DIY For The Home, Upcycle and Repurpose

Make Time For An Upcycle

Thank you for sharing!
Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

 

I love a great up-cycle project, don’t you?  But what I love even more is a super easy up-cycle project that is not only useful, but an awesome and fun decor piece too!  We are sharing how to make this awesome rustic Tin Can Clock.

This is not the first clock I’ve made, but it sure has been the easiest.  If you missed my DIY SimpleLine Cuckhoo Clock Knockoff, you can see it [ HERE ].

Supplies Used for This Project:

small tin can
Clock Movement
Metallic Copper Spray Paint
Small sheet of balsa wood
Wood Pegs or a wood dowel
Black Craft Paint
Scissors
Hammer
Nail
Hack Saw (I actually used a steak knife – but a hack saw would have been a little easier!)
paint brush
pencil
glue gun
Q-tip
Spray on Clear top coat
E6000 glue

 

Supplies to make rustic Tin Can Clock

I spray painted the tin with the metallic copper spray paint.  Then I sprayed a small section of it with metallic gold – only because I was unsure of what I really wanted to do and I was playing around.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

 

I needed to make a hole in the bottom of the can that was large enough to fit the clock movement shaft through.  I’m not much of a power tool user, so I used a nail and a hammer. I first placed the nail in the center and hammered it in, pulled it out and then as close as I could get to the first hole I made, I hammered in another one.  I kept doing this around the first hole until I expanded the hole to the size I wanted.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

I used a pair of scissors to bend the metal inward to lay flat against the inside bottom of the can.  A screw driver would work for this too.   Note:   The clock movement covers the rough edges in the inside of the can once it is glued in.

I made sure the clock movement shaft fit through the hole I made.   The hole doesn’t have to be a perfect circle – mine isn’t, but it can’t be too large either.  You want the hole to be able to be covered by the washer that comes with the clock movement kit.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

 

I used the tin can for a template and I traced around the can with a pencil on a small sheet of balsa wood.   I chose to use this because it is easy to work with and because I happened to have some in my craft supply box.  Isn’t that handy?    After I drew the circle, I cut it out with a pair of scissors. Honestly I didn’t know if it would work, but it did.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

I actually cut just slightly inside the circle so that I would have a nice snug fit into the back of the tin.  I trimmed where necessary to make sure I had a snug fit.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

Once I was satisfied with the fit, I cut out a slit to be able to pry the back off in order to change the battery when necessary.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

 

I painted the balsa backing with standard black craft paint.

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

I purchased this bag of wood pegs at Hobby Lobby because I thought they would be perfect for the feet on this clock.  However, a dowel rod could easily be used.

bag of wooden pegs

These were longer than I needed for the clock and I wanted to cut them in half.   Unfortunately, Mr. Hobby was not home at the time and I had no idea where the hack saw was.  Being the resourceful woman that I am, I decided to saw them with a steak knife. It probably took longer – but it got the job done.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.
Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

These little wood peg feet were spray painted with the copper paint.

The tin can was coated with black craft paint – spread thinly with a Q-tip to allow some of the copper to show through here and there.

The clock movement came with brass hands, so I spray painted all the brass pieces with the copper spray paint.

To secure the clock movement box in the tin, I glued it down with E6000 glue.  And the Feet were attached using my trusty glue gun.

Note:  Before attaching the clock movement – spray the painted can with a clear top coat to protect your finish.

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

 

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

 

I love my new little clock!  I made this in an evening – which is why my pictures are not as good as they should be.  Sorry about that.

The tin can be painted in whatever color you want to go with your own style or decor.   It could be covered in twine, or beautiful paper  . . . . the possibilities are endless!

If you enjoyed this project, we’d love if you’d Pin It to share!  Thank you!

 

Awesome DIY tin can clock. Use a battery operated clock movement, wooden pegs for legs and paint a small tin can for a rustic desk or shelf clock.

 

 

Thank you for sharing!

