Make a Clock from Old CD’s!

by Kim on April 26, 2009

You may remember this project from our “Thrifty Fifty” challenge last November.  I was trying to think of what I could make my “tween” niece for Christmas.  Since a tween’s bedroom is her castle, I figured something to decorate it would be fun.  Plus, I had to stay under a budget of $50 (for ALL of my gifts combined!) so I really had to put my thinking cap on! :)  

The instructions were posted throughout our former blog, but we thought it would be good to have them here again — all in one place — and at our new blog’s home! 

You can also see the finished project featured on television from last December.


This is a fun decorating idea that will cost very little and will help re-use things you already have at home!

Does anyone out there have  old, scratched CD’s that can no longer be used? If you’re like me, you may have a drawer full of them!  Don’t throw those out…make them into CD clocks!

This would look great in a number of places, including a TWEEN’S bedroom. This project actually started out with an idea to make one clock.  They were so fast and fun to make that it ended up being a 3-clock project showing a few different time zones (and places THIS tween might rather be in!) ;)

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather your supplies. You’ll need:  scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, sponge brush, CD, metal washer, and clock kit. If you’d like to mount the clock onto a board, you’ll also need scrap wood in any size.  The “lettering” on the board came from scrapbook supply stickers.

Step 2: Trace the CD onto scrapbook paper.

Step 3: Cut paper along traced lines and apply “Mod Podge” onto the back with a sponge brush.

Step 4: Place the paper onto the CD and smooth out any bubbles. If the paper overlaps the CD a little, that is ok.  Simply take a piece of sand paper and smooth out the edges.  If you’d like to add more layers of paper, now is the time to do that.

Step 5: Gently brush another layer of “Mod Podge” over the papers to seal them and make a nice finish. Smooth out any bubbles at this time, as well.  The glue will dry clear.


Step 6: Allow the glue to dry. Here’s an extra tip for assembling the clock together!

Attaching the clock to the board or a wall is very simple.  There is a groove at the back of your clock kit. All you need to do is hang that on a nail. So there are 3 nails in the board and the clock kits rests right on them.

And here’s the final result! Think about the fun you could have in making these with your children, too! The third clock in the photo shows actual buttons being used instead of numbers on a clock. There are so many fun possibilities!

 Others have commented that they’d like to make them with photos of the grandchildren and match the “time” shown on the clock with the place the grandchild lives in.  What about favorite sports teams? If those teams are all in different time zones,  a child’s room would look great showcasing those times!  Have fun!


1 Lindsay 04.27.09 at 6:33 pm

I love how easy this is going to be. This is great for my daughter’s room. We are stationed overseas and now she can have a clock for her Nana and friends back home.

2 Kemi 04.27.09 at 8:56 pm

Absolutely darling idea! Thank you so much for sharing! (I see clocks in our gift-giving future.) :)

3 Courtney @ Sister To Sister 04.28.09 at 10:01 am

I just loved this when you did it and I still love it now! Such a cute idea!

Hoping to find someone to make it for soon! :)

4 Mindy 04.28.09 at 8:48 pm

This is such a fun idea! I want to make one to go in my kitchen!

5 Colleen 04.29.09 at 7:16 am

It looks like a clever thing to make but it seems like you left off part of the instructions. How do you attach the clock to the board?

6 Kim @ YouCanMakeThis 04.29.09 at 7:25 am

Hi Colleen!
Good question – I’ll add that. There is a groove at the back of a clock kit. All you need to do is hang that on a nail. So there are 3 nails in the board and the clock kits rests right on them.

7 Lola 04.29.09 at 10:00 am

This is completely cute!

8 Pat 04.30.09 at 5:39 am

This will be a great idea for some of my Christmas Presents. I already have most of the supplies and can’t wait to get started. Thanks for the freebie.

9 Lanie 05.01.09 at 5:54 am

I linked to this in my Friday Favorites!

10 Liz 05.01.09 at 7:31 pm

Love the awesome way to use those scratched CDs! I am going to have to try this out!

11 KeHoeff 05.28.09 at 2:42 pm

hey this is a very interesting article!

12 mandy 10.03.09 at 10:04 pm

I am so excited about this project! One question though….where do you find a clock kit?

13 brianna 10.05.09 at 7:32 pm

Okay, I need to try this for Christmas present ideas! I’m also wondering where you get clock kits!

14 admin 10.07.09 at 9:30 pm

Mandy and Brianna – You can buy clock kits for around $5 at Walmart. You can also find them at places like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Joannes (I think). Use a 40% off coupon and you’ll get them especially cheap. Have fun!!

15 Tiffany @ my skinny purse 11.01.09 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for sharing this creative idea. I am linking this!

16 Anonymous 11.03.09 at 11:31 am

I liked the clock, but wanted to know if it works

17 Anonymous 11.03.09 at 11:32 am

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18 Tiffany @ my petite purse 11.03.09 at 9:21 pm

I’ll be linking! thanks!

19 Darcie 12.15.09 at 6:36 pm

This is awesome, can’t wait to try it! Thanks!!!!

20 Adreann 01.06.10 at 9:03 am

My husband is deployed to Afghanistan and this will be so fun to make with my daughters so that they always know what time it is where their dad is. Thanks for the great idea.

21 Jennifer W 01.12.10 at 12:52 pm

I LOVE this idea! Both of our children are adopted from South Korea and they are always asking me what time is it in S. Korea and I figure it up and tell them but I could make this and that way they would be able to look at it and know what time it is in Korea!
Thanks for the inspiration!

22 Bia 02.04.10 at 8:01 pm

Great idea.. thanks for sharing.
Can you tell me what is the size of the washer you used? what is the mm or inch?

23 Rosemary 03.29.10 at 9:05 am

Clock movements come in different shaft sizes. What size do you recommend?

24 Robbie White 04.23.10 at 5:35 am

These are REALLY cute
What a GREAT way to recycle/reuse
loved it!

25 kittu 05.24.10 at 9:26 am

it is sooooooooooo nice

26 Michelle 05.27.10 at 8:20 pm

I did this project with my (Teen) Vacation Bible School class last year & they LOVED it!!! I took scrap material, buttons, foam, paper, stickers… They were very creative.

27 Kate 06.05.10 at 7:49 am

I love it, it’s so cute! I can see doing this with school colors. Michelle’s idea about doing it in Bible School is great too, we’re always looking for something inexpensive for the children to do.

28 ava smith 07.12.10 at 4:53 pm

Your clock is really cute…can’t wait to show my Goddaughter. We will make several as gifts for friends!

29 Meghan Gillespie 08.14.10 at 4:13 pm

I was wondering where you found your clock kits? Could you email me and let me know. I think this is a super cute idea!!

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