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diy clock, book coverCraft a clock out of your sweetie's favorite novel. Photo: Erin Loechner

So, you want to give your Valentine a gift that's original, adorable, and straight from the heart? Well, you have less than a week to do it (yes, V-Day is this Sunday). No worries, though: I have just the project to keep you in the good graces of your spouse, kids...well, just about anyone this February 14th.

Inspired by David Stark's blog, I'm excited to present this super-easy and totally doable craft that you can personalize to your heart's content: custom clocks!

Yep, you can make a clock out of virtually anything. All you really need is a simple clock kit -- which includes the hands and the movement (the case that houses the clock's mechanism). Check out the easy (and affordable!) project after the jump, complete with a tutorial and a few ideas to get you started.


Erin Loechner

(1) Clock kit (I used this model from Amazon, which came with handy instructions and a few spare parts)
(1) Power drill
(1) 9/64" drill bit
(1) Item to drill the clock onto. Feel free to get creative here! Think of an object that represents something your Valentine is particularly fond of.


Erin Loechner

1. Pre-drill a small hole into the surface of your item. This will keep your drill bit from wavering along the surface when you make your hole. Next, using a 9/64" drill bit (and safety goggles!), drill a hole into the surface.

Erin Loechner

2. Begin to assemble the clock. Your kit should come with instructions, but generally, you should first mount the shaft -- on which the hands are mounted -- into the object. Then apply the hands in this order: hour hand, minute hand, and second hand.

Erin Loechner

3. After making sure each washer and mounting nut has been tightened, place the batteries in the clock's movement, set the time and bask in the glow of your latest DIY project!

Not sure what surface to make into a clock? Look around your home for inspiration, or peruse a few of our favorite ideas below:

Erin Loechner

For a sporty girl, grab a spare shoe and turn it into a timepiece!

Erin Loechner

Have an art lover in your life? Prints are inexpensive, easy to hang and make for an interesting clock background. Or, if you have a fashionable man in need of a gift, try stealing his favorite hat for the project.

Here are a few ideas for custom clocks based on your Valentine's interests:

If he's a computer geek, turn a circuit board into a clock.
If he loves to hang out in his workshop, turn a circular saw blade into a clock.
If he loves movies, turn a vintage film spool into a clock

If she's into fashion, make a stiletto clock.
If she adores music, turn a vinyl record into a clock.
If she loves to paint, turn an old-school paint palette into a clock.

For the not-so-courageous DIY-er, Cafe Press offers custom photo clocks for just $15. Upload your photo and your work is done!

With DIY clocks, the possibilities are indeed endless. Isn't it high time you tried this project yourself?

For some more DIY clock inspiration, check out this video:

  • shauna

    Interesting idea, but why ruin a wonderful copy of this classic novel? This particular edition that you used for this project is a book design by illustrator Coralie Bickford-Smith, whose designs for classic novels have been produced in limited edition for Penguin classics and have become collectors items among book lovers. I think anyone that you would wish to create this for as a gift (presumably a book lover) would be horrified. What a sad waste!

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