Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recycled Magazine Clock

Back in January I posted Etsy Finds: Repurposed Clocks and mentioned plans to make my own clock from repurposed materials for our living room.  After four months of rolling magazine pages, rethinking the design and working on other projects I finally finished it!

My inspiration came from various rolled magazine vases I have seen on Pinterest as well as this this tutorial for a recycled sunburst clock I saved in my favorites a few years ago.  I wanted to use the magazine coils to make a colorful clock similar to the sunburst clock. 

You need:
  • Magazines from the recycling bin
  • Elmer's Glue-All
  • Pencil
  • Clock kit
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks
  • E-6000 adhesive
  • Clear acrylic spray sealer
  • Time + patience
Start by carefully tearing or cutting out lots of colorful magazine pages (I ended up using the pages from 3 or 4 magazines).  Next, roll the pages into rods, glue and flatten as shown here.  (Instead of cutting the pages into strips I was lazy and just rolled the whole page into 1 rod.  This makes the rods thicker but they still roll up fine).

Tightly roll the rod around the pencil and use the Glue-All to secure as you coil.  You will have to hold the coil for a bit as the glue dries or the entire thing will unroll (I speak from experience!).

Now, make as many coils as you can stand!  I played around a bit and made coils using 1 rod, some using 2 rods coiled one after another and some using 3 rods.  The center or face of the clock is made from around 25 rods.

Start playing with the layout of your clock on a flat surface (I used an old cutting board).  I chose to do 3 rings of 1 page coils around the face, then 1 ring of 2 page coils and 1 ring of 3 page coils.  Once you are happy with the design hot glue each coil in place.

At this point I sprayed my clock with clear acrylic sealer and prepared to add the clock kit.  However, when flipping it upside down to spray some of the hot glue gave way so I decided to add E-6000 to the back to make the clock super sturdy.  I dipped cotton swabs into the E-6000 and dabbed it any spot where coils met.  Let this dry at least 24 hours.

Now it's ready to become a clock!  When buying a clock kit pay attention to the depth on the package.  I already had clock kit for 1/4" thick surfaces so I had to keep that in mind while making the large coil for the face.  Despite my best efforts to keep it 1/4" I had to carve out some of the back to make room for the kit.

Follow the instructions on the clock kit packaging to install the movement and hands.  Stand back and admire your hard work!

The clock looks much smaller on the wall than I thought it would,  but I still love it.  It's a bright punch of color in this drab rental. 

In our next house maybe I will find a place more to scale with the clock....for now it serves its purpose!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing how you made this clock. It's fantastic and is on my to-do-as-soon-as-possible list.

  2. do you fold the paper in half for thickness and a rounded edge? i just bought the clock piece and glue , also modge podge for a gloss,i;m thinking of mounting it on a piece of something for sturdyness

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I did not fold the paper in half. I just rolled the pages starting in one of the corners. Mod Podge would work to make it glossy or you could use clear acrylic spray in gloss instead of matte. You could mount it on something to make it more sturdy. Once I added the E6000 I thought it was plenty sturdy. Good luck!

  3. Love your clock. So clever who'd a thought it was made of magazine pages. Can't wait to try it myself. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  4. how will i insert the clock their?

    1. There should be a hole in the middle of the the center of the clock face from winding the rolled magazine pages around the pencil. You may have to modify the hole like I did depending on the size of your clock kit.

  5. Awesome... Good job... is acrylic sealer same as varnish.. can i use varnish instead.. what's the diameter of this clock

  6. Where can I find the clock hands like that?? I have a fabric clock and the hands, shaped just like this one (but green), are broken
    any assist is appreciated

  7. This gave me an awesome idea, thank you for sharing. Love the clock!

  8. What I like most of this idea, is where you buy magazines and after reading there's no value anymore. But the mere fact here the material used in this product is amazing.


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