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If you have small children you have probably thrown away (or hopefully recycled) your fair share of Play-Doh containers. I certainly have, but after a while I started saving those fun colored containers. I kept stowing them away in the closet when the doh dried up and for years I pondered over what I could do with them. Then when I decided it was time for my son to learn how to tell time I realized that no where in my house was there a regular clock. We must have five or six digital clocks but that's not exactly going to teach him about a real ticking clock.

It turned out to be a great reuse activity for me and my son to do together. He chose colors and placed the lids where he wanted them and glued the lids on the cardboard. The rest was sort of up to me but he did enjoy watching the process and is very proud to have his own clock in his room. This project also conveniently fit into the the Make It Stick contest since it used three different kinds of adhesive! We were able to use up a piece of cardboard instead of recycle it and were finally able to use the Play-Doh lids!!! I am still holding on to the containers though - I think I will start seedlings in them next spring!

I am hoping this new clock will help me get a little extra sleep in the mornings since we have already talked about not getting out of bed until the clock says 6:00am!!! :)

Aside from the clock kit and hands you will most likely have all of the necessary items in your junk drawer! Especially if you are a crafter!

Items needed:
- cardboard - I used thick cardboard since I had it available but it was also nice for strength
- 12 play-doh container lids
- pencil
- string
- push pin
- ruler
- right angle or compass
- hot glue gun with glue sticks
- permanent black marker
- construction paper - black and white
- sizzix cutter or number stickers
- glue stick
- adhesive dots
- clock kit and hands

Step 1: Cut Cardboard

If you have something large enough to trace around to make a circle for the clock I recommend doing it. I do not own a compass large enough for this project so I arranged the colored lids in a basic clock shape and stuck a push pin where I thought the middle should be. I tied one end of a piece of string to the push pin and the other to a pencil. Then I was able to draw a nice circle large enough around the lids to make the clock.

Next cut out the circle using an x-acto blade. Use much caution when using this tool. It is extremely sharp and does not care what it cuts - including your fingers so BE CAREFUL!

Step 2: Number Placement

Next you will need to dissect the circle to find where to place the numbers. You want the clock to be accurate.

I used a straight edge and a right angle since I also don't have a protractor in my house! Make long hash lines at 0 degrees, 30 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees. Turn the right angle and start again at your last 90 degree hash mark. Once you have made six hash lines you can use a ruler to make the corresponding marks for the other half of the clock. Just line up the ruler with one hash mark and the middle mark to get an accurate placement. Draw hash lines.

You will also want to make a line for how far you want the lids to start in from the sides. I started mine 7/8 inch in from the edge.

Once all placement is determined divide the lids in half (this is easy since the lids have a tiny bump right in the middle) making a small line on the top and bottom edges of the lid. This will help you (or your child) place the lids correctly by lining them up with the hash marks. 

***If you have a predetermined center point of a circle and not a diameter use a ruler and line it up with the middle and draw a line across the entire circle. It divides the circle in half. That's how you can divide the lids with the tiny bumps in the middle.

Step 3: Glue Lids

Using a preheated hot glue gun adhere lids with a small amount of hot glue by lining up lids with hash marks and lines on the lids.

Don't worry about being able to see the glue through the lighter colored lids. It will be covered up by the numbers later anyway.

Gently erase any pencil marks that are still visible.

***Use caution with a hot glue gun and glue. It will burn your skin if you accidentally touch it. With much supervision I let my five year old son do this part himself. I set the rules first and he did great with it.

Step 4: Draw Border

Using a permanent black marker draw a 1/4 inch border around the edge of the clock to help define it it a bit. I just eyeballed this but you could measure if you want it to be perfect. This is optional of course!

Step 5: Make Numbers

In any way you wish make numbers for your clock. If this project is for an adult you may choose to not have numbers but since mine was for learning purposes I needed numbers!

I used a Sizzix cutter and cut out circles (black construction paper) and numbers (white construction paper 1-12 to put on the circles) of contrasting colors. I this case black and white construction paper. If you don't have a Sizzix cutter you could cut out circles by hand and use number stickers resulting in the same look.

Using a glue stick adhere the numbers onto the center of the circle cutouts.

Once numbers are glued use adhesive dots and stick the numbered circles on the lids.

Step 6: Add Clock Kit

According to the box directions assemble clock kit to the center of the clock.

I used extremely exact science when it was time to make a hole in the center of the clock. I punched through the push pin hole with a pencil!!! It happened to be the exact same size as the clock workings.

Install a battery, hang clock on the wall and let the learning begin!
A coulourful & fantastic way to recycle/upcyle items normally thrown away!
I know right?! I'm sure you have some old play doh sitting around and could easily make one of these too!
That's so cool!
Thanks, it seems to be working well as a learning tool too!
Nice and colourful, great idea!
Thank you.

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Bio: Hi, my name is Jen! I'm a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator ... More »
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