How to Make a Rustic Clock From Old Books and Scrap Wood

How to Make a Rustic Clock From Old Books and Scrap Wood

How to Make a Rustic Clock From Old Books and Scrap Wood


Making your own rustic clock from old books and scrap wood can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. Not only is it inexpensive, but you get to upcycle materials that would otherwise go to waste. With just a few tools and some basic skills, you can create a beautiful timepiece for your home using items you already have on hand. In this article, I’ll walk you through the complete process step-by-step.

What You’ll Need

Before getting started, gather these supplies:

  • Old hardcover books (at least 2)
  • Scrap wood pieces, at least 1/2 inch thick
  • Clock kit with hands and clock movement
  • Craft glue
  • Drill with various sized bits
  • Jigsaw or scroll saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain, paint or polyurethane (optional)

Preparing the Books

The first step is preparing the books. Hardcover books work best as they provide a sturdy base.

  • Carefully remove the covers from the books, then separate about 10-20 pages at a time.
  • Use a paper cutter or sharp knife to cut the pages into squares roughly 5-6 inches wide.
  • You’ll need enough squares to create a block about 4-5 inches deep.
  • Brush a thin layer of craft glue on the back of each page square and adhere them together, alternating the direction of pages to add stability.
  • Allow the glued page block to dry completely before the next step.

Cutting the Wooden Base

While the book block dries, prepare the scrap wood base:

  • Cut a piece of wood approximately 7 inches wide by 10 inches long and at least 1/2 inch thick.
  • Use a jigsaw or scroll saw to cut out a rectangle from the center that is about 5 inches wide by 4 inches high.
  • Sand the wood pieces thoroughly to create smooth surfaces for gluing.

Assembling the Clock

Once the book block and wood pieces are ready, it’s time for assembly:

  • Apply glue to the back of the book block, position it centered over the rectangle cut from the wood base.
  • Clamp together and allow to fully dry overnight.
  • Follow the instructions with your clock kit to install the clock movement and hands onto the back of the book block.
  • Drill a hole through the scrap wood pieces for the clock hands to protrude through.
  • Attach the scrap pieces as sides for the clock using wood glue and clamps.
  • Allow the glue to dry fully before unclamping.

Finishing Touches

To complete your book clock:

  • Use 150-220 grit sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.
  • Apply stain, paint, or polyurethane if desired.
  • Consider adding numbers with letter stickers or stenciling on the clock face.
  • You may want to attach feet to the bottom for stability.
  • Insert a battery into the clock movement and enjoy your new repurposed clock!

This simple yet stylish clock gives old books and scrap wood new life. Feel free to get creative with different book covers, wood stains, or clock numbering styles. I hope these instructions inspire you to upcycle materials into a fun DIY project! Let me know if you have any other questions.