worth it in the end. Thanks for posting this :)
I like the bookstand :-)
thanks, I just asked my mom about it and we had one in a drawer, so I didn't have to pay for it (yay a bonus!) also, the clockwork has a space on the back so that it it that can hang from a nail. I just checked up on the clock this week and it's still working great :)
There's a great selection of clock inserts, hands, and parts at www.klockit.com. I've found them to be cheaper by far than Michael's, although I can't compare to Wal-Mart. I don't know what their prices are.
mdhaworth (author)  HongKongSuperCop6 years ago
You're right, Klockit has great prices and excellent selection. I have ordered from them and was very satisfied but the shipping was a touch slow. Walmart is cheaper than Michaels unless you are using the Michaels 40% off coupon from the Sunday paper.
Is there any way to use a paperback book? I've tried drilling holes in a coupon book (also paperback) and They aren't coming out very round... can anyone help me?
Try clamping the book between two pieces of wood.
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