diy project: kate’s paper clock

this is one of the easiest projects i have made to date, and these nifty clocks have endless possibilities for customization. i can’t take credit for the brilliant idea however – these clocks are inspired by the gorgeous ones created by japanese designers d bros (although i am not sure if they are the first to have this idea either, but they certainly made it beautifully!) what i love about the design is how easy it is to change it up – you can use your own drawing, cut up a magazine or an old map, or use one of the myriad gorgeous wallpaper samples, wrapping papers, and decorative papers available in stores and online. i stayed up a little later than i want to admit creating some clock faces, clock hands, and fonts in illustrator so you have some templates you can use. mine are standard print size (8.5 x 11) but if you have access to a larger printer or a photocopier i encourage you to size these up and change up the colors. i would love to see your versions so feel free to post links! have fun! – kate

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


1. clock movement kit (look for one that is for 1.4″ thick clock faces or smaller)
2. scissors
3. paper for clock face – any type of paper 17″ x 11″ in dimensions (the paper should be thin enough that you can feed it through a printer or copier)
4. craft glue or spray adhesive
5. ruler and pencil
6. exacto knife and cutting mat
7. clock face and hand template ( i have included three templates for faces and one for hands)


1. Clock Hand Template
2. Futura Clock template
3. Edwardian Clock Template
4. Rococo Clock Template

paper: $2, or free
movement kit: $5

30 minutes


1. measure 2 rectangles that are 8.5 x 11″ on the back of your paper.

2. use your cutting mat, ruler and exacto blade to cut out the 8.5 x 11″ sheets (if your paper design has a top and bottom, be sure to check how your printer outputs your paper so you feed it in correctly- you don’t want your clock face to print upside down)

3. choose one of the clock face templates and print it once to check the size and layout. now feed your paper sheet into the printer and print the clock face again. put the sheet aside to let the ink dry.

4. print out the hands on the other piece of paper. you can also print these on simple card stock, or thicker printer paper as well. i chose the same paper so it would have the same color background.

5. cut out the hands and glue them onto the minute and hour hands that came with the clock movement kit. use a hole punch or the exacto knife to cut out the hole in the bottom circle of the hands so they fit over the metal hands and then will fit on the movement. if your kit comes with a second hand as well, you can make a second hand, or leave the second hand uncovered but color it to match. it’s up to you.

6. use your exacto blade to cut a small “x” in the center of the clock face (there is a dot on the template to guide you). feed the movement kit from the behind the paper to the front and then place the hands on it. refer to last week’s diy project for a diagram of how the clock movement parts fit on.

7. set the time, then hang the clock movement on the wall using the loop on the movement, then tape or pin the four corners of the paper in place. you can also fold the paper face in quarters so that the paper tilts backwards, but then you do have creases in the clock so keep the in mind.


  1. Tiia says:

    How did you know I’m in desperate need for a new clock!

  2. sam says:

    Where did you get that red/white paper? I love the pattern

  3. kiki says:

    wow! this would be so cool in my office! how fun…i don’t know which clock DIY i like better today :)

  4. Leah says:


    omg you are obsessed with clocks…..

  5. Beth says:

    That is amazing. It would be great for party decoration. I will save this one for future use. Thank you.

  6. monica says:

    I am going to make one of these this weekend, they are beautiful!

  7. Tanya says:

    Ah! So many clocks to choose from and they’re all super awesome

  8. If you wanted to sturdy it up a bit (I know mine would flop around from the breeze and look sad in no time) copy shops, or office big boxes can print things onto heavy cardstock or foamcore too, for a couple extra dollars.

  9. sharon Hui says:

    beautiful!!! now i just hope this clock wont take forever to put together.

  10. Katie says:

    Love this! I just saw a vinyl wall decal clock that looked exactly like this and you mounted the clock part in the middle…thinking it would be super easy to just stick the clock decal on some pretty wallpaper instead of the wall and make this!

  11. Jill Stangel says:

    I looked at the D-Bros website and wonder how I could order items? I didn’t see any English language option.
    thanks, Jill

  12. jennie says:

    hey Kate,
    I love this idea! Where did you get your clock movement kit for so cheap?

  13. Arielle says:

    I really love this!!

    To take it one step further (just an idea) I think it would be really affective if there were some sort of lights (maybe LEDs) behind it to evenly and subtly light up the paper to create a sort of mood light at night or when the lights are off.

  14. mel says:

    Could you then frame the paper, without using the glass in the frame – just to give it a slightly more finished look?

  15. Halley says:

    Wow! That looks fantastic.
    I made a clock out of an old vinyl record and posted it on my blog. It’s amazing what you can make clocks out of!

  16. MonBanez says:

    like where can i get that clock movement kit?

  17. Shawnee says:

    Well I truly enjoyed reading it. This tip offered by you is
    very useful for accurate planning.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.