Upcycling a Clock from an Antique Store into Something New


This was a fun project that involved one of my favorite hobbies and that’s going shopping at the antique store. I’m lucky enough to live close to a large antique mall in Maumee, Ohio and that’s where I found this old vintage clock I could upcycle into something new. What I liked about the clock is the face and the typography of the numbers so I decided to keep that and scrap the rest. I made a new case out of mahogany wood and guitar amp grill cloth. I liked the idea of having the clock offset with a lot of negative space and decided to fill that space with a piggy bank and removable money bag recycled from a Crown Royal sack.

I ended up donating the clock to my local Goodwill donation center in hopes that some stranger will find joy in this find. Inside the clock I left a note stating when it was made and to spread kindness.

I hope you found this build fun as I plan on doing more upcycle projects such as this in the future. As always, be passionate and make something!

upcycled clock

Tools and Supplies Used

vintage clock.

Step 1: Break it Apart

The first thing I needed to do was break apart the clock. The easiest way was to smash the plastic case.

drilling hole

Step 2: Drill the Clock Hole

I took a sheet of thin plywood and drilled the hole that’ll show the face of the clock.

cutting plywood on tablesaw

Step 3: Cutting the Face

Then cut the face to size on the tablesaw.

resawing on bandsaw

Step 4: Resawing on Bandsaw

I took some 5 quarter mahogany and resawed it in half on the bandsaw.

Cutting 45s on tablesaw

Step 5: Cutting 45 Degree Miters

Then I cut the frame to width and cut 45 degree miters on all the ends.

cutting slot on tablesaw

Step 6: Cutting Groove for Face

To hold the face I cut a slot on all four frame pieces.

Glue face to grill cloth

Step 7: Adding the Grill Cloth

Next I glued the face to some guitar amp grill cloth.

bandcamp the assembly

Step 8: Glue up the Frame and Face

I’ll then assemble the frame and face with glue and use a band clamp to clamp everything up.

glueing up face

Step 9: Clock Hole

For the clock hole I used a utility knife to cut slats and pull back the flaps and glued it down to the back of the face.

corner reinforcement

Step 10: Corner Reinforcements

I cut some square blocks that’ll be used for corner reinforcements as well as a place for the back panel to sit on.

inserting magnets

Step 11: Inserting Magnets

The back will be held in with magnets that will sit in a hole drilled out on the drill press.

hot glue clock in place

Step 12: Gluing Clock in Place

The clock gets hot glued right to the back of the face.

cutting on bandsaw

Step 13: Cutting Clock Face Ring

The clock face ring was cut out on the drill press and bandsaw.

line ring with veneer

Step 14: Veneering the Ring

The inside of the ring is lined with veneer that pokes through the face opening and hides the guts of the inside.

pop in acrylic

Step 15: Pop in Acrylic

A 1/4″ pieces of acrylic is cut on the bandsaw and glued in place with CA Glue.

Hot glue on ring

Step 16: Glue on Ring

Then I glued the ring directly to the face with a hot glue gun.

paper backing

Step 17: Paper Backing

For safety reasons I hot glue a thin sheet of cardboard over the electronics to prevent electrocution.

cutting money slot

Step 18: Money Slot

I then drilled two holes and connected the holes with a jigsaw to make a slot for the piggy bank.

velcro money bag

Step 19: Money Bags

To capture the money from the piggy bank I velcroed a Crown Royal bag to the inside that can be easily removed and returned.

adding feet

Step 20: Adding Feet

And the final step is to add some rubber feet.

upcycled clock upcycled clock upcycled clock


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