12 January 2013

Weekend DIY: How to Upcycle a Book Into a Clock

This post is written by contributing authors Vivid Please.

Ok ok, I didn't kill a book. I simply gave it a new purpose in life!
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I adore books, big ones, small ones, ones with amazing covers... but sometimes you run out of space and can't keep them, especially if you don't plan on reading them again. But what happens when you find a book you can't bear to part with because of its cover? Well, I'm glad you asked...

Upcycle it into a clock!
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Sometimes the simplest things in life bring the greatest pleasure. Time flies when reading a good book, so why not turn that enjoyable time into a fabulous clock? All you need to make your own is an old and enjoyed book, a brush and glue, a drill, scalpel and a clock mechanism. You can get these off ebay really easily for only couple of quid too. 
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To start, we'll need to glue the book closed so it doesn't flap about. We did the same thing when we showed you how to make the Hollow Stash Book and it works a treat. Begin by cling filming the front and back cover of the book so it doesn't get glued.
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Then use your mod podge or pva glue to stick all the pages together. Once you've given it all a good coating, place it under some heavy books so it dries flat. The glue will go clear when it's dry, so don't worry if it's a little messy.
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When it's ready you'll need to check the depth of your book with the clock part. This little novel is perfect as I don't need to cut a well into the back so it fits. Should you find your book is too thick, measure the size of the backing and cut into the back of the book the same way we did for the stash book. This will make the backing sit more flush and let the front fit through properly.
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To put the main clock post through the book you'll need to drill it. Start by clearly marking the middle of the book (where you want the center of the clock hands to sit) on the first page. We'll be drilling the pages first and finish the cover later, so just ignore it for now.
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The best way to drill a hole is to start with a small drill part and work your way up. As you'll be pressing down through the book to make a hole, you'll need to do it on something you don't mind getting a hole in it in case you go too far! Some old magazines will do the trick should you not have a proper workspace. Make sure to stop frequently to check how deep you've gone.

Work your way up the drill parts till you've made a hole with a big enough diameter to fit the clock post through. This part takes the longest, but it's worth taking your time over - you don't want to make it too large or the clock mechanism wont fit.
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Next we need to put a hole in the front and back cover. Using the hole we just drilled in the book, use a pencil to trace onto the cover where your hole needs to be. Then use your scalpel to mark an X into the front and back cover.

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Now you can push the clock part through and all the mess is hidden! Brilliant, right?!

Finally, all that you need to do is screw on the washer and clock hands, slap in a battery and bob's your uncle. Coolest clock in town :D

What do you think? The greatest thing about this book clock is the cover - there in all it's glory and finally getting the attention it deserves! 

Hooray for being book-smart ;)


Vivid Please are known as Vicky and David when they are not together, but to be fair, that is rarely the case. Forever collecting odd trinkets and pointing at cute dogs, they believe that happiness is found in the little things. Their etsy shop stocks everything from prints and stationery to bags and accessories, everyday life has never seemed so fun! You can keep up with them by following their blog Vivid Please where they share their awesome DIYs, cool design and fashion posts and, of course, lots of snapshots from their world of wonder. Connect with Vivid Please on Twitter and Pinterest


  1. That looks really great! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

    1. You are welcome. Vivid Please are so creative, aren't they!

  2. I'm totally digging this tutorial :)

    1. Would love to see the results if you decide to make it!

  3. Really cool, thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  4. This is great!

  5. This is really awesome! I'll have to find an old book that I don't mind parting with...

    1. Kim, I saw this idea as a playful way to keep a beloved book that you cannot part with and give it new life :)

  6. Such a great idea! Thank you for sharing it :)