DIYdiy projectskate pruitt

diy project: faceted wood alarm clock

by Grace Bonney

i was really inspired by the faceted designs grace noticed at ICFF, so for this week’s diy project i decided to spiff up my cheapo alarm clock with a faceted wood cover. i have become very attached to the sound my basic alarm clock makes, but the plastic body of the clock is not the cutest thing in the world to look at every morning. i spent hours cutting and configuring facet shapes so you don’t have to; the template i created can be sized up to accommodate other alarm clocks. although my version is created out of natural plywood/veneer, i tried a version out of paper and it worked as well, so the possibilities here are endless. i might paint my wood in shades of icy blue for a glacier clock, but for right now i am enjoying the bare wood. i hope you enjoy snipping and folding these facets. have fun!! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. plywood sheets (you can get these at craft stores. i used two pieces that were 5″ x 10″ with some left over) or decorative paper
2. alarm clock (i used a “room essentials” small alarm clock from target)
3. scissors
4. exacto knife and cutting mat
5. low temp glue gun
6. clock template (download here)
7. ruler
8. spray adhesive (only if you are using paper)


clock: $5
wood sheets: $4

1-2 hours


1. measure your clock and size the template up or down to fit your clock specifications. print out your template.


2. if you are using paper for your shape, use the spray adhesive to glue the paper to your template sheet. glue the template on the backside of the paper. if you are using wood for your shape, you can glue the template to the wood sheet and cut out the pieces. you might want to print a second copy of the template for reference. cut out the shapes for the alarm button, the clock face, and the plug before you start assembling. be VERY exact when cutting out this template, otherwise the facets will not fit together cleanly.

3. if you are using wood, begin to cut the wood into the shapes of your template. when you have them all cut out, begin gluing the pieces together with the low temp glue gun. if you are using paper, fold the template crisply on the fold lines and use tape or glue to attach the cut points together.

4. once your piece is assembled, slide it over your clock to check the fit. you can paint the shape, or decorate it further if you wish. if you are finished, you can now attach it to the clock using tape or a little glue on the back and front.

5. plug in your clock and set the time! you can access the buttons (including the all important snooze button) because the wood (or paper) is thin enough to put pressure on the buttons.


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  • What a great, simple idea for sprucing something up! It looks fantastic. :)

    But it begs the question, how in the world did you create that template, and how long did it take you?

  • Very cute – but I have to say I’m most interested in the shark wallpaper. Do you know who makes that? Thanks!

  • I second what Cat W. said. Cool clock but the hammerhead wallpaper really rocks!

  • Oh what a fantastic idea! I was just recently lamenting how ugly and bulky and black our alarm clocks are. What a great idea! I think I’m going to try this for tissue boxes, too!

  • Daniella, to make such a template is simple if you understand 3-D modeling programs. Rhino 3-D would be your best bet. You can create what ever shape you like in the program and with-in the program there is a tool allowing you to “unravel” the shape (meaning it will project the shape to a flat surface). Then you may print it out, or laser cut (find a local fabricator shop if you wish to laser cut or 3-D model). Hope that helps.

  • That is actually a pretty good idea. It takes the typical alarm and changes it to something a bit more contemporary looking. Would be cool with a post it tray or something on the front.
    Actually it’s a good design no sense in changing it. Great job.

  • hey, me and friends tried to make it yesterday but it didn’t work out. there’s something wrong with the right-back side… anyway :/

    • suzanne

      sorry about that- could you tell me what happened? i’ll tell kate and we’ll see if there’s an error that needs fixing :)


  • i don’t know if anyone will see this since it’s pretty old, but i just had a question about the plywood sheets. the piece i got was 1/32 inches thick, but i couldn’t cut it with an xacto knife (i tried boxcutters and they didn’t work either).

    the store did have an even thinner sheet (it felt like paper), so i was wondering if anyone knew the thickness of the wood that was used. if anyone could help/has any tips, that would be awesome! :)

  • Probably a bit late but try balsa wood or veneer for cutting with an exacto or a jigsaw for cutting plywood.