Jar Clock




About: Jack of all trades, master of none. Father, husband, creator.

Here is a fun and easy way to make an unusual clock for your desk, office or just around the house.

This project took me about 30 minutes to make and cost less then $5.

I'll admit, it is hard to read the time, but it;s a great conversation starter, and looks neat and different at the same time.

I hope you enjoy (sorry for the poor photos), please leave suggestions and comments below.

PLEASE NOTE: I got this idea from Etsy.com. I am not taking credit for coming up with this idea. Just showing you how to make one yourself.

Etsy Jar Clock

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

You don't need much for this project, most things can be found around the house.

Materials and tools:

Glass Jar
Numbers (stickers)
Paint (optional)
tape (optional)
Quartz clock mechanism
Dremmel (optional)

I used a jar I found around the house. The clock mechanism came from a clock I found at a dollar store. The number stickers I found in a stationary shop.

Step 2: Fitting the Clock to the Jar

Make sure the mouth of the jar is big enough to fit the clock base. I had to use my dremmel to take a little off the corners to make it fit.

I ended up just wedging the clock into the jar, and did not need to use any adhesives.

You can attach the base to the lid, but remember, you will not be able to turn the lid (think of a square peg in a round hole)

I also thought of using the dremmel to take the threads off the lid, and just snap the lid on (no turning needed)

IMPORTANT: you want to find a jar that has a circumference close to that of the mouth. If not you will have a hard time getting the clock hands in (and close to the wall)

Step 3: Adding the Numbers

I used the 12, 3, 6 and 9 points for my clock.  I used a piece of masking tape as a guide, and the seams on the jar as a point of reference for the center.

It may not look centered but after measuring, I was only off by 2 mm's

Step 4: Bending the Hands

Next, you want to bend the hands of the clock at a 90 degree angle. before you put it all together, make sure the hands to not come into contact with each other.

All my hands were black, so I painted the second hand red to make it stand out.

Step 5: Put It All Together

Next, add your battery and insert the clock and lid into the jar. Job done.

I thought about adding an LED for viewing at night, or frosting the glass a little to make it easier to read.

I think next time I will use thinner numbers, as these ones are pretty thick.

Anyway, enjoy and I hope you liked this Instructable.  Please comment and rate

PLEASE NOTE: I got this idea from Etsy.com. I am not taking credit for coming up with this idea. Just showing you how to make one yourself.

Etsy Jar Clock


1 Person Made This Project!


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48 Discussions


Tip 6 months ago

Add a paper tube in the middle of the jar to increase visibility of the clock hands.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

hmmm.take it upside down and makes you younger? Best mothers day present ever!(IF it makes you yuonger


8 years ago on Introduction

To make the hands more visible at night, you could dip the hands in glow in the dark paint.

1 reply

hey dude!
nice idea of making a clock inside a jar...

well i think you can make it more visible by increasing the diameter of the jar
as the linear distance every hand makes is directly propotional to the diameter of the jar...

do the math
and you can get an adequate clock
readability can be improved by decreasing the size of the numbers

and yeah
not everyone has this clock so take pride in saying that this one is yours...

see ya!


9 years ago on Introduction

wowww. that's great idea
thank you.
i create it for my girlfriend birthday.


9 years ago on Introduction

Aces!  Tops!  Best Instructable EVER!  OK...Not "ever."  But pretty darned close to it...

Super job...This will make Solstice gifting sooooo much easier.

Huge obsequious thanks...


9 years ago on Step 5

This is so cool...off to make one now! Think I'll add a little something to the end of each hand so I can see better...really neat clock though!


9 years ago on Step 5

Great idea.  Great Instructable.  And thanks for paying homage to where it is from.
Might I suggest smaller numbers all 'round?  Since it is a decoration piece, use just the hour hand like the first clocks ever made.  So you can see quarter past 1, half past 6 or quarter to 3.
Maybe put a smaller jar, hot glued inside with sand to isolate the hand from the background.


Reply 9 years ago on Step 4

as per the instructions:-nit-pic your nit-pic


Reply 9 years ago on Step 4

The author properly edited the text of Step 4 to correct that error.


9 years ago on Step 5

Elephants on acid, how many tabs does that take? I;m sure Billy Connely could do a great gig about that


9 years ago on Introduction

   If you replaced the hands with long triangles it might make the clock easier to read.  There would be depth so you could see if the hand is point toward you or away.