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53 Comment

  1. mary klos
    August 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    So cute! You are really talented!

    1. Laurie
      August 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Mary, I have my moments 🙂 Appreciate you stopping in! Have a great weekend!

  2. Beverly Roderick
    August 28, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    This is the cutest clock! How very creative! I love how you improvise with tools! Sounds like things I would do. I love the finish! It's got that industrial look that is so popular. Your instructions are great, too.

    1. Laurie
      August 28, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks Beverly! lol, I always question myself as to if I should tell the "real story" and show just how inept I really am – but then I figure – oh what the heck!

  3. Julie's Lifestyle
    August 31, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Laurie,
    Wow I love this clock craft you made, it's so pretty! Thanks so much for joining and sharing this tutorial on how to make one at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    We hope to see you again and have a nice Monday!
    Julie xo

    1. Laurie
      August 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks Julie! Happy to share at Cooking & Crafting with J&J!

  4. OMG!! Laurie,
    This is amazing!! What a transformation!! Great job!!

    thanks so much for dropping by and for your kind comments on my Kitchen. I do love the feel of it!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

    1. Laurie
      August 31, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks Debbie! Happy you come by today! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  5. Jess
    August 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    OH my gosh…I love this idea! 🙂

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    1. Laurie
      August 31, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Thank you Jess! Appreciate you stopping by. Enjoyed the party today!

  6. Nancy Andres
    September 1, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    What a great idea. Love it when something creative and useful can be made from junk and up-cycled.
    Nancy A @nancyandreswriter.com/color-of-joy-blog/

    1. Laurie
      September 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you Nancy! Appreciate you taking the time to visit and leave me such a nice comment. Hope you have a great day!

  7. Erlene A
    September 1, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    This is so creative and fun too! What a great way to reuse an old tin can. Love it!

    1. Laurie
      September 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Erlene! It was a fun little project!

  8. Karren Haller
    September 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    This is the best up-cycle I have seen in a long time!!! Pinned for you!
    Thanks for sharing on the #OMHGWW this week!!!

    1. Laurie
      September 2, 2015 at 2:35 am

      Thank you Karren! I appreciate the pin too! I enjoyed being a part of OMHGWW this week!

  9. Amy Groves
    September 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

    You made it look so easy to do and easy to understand. Thanks so much for sharing. #OMHGWW

    1. Laurie
      September 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Amy! It is one of the easier projects I have done. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy sharing at OMHGWW! Have a great weekend!

  10. Heart
    September 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    At my first glance, I never thought it's a tin can. It's a brilliant project, Laurie! I will try to make one using pastel colored wall paper. Excited!

    1. Laurie
      September 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      Ohh, that sounds wonderful! I'd love to see it if you make it! Please let me know when you have your follow buttons up on your blog because I'd sure like to follow along. Hope you have a great rest of the week! Thank you for stopping in today!

  11. Christine B
    September 2, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    You my dear are SO creative and your clock is very cute! I would have never known that was a simple can! Love how you come up with these ideas to upcycle!

    1. Laurie
      September 2, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you! My family keeps saving me their trash to make things with, so I try to come up with something! lol Thank you for the sweet comment and for the visit!

  12. LM907
    September 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Laurie, You have some imagination to make something like this. I never would have. thought of making a clock out of a tin can. This is beautiful, UR very talented. I love it!

    1. Laurie
      September 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you! Appreciate you stopping today and taking the time to leave me such a nice comment! Hope you have a great weekend!

  13. Sandy Sandmeyer
    September 6, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    This is such an cute clock and so clever too. You could make new ones to go with your kids' change in style. Thanks for sharing it at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

    1. Laurie
      September 6, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Thank you Sandy! I enjoyed sharing at #AnythingGoes Link Party!

  14. Sherry Nappa
    September 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    What a creative idea! The clock is awesome, too. Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. Hope to see you at this week's party:-)

    1. Laurie
      September 10, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks Sherry! I enjoy being a part of Funtastic Friday!

