I was keeping a nice box just because I liked it. Steph suggested we make it into a clock. Good idea - the box was very shallow, with a square top, about the right dimensions for a clock. So how do you make a clock anyway?
We bought a battery-powered (rechargeable batteries, obviously) clock mechanism from a craft and hobby shop. If you want to make a totally recycled clock you could use a working mechanism from another clock.
The instructions on the packet told us how big to make the hole for the hands, so we measured the centre of the box precisely, and using a craft knife we made a hole the correct size.
After that it was mainly a matter of following the instructions. We pushed the mechanism through the hole and fixed it in place with a hot melt glue gun. We assembled the hands on to the stem of the mechanism, making sure they were all aligned at 12 o'clock. A little nut secured the hands in place, then we could insert the rechargeable battery and set the correct time. Hold your breath to see if the second hand begins to move. Hurrah!
We needed to be able to access the clock mechanism to change the time and replace the battery, and we wanted to be able to hang our clock. The bottom of the box fit very snugly on to the top, so we decided to push it back on (but not glue it) and make a hole in the back for hanging. We measured the exact centre of the box, and cut a triangular hole.
That's it! Our clock was finished and we hung it on the wall.
If you don't have a box just the right size for a clock, there are other possibilities. You could make a box out of cardboard and cover it with wrapping paper, wallpaper, fabric, or paint it. Use the cardboard from a Corn Flakes packet, keeping the image from the packaging as the clock decoration for a funky Warhol-esque kitchen clock. Use a chocolate box with a nice image on the lid. I don't have numbers on my clock, but you could draw or paint numbers on yours. If you prefer a more professional look you could get transfers or stencils for numbers from a hobby craft shop. Or print some out in a font you like and glue them on. Alternatively you could just put dots in the location of the numbers - paint or draw the dots, or glue on beads, sequins or glass nuggets. If you make a recycled clock, I'd love to see it. Email me a photo, and let me know if you're willing for the photo to be shown on Bean Sprouts.