Did you know you can turn almost anything into a clock? Here’s how to create your own clock and some out-of-the-box clock ideas.

how to create your own clock

When I was growing up my mom set all the clocks in our house ahead five minutes.

Every. Single. One.

It kind of time-scarred me for life.

When I’d leave the house I’d try and do the clock math in my head and figure out how much time I had and misjudge every time and think I had more time than I actually had and inevitably I would be late to wherever I was going.

See that clock in the top right-hand corner?

It came with the house when my parents bought it. It’s built-in and it used to be on the other wall before it was knocked out to turn the workshop into a family room. My mother moved it over to the back wall of the kitchen and promptly set it five minutes ahead.

But somewhere between Cyndi Lauper and The Spice Girls….

….it stopped working.

The hands kind of froze in place at 8:15 and never moved again.

Until yesterday.

how to create your own clock with hands

Here’s what the clock has looked like forever.

Someone painted it gray and the numbers and the clock hand gray, too.

I’ve been debating about repainting the center white, but I was so excited to see if we could actually get the clock to work that I just left it gray for now.

how to create your own clock with clock hands

How To Create Your Own Clock

You can actually turn anything into a clock.

Did you know that?

Here are a few suggestions of potential future clocks:

  • a pot lid
  • the top of a wood spool
  • a door
  • a picture frame
  • a record
  • an embroidery hoop
  • a paint pallet

how to create your own clock pallet clock

Here are a few other clocks that I’ve shown you before.

My brother made this pallet wood clock.

You can see the DIY for it here.

how to create your own clock wood slices

I made this wood slice clock years ago for a magazine project.

It’s just wood slices glued to a wood board in a circle.

Then I glued numbers at the four corners.

Just made a clock on the wall at the gatehouse.

I just stuck numbers on the wall.

Then I stuck the battery-operated hands on the wall in the middle.

You can easily recreate this clock on any wall. I found a few options for stick-on clocks on Amazon.

how to create your own clock bicycle wheel clock

We made a bicycle wheel clock at the farmhouse.

The hands are made from vintage yardsticks and it’s on a chalkboard wall with roman numerals written in chalk.

You can see the bicycle clock DIY here.

The one thing all these projects have in common?

Clock hands.

You can see the clock hands I ordered from Amazon here.

They were actually really affordable. The kit came with two sets of hands. I wish you lived around the corner so I could give you the other set to use for your own clock project.

Here’s what you are looking for with clock hands:

  1. Make sure they are high torque.
  2. Make sure they are battery-operated.
  3. Make sure to measure the length of the hands compared to your numbers. I actually ordered the wrong set and had to return them.
  4. Make sure to determine what style (contemporary, modern, farmhouse, victorian) you want for your project.

Here’s what the kit looked like that we ordered.

There’s usually an hour hand and a minute hand and a battery pack.

That’s it.

It’s SO EASY to install.

You can follow the instructions on the package, but here’s how to create your own clock:

  1. Put the nut and the washer on the clock shaft.
  2. Tighten it a little, but not too much.
  3. Make sure to put the hour hand FIRST then the minute hand.
  4. Keep the hour hand and minute hand parallel when you install them.
  5. Then tighten and add the batteries.
  6. There was already a hole in the wall from the previous clock that the battery pack was inserted into.

Here’s the side view so you can see what it looks like when it was finished.

Those hands are so pretty.

You can see the kit I ordered from Amazon here.

If you want to create your own clock, I found tons of hands on Amazon in tons of different sizes and colors and styles.

Here’s a close-up of the clock before.

And here’s a close-up of the clock after.

Here’s an overall picture of the clock on the kitchen wall now.

I just used Rub ‘N Buff on the numbers to turn them gold. If you have never heard of Rub ‘N Buff before it is a MIRACLE SUBSTANCE. You can use it to make anything look like metal. My favorite finish is the Antique Gold. It’s the most realistic looking when you rub it on.

You can see the Rub ‘N Buff I used here.

When the clock was set. The hour and minute hands were turned to exactly the right time—I’m sure much to my mother’s dismay.

