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This Instructable will show how to make a clock from a PAPER plate and a clock unit that was destined for the TRASH. I literally found the clock in the trash at work. Let's make this Trash into Treasure!

This idea came about as I was working on another clock project with my 8 year old son. While working on the project we discovered that the clock time piece I salvaged from an old cheap wall clock would not meet design specs for fitting a clock made from plywood. The clock shaft was just too short. So we brainstormed and came up with a solution to replace the plywood material with a paper plate.

Paper Plate + Salvaged Clock = Paper Plate Clock

This is a great Instructable you can do with the kids of all ages. Most tools and materials you may already have with exception of the clock mechanism.

Make an interchangeable clock on the CHEAP!

Step 1: Gather Materials

This is not a definitive list by any means. Actually, you may modify this list in whatever way suits you.

The Clock

The clock mechanism was salvaged from an old sad looking and boring clock that someone had tossed into the trash. The clock was mechanically sound, as it just needed a battery. But the look of the clock was just boring. If you have an old analog clock in a drawer or closet, salvage the mechanism and give it new life. The big challenge will be to find an analog clock. If nothing at home, try a garage sale. You will probably find an analog wall clock or alarm clock there.

If you can't salvage one, then Amazon or your local craft store sell them starting at about $6 per kit. For the paper plate clock faces you would want to purchase the short shaft or 1/2 inch shaft models.

The Plate

We used what we had stored in the garage from summer picnics. The Chinet brand offers a nice rigid and thick structure without the waxy finish. Almost cardboard if you will. The non-wax surface may be your best option. You will have more flexibility in art supplies to use, especially if you use paints.

Art Supplies

This is where you have the most flexibility. What do you have available? Here are just some ideas of supplies to decorate your clock faces.

  • Water Based Paints
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Stickers
  • Whatever you want. There is no wrong answer here.

Drill and Bit

If you are doing many clock faces as we did, then take a few minutes to get out your drill and a 5/16 inch drill bit. This can help save time as you can drill the center hole in many clock faces in just a matter of seconds.

<p>This is a really neat idea! They probably would be very fun to make. You should make a clock that looks like a tire.</p>
<p>a few years ago, I had my class take apart 15 or so clocks to make custom designed mathematical clocks. This would have been a lot easier. Oh well--next time.</p>
Live and learn. Right?
<p>My clock wall was very cool though. I had clocks for all the trig functions. You kind of have to be a math geek.</p>

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Bio: Professional Educator for over 25 years. Avid DIYer! Why pay somebody to do what you can do yourself? Active in web design and development for ... More »
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