Pantone Clock




About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and sh...

This is an idea I have had in the works for a while now. I finally decided to go about making it a reality. So a productive afternoon later, we have a nice custom Pantone clock.

It is a simple way to repurpose an old clock. Or you can make one from scratch and order your own clock mechanism.

So, read on to find out how to make your own Pantone Clock.

Pantone is a Registered Trademark  of © Pantone LLC

Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed.

For this project you will need - 
  • A clock mechanism
  • An old Pantone guide - (I got the pantone top 100 colours book of ebay for about £7)
  • Glue
  • Medium weight card
  • Craft knife
  • A 5 pence piece or similair
  • A washer the same diameter on the inside as your clock thread spindle (normally on the mechanism itself)

Step 2: Cut Holes in the Samples.

Take apart your pantone book, and pick out 12 leafs that you like the colours best on.

Using the washer make out the center towards the bottom of each leaf. Mark with a pencil.

You can then use the washer to run your scalpel around the inside of, in order to cut out a hole the right size to fit over the spindle of the clock.

Using the same technique cut out a circle in your card stock to use for the back.

Step 3: Glue Opposite Pairs.

Next I chose out my colours, and glued them in opposing coloured pairs.
Roughly pick out two colours that do not match. I then aligned the holes in the middle and glued them into pairs.

You should end up with six sections.

You can use the edge of a ruler to make sure they are straight.

Step 4: Glue the Sections in Place.

Next I assembled the whole clock, complete with backing board onto the spindle of the clock mechanism. 

You can either arrange them in a spiral, or randomly, I found a spiral looks the best.

I went around the edges of the Pantone sections and glued them to the back board using a thin layer of glue.

You could easily use a double sided tape.

I carefully lifted it all off the spindle of the clock, and placed it under a flat weight to keep it flat as it dired.

Step 5: Trim Down the Back Board.

Using a ruler go around the clock and cut along all the straight edges. Make sure to place the ruler on the Pantone sections so you are cutting into the waste, that way when you are cutting if you slip you will cut only into the waste material.

For the corners I grabbed the loose change out my back pocket and found a coin with a diameter similar to the rounded corners on the Pantone sections.

Step 6: Add in a Seconds Hand.

My clock had a little round dot where the seconds hand sits. Yours may have a proper seconds hand. If so, you can easily trim down the metal using scissors.

I took the front cover from the Pantone book and cut out the pantone logo with a 5mm border around the edge.

I turned it over and drew lines from corner to corner to mark ou the centre. I then glued the seconds hand into the centre.

Step 7: Assemble and Finish.

Using the screw of the clock mechanism secure your clock face in place. Then push on your clock hands, and the pantone logo seconds hand.

Pop a battery in, put on your wall, and enjoy.

- gmjhowe

2 People Made This Project!


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36 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

Here's my 30 days of instructables effort. Sort of a comedy of errors getting the thing made using eBay to buy the wrong type of Pantone guide, having to make my own watch hands and Pantone logo second hand, etc.). But it looks great, and my graphic designer wife loves it (it's her new office clock). I especially like using the Pantone logo as a second hand. Brilliant!

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Brilliant! I agree, the pantone second hand is the best bit. I found the rest of my leaves from this book, was thinking of making a second one for the backspace!

Most of all, thanks a lot of sharing your picture on here.


7 years ago on Introduction

Very very nice, thanks for sharing your hard work! Have a splendorous day! Sunshiine!


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I did think that if I had put the colours in a sequential order you could learn to tell the time like that.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

That'd be cool :D Or put them in hue order.
Wish I still had the old Pantone colour book I got from where i used to work. We used to have to chuck them out after a year and get new ones to maintain colour stability. I had it for years and used it to decorate my first flat by colour matching everything!


What are the dimensions of the clock hands and the color samples? Its hard to tell from the pictures.

Don H.

8 years ago on Introduction

Or, just go to Lowe's and pick out the color sample cards you want in the paint department. They're free!


8 years ago on Introduction

I like this a lot, and I also feel that it fits into the earlier ethos of Instructables. It's something everyone can do and enjoy. It takes some imagine and you end up with something fun.

Lately I have see projects that are jaw dropping. They are massively impressively as well as being massively expensive. You have to be a master craftsmen to carry them out. It's not an attack, but I cannot figure out how a mortal could carry out the projects without a lot of specialized machinery, material and experience.

I like this clock as it symbolizes the sort of get out and look for fun that the average person can do attitude.

There are some additional examples below, and suggestions on how to make the clock more durable.

I give you kudos for an excellent, accessible project and additional kudos for making imagination and a bit of material go a long way.

1 reply

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I would like to think the same is true of all my projects to some extent. The first half of them were done in my bedroom at my Mums house with scraps and glue.

I have done some rather complex projects in the past. I think I am entering a simpler idea based era. Here is to my next project, which is as equally easy, and a little more eye catching.


8 years ago on Introduction

Excellent way to recycle!

This instructable gave me an ingenious idea for a PC clock that tells time with different color values. Hours control red, minutes control green, and seconds control blue.

My handiwork is below:


8 years ago on Introduction

Wonderful job,
Could you clear coat it to make it a bit more solid ?