It’s not five minutes fast anymore.

But guess what?

I’m still late.

Go figure. 🙂

PS Are you team late? Or team on time?

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

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  1. Image for Lou Ann Lou Ann

    The clock project looks GREAT! I’m also a big fan of Antique Gold Rub ‘N Buff! I would just LOVE to be late to ANYTHING ….but married to a Marine, so unless you’re 15 min early…you are late!

  2. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    The cutest idea. I love rub n buff in all the shades for one project or another. Your stories are always so fun. We received 6 inches of snow in west Ohio yesterday. Calling for another 4 to 7 tomorrow. The hands to Springs clock can start moving soon. Lol

  3. Image for Lisa Barron Lisa Barron

    The clock looks great, it stands out more now that you added the rub ‘n buff! I love that it was built into the wall, so cool! I love clocks, I have multiple clocks in every room, some work and some don’t! xoxo Lisa

  4. Image for Denise Denise

    Love the updated look on your clock. Your story reminded me of my mother-in-law who ALWAYS set her clocks 10 minutes ahead. And I don't know what was more annoying, the clock not giving me the correct time or her telling me, E V E R Y time I looked at the clock, that it was 10 minutes fast. Like I would or could forget that, which makes me laugh now, years later.

  5. Image for JC JC

    I love clocks but don't have any in my house, except what is on our stove and micro, 😉 because I can not sleep with any ticking noise or gongs. I guess I'm a lite sleeper! My inlaws used to have coo-coo clocks, grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and I would have to stop each one when we stayed with them. Sad huh? I guess I'm a clock scrooge!😂 It would be 2 am and I would hear the gongs and count how many hours the time was and try and fall back to sleep before the half hour sounding. Torturous! I have always wanted a Mora clock, but have never gotten one because of this reason. SO, does this particular clock kit have much of a loud ticking noise? I'd love to have clocks in my future. I can see you running down your stairs in your stirrup pants, baggy sweater, and scrunchie, grabbing your Language Arts and Social Study books, and dashing out your door all without a hair out if place!

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      I love clocks and have them all over, but the loud ones are not in the bedroom! I have similar memories of staying at my grandparent's house and hearing the gongs every 15 minutes. Not a restful way to sleep!

  6. Image for Peg Peg

    This is great! It makes such a statement now!! xoxo And here's a fun quote on time: Time if free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it, you can never get it back!!

  7. Image for Carol Tucker Carol Tucker

    I LOVE LOVE your blog..best ideas ever!! Because of you...I'm a Amazon Prime customer...lol. I've got to order the Antique Gold Rub now..The clock idea on chalk paint wall..amazingly clever. Love you

  8. Image for Lenore Lenore

    I was one always late, I really tried but I'd change my outfit, check the hair, make up etc., too many times...I was much younger then. My family was all early or early early. I tried the clock thing and I'd be standing doing the math but then I did 10 minutes and that was easy to calculate but I was still going to be late. I really regret all of those years and it caused such anxiety and thinking while driving, what's the excuse this time. Not lying, but trying to appease people with why. I noticed at work people calming sitting at desks, drinking coffee, when I came flying into work on time or within a minute or two but like a whirlwind but anxious and apologetic, etc. Good thing I was a really hard worker! One day I heard Oprah say, "When you are late, you don't respect the other person's time." Hit me like a hammer! I never felt I was doing that but in essence I was. How unfair of me not to get places on time. That statement really changed me.

  9. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    My father use to make clocks out of slices of cedar trees. They had great shapes and lovely wood color. He is gone now and I need to buy some hands and motor for the two I have. Thank you so much, love the one your brother made for you.

  10. Image for Ynde Ynde

    Love your blog, always puts a smile on my face. Yeah, team always late!!! Lol. My husband is always on time, I thought when he retired things would change, it’s even worse now…Love your ideas and all of your inspiration and your sense of humor and your gift for telling stories and writing!!!

  11. Image for Rosanna Stutzman Rosanna Stutzman

    Love your stories and ideas! I am wanting to create a clock to hang up outside. What would you recommend? How would I protect the batteries from rain etc?

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