Introduction: Vintage Book Cardboard Clock

About: Hi! I´m Cristina, and I love to make new stuff using old things! I think it´s just awesome! At the same time I´m trying to help a Foundation that help children in Bangladesh, buy offering my stuff in exchange…

Vintage and old books are beautifull and I love them. Even when I come across a book that is truly ruined and no longer readable, I just can´t see it as trash.

I had some old and cheap policial books and comic books in really bad shape. The covers were ruined and well as the pages, most of them with holes or simply missing. I knew I couldn´t read them anymore, but I couldn´t throw jthem away, so I decided to try and do something with them. Make them live on somehow.

Using cardboard I managed to make a quite unique clock, that I think turned out real beautifull, and it was so simple that I want to share with you my work.

Step 1: Supplies

  • Cardboard
  • Old book pages
  • X Acto knife
  • Pencil
  • Wood Veneer or Wooden Numbers
  • Scissors
  • Découpage Glue
  • Wood White Glue
  • Super Glue or Silicon Glue
  • Clock Mechanism
  • AA Battery
  • Compass
  • Brush

Step 2: Cutting the Cardboard

Choose the size you want for your clock, and draw a circle on your cardboard (don´t forget to check the size of the clock handles that you have for this project).

If you don´t have a compass big enough to make the circle you want, try to do this with pencil and string (it worked for me!)

Then, carefully cut your circle with scissors or an x-acto knife. Don´t worry if the edges aren´t perfect bacause they will bw covered up with books pages later on.

Mark the center of you circle with a pencil, and make a hole with the x-acto knife. You should rotate the blade until the hole if big enough for your clock mechanism to fit.

Step 3: Gluing on the Pages

Now you have your cardboard circle with the hole in the middle, you can start gluing the pages. First you do the front of the clock, let it dry and only the you turn it and start on the other side.

You can chose what pages you want. I have made two: one with old comic books pages and one with old policial book pages. Just make sure you have enough pages to cover front and back. You should not choose to use pages that are very thick, for they are harder to glue.

To glue the pages, apply the découpage glue (I used Mod Podge) first on the cardboard, then apply the page where you want (start from the center, and don´t mind if you cover the hole), and after apply glue troughout all the page, just like you´re painting it. Try not to create wrinkles or bubbles. Repeat the process with another page but now overlap with the one already glued. Continue repeating the process.

When applying glue, try to put enough to glue the paper well, but not too much (I have seen on the internet découpage brushes that may make this whole process easier, but I don´t have one)

Leave enough page outside the edge so you can fold it as in picture).

When the front is dry, turn and start by foldind the pages from the front and gluing to the back.Make cuts in the page when necessary because of the round shape. Doing this will make your finishing more perfect.

Open up the hole so that you can see it again on the face of the clock, and then cover up the rest of the back with pages gluing them like explained before.

Step 4: Numbers on the Clock

This is totally optional, as you may prefer not to apply numbers or markings.

If you choose to do so, waht to use will depend on how the face of your clock turned out.

As you can see, on one my clocks I chose to cut out roman numerals and marking from wood veneer. I had three colours of wood veneer, and because of the colour on the face of my clock I decided on the darker wood.

As for the comic book clock I had these wooden numbers and I painted them white, for the face of this clock is very dark.

You can measure the palcement of your numbers or get a face clock template from the internet that will help you marking the spot where your numbers or markings should be.

Now glue them with white wood glue, and when are dry, apply a coat of découpage glue (you will get a nice finishing this way)

Step 5: Clock Mechanism

Open up the hole again, now from the back of the clock, and insert the clock mechanism. Apply some super glue or silicon glue on the back of the clock, where the mechanism will stay.

A clock mechanism with 8mm should do for a cardboard.

Assemble the clock hands and your done! Hope you like it. I´m looking forward to see your projects.

Feel free to visit me on Facebook. I´m just starting on DIY :)

Step 6: Examples of Clocks I Made Using This Same Technique

Notes regarding the "Numbers Comic Book Clock",

  • I used a template to draw out the numbers, that I found here.
  • I didn´t cover the back all the way with comic book pages, but used black cardboard (glued with white glue first, and then applied a coat of découpage on top for a better finishing).
  • I used two layers of cardboard glued together so that the body of the clock would be more sturdy
  • I spray painted black clock handles with fluorescent white, just because I didn´t have white ones, but it ended out looking quite nice. Hope you like it! :)
Cardboard Contest 2016

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2016