How To Make a Clock From Junk Mail!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When we saw this retro-inspired wall clock that our friend Genevieve created, we knew we had to get her to share. She generously took photographs and notes throughout the process, and now you can make a cute, DIY wall clock, too. The best part: you can recycle your unwanted junk mail!

What You Need


  • approximately 24 sheets of junk mail: this can be magazine sheets, grocery store ads, newspaper, whatever you’d like, as long as they are all the same size
  • pen or pencil used for rolling guide
  • scissors
  • tape (invisible works best)
  • long needle (a yarn needle works best)
  • embroidery floss
  • two clear CDs (the kind that protect your CD 50 packs)
  • round cardstock circle with hole punched in middle
  • battery-operated clock mechanism with hands


1. To make a clock, 24 of these tubes will have to be created. Start by taking your pencil or pen, and use it as a guide to roll up your sheet of paper around it.

2. Tape each end of the tube with preferably invisible (matte clear) tape.

3. Fold approximately one third of the tube towards the other end, as shown above. As mentioned before, you will make about 24 of these, and its pointed tapered end will help create the round effect needed for your clock.

4. Take a long, thick sewing needle, (a yarn needle works best) and thread your embroidery floss through. Pierce the folded pointy end of the folded tube. Color doesn’t matter for the embroidery floss–it won’t show.

5. Thread the floss through the first end again, creating a “knot” that will prevent the thread from slipping through. Don’t pull too hard! Next, begin to sew the additional 23 pieces onto your clock.

6. Take one of your clear CDs and place the middle hole above the hole that forms naturally in the center of the starburst. This will be the back of the clock, so choose whichever side you’d like to be the back.

7. Take your battery-operated clock mechanism and place the rod that holds the hands into the starburst and clear CD holes.

8. Flip the clock over and place the other clear CD above the hole on the other side.

9. Take your pre-punched paper circle and place on the mechanism. You may be wondering why this piece is necessary…it keeps all of the parts together and allows the nut to be threaded onto the rod. The hole of the cd has too big of an opening to keep all of the parts together tightly.

10. Screw on the nut tightly. Almost done!!

11. Add your hands!

12. AND VOILA! You have a totally unique recycled atomic starburst clock that’s green and swanky!!

Additional Notes: For additional, fabulous photos check out Genevieve’s Flickr stream. Genevieve admits she found inspiration for this fun project from a great etsy product she discovered. We appreciate her sharing it with us!

(Image credit: The Kitchn)
Want more smart tutorials for getting things done around the home?
Click to see all of this month’s Home Hacks tutorials.
We support our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.