Book Clock

Book Clock
Even as we move into the digital age, I hate throwing away old books. Especially if they have hard covers with nice artwork. One way to bring them back to relevance is to re-purpose them as clocks. It does not matter if the spine is bad or the edges are ripped, that’s called character. Generally, I look for kid-friendly material and I give them as newborn gifts to new parents.

BC supplies1 book (What to Look for)
1 clock making kit (1/16 or less on the dial)
1 sheet of number stickers (3,6,9,12)
1 sponge brush
1 plastic tray
1 bottle of Mod Podge
1 bottle of super glue
1 X acto knife
1 200 grit sanding block
1 drill with bit the size of your clock making kit’s dial


BC predrill

Give the edges a quick sanding with your 220 sanding block to clean up the edges. Find the center of the book and drill a hole through the front cover and all of the pages. Keep the back cover open so you do not drill into it. This will give you a marker of where to cut later.



BC cutting interiorBC marking pagesBC marking coverPlace the dial from the motor casing into the hole on the back of the book cover that you drilled earlier. Mark around it in pencil then flip the casing and put the dial in the hole on the first page of the book. This time double the size of the casing in every direction and mark that. The point is to Hollow Out the pages to give the appearance that the book is intact while leaving yourself enough room to place the motor after the glue sealant has dried.


BC cover numbersBC mod podgeBC glue looks likeBC sponge brush




Try to avoid the artwork and put the numbers you have chosen on the book, so the glue will hold them in place. Pour the Mod Podge into your plastic tray and brush the glue onto the book. Brush the front cover of the book and glue the pages to the front book cover. Be careful not to glue the rear cover of the book to the pages because you will need access to that later. This will take about five coats of glue with 10 minutes in between coats. When the front cover and pages are mostly dry you can flip the book over and brush the back cover. Dry overnight.

BC dry glue

The book will end up with a smooth outer coating that holds all of the imperfections (i.e. character) of the book into place while making it smooth to the touch. Open up the book and dry fit the motor casing into the cut out you made. Use your X acto knife to trim away the excess around the dial on the front of the book. The hour hand goes around the bottom-most part of the dial and might catch otherwise. When the fit is flush, place super glue on the front of the motor casing (not near the dial) and on the interior of the book cover. Press them together for 30 seconds, put the hands on the clock dial, and put in a battery to test. It’s no atomic clock, but it is the bomb.

BC gluing time pieceBC timepiece glued

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