    2. Sherry Nappa
      September 10, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      And your clock is featured at this week's party (starts at 9 pm tonight)!

    3. Laurie
      September 11, 2015 at 12:34 am

      Fantastic! I really appreciate the feature Sherry!

  15. Jan
    September 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I love everything you do, but this one is super adorable! I think even I can manage it with your great photos and instructions! Please link up with us again at Country Fair Blog Party, I can not wait to see what else you have up your sleeve in October! Jan @ Tip Garden

    1. Laurie
      September 21, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks Jan! I love coming over to share with you at the Country Fair. This clock was fun and really very easy to put together, I'm sure you could make one if you wanted one 🙂

  16. Sheila Mccahey
    September 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I love clocks and have an extensive collection to which I may have to contribute one more. This one is so unique I can't resist it. Very imaginative!

    1. Laurie
      September 30, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      I love clocks too. Thank you so much for your comment! Hope you have an opportunity to make one for yourself 🙂

  17. Unknown
    November 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    How did you complete the paint finish? It looks like there is some black rubbed over the metalic paint?

    1. Laurie
      November 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      I sprayed the can with a metallic copper spray paint and after it dried, I applied a small amount of black craft paint and using a cotton swap, I spread it very thinly so that the copper showed through in several spots.

  18. Lindi V
    February 3, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you SO much for sharing this at the Create With Me party!! Wonderful upcycle. Pinned 🙂 Get your "hanger" projects ready for next month!

    1. Laurie
      February 4, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Thanks Lindi! I enjoyed taking part at the Create With Me Party!

  19. Gail @Purple Hues and Me
    April 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Laurie, this is one of those great upcycle tutorials! What a cute clock! And I like that you used items around the house to create this! I'm not into power tools either and can never depend on hubby to help. And yes, I use knives to cut my wood, too! Well done!

    1. Laurie
      April 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      lol, Glad I'm not the only one who avoids the power tools! Thanks so much Gail 🙂

  20. Robin @ ReDo It Yourself Inspirations
    April 26, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I love can repurposing and this is super cute!!! So many options comes with your idea! Thank you for sharing. =)

    1. Laurie
      April 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Thank you Robin

  21. Crochet Hooks
    April 26, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    wow what a great upcycle! how fun and how funky! love the look of your little upcycle clock and it would make a great gift too!

    1. Laurie
      April 26, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you! My sister made a few of them for Christmas gifts last year and they were a big hit.

  22. Kathleen Aherne
    April 28, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Trash to treasure is right. An amazing clock.

    1. Laurie
      April 28, 2016 at 5:56 am

      Thanks so much Kathleen! Hope you are having a wonderful week!

  23. Art From My Table
    May 20, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Wow! so impressive, I never would've thought to make this! Thank you for sharing at FTAF. I'm delighted to let you know that you are one of our features this week! Congrats!

    1. Laurie
      May 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks so much for the feature this week! It is very much appreciated 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

  24. Julia @ Happy Foods
    June 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Wow! This is one of the best upcycle projects I've seen! Love it!

    1. Laurie
      June 10, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks Julia! You made my day! Thanks for stopping by and to leave such a nice comment 🙂

  25. Anonymous
    July 22, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Love this! Think I will make a few changes just for my great-granddaughter. Her first and middle names are 11 letters, 1 more for space between equals 12. Will paint pastel pink with different colored pastel peglegs, Then add either very small stick-on letters for name instead of numbers, or either handpaint the letters representing the numbers in the contrasting color for peglegs. On back, paint date and my name or initials for a keepsake. Thanks for this darling idea. If and when I get to making mine, I'll send a picture.

    1. Laurie
      July 22, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Aw, that is an adorable idea and I'd be honored to receive a picture if you make it! I'm sure your great granddaughter would treasure it.

  26. […] 3. Transform an empty tin can into a working clock. […]

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