How to Turn an Old Dinner Plate into a Wall Clock

Turning an Old Dinner Plate into a Wall Clock

This simple project doesn't require too many materials beyond the dinner plate. Besides the plate you'll need a drill, a battery operated clock mechanism, a ruler and a grease pencil (or some other marker that will work on the plate).

If you'd like to make more out of your craft, you could equip it with mounting gear or decorate it. To add these extra elements, you'll want numbers for the face of the clock, a protractor, a stand or wall hook, and paint, stencils or interesting embellishments you can glue onto the plate.

To begin, lay your plate flat on a folded towel. Use the ruler to find the middle of the plate and mark it with the pencil. You can do this by measuring side to side, marking the center of the diameter, and then top to bottom, again marking the center. If you're measuring accurately, the marks from each measurement will be the same.

Once you've found the center, use a sharp drill bit to drill a hole in the plate. Go very slow to keep your plate from breaking. While drilling the hole, keep the size of the clock mechanism's shaft in mind, as this will need to fit through the plate's hole [sources: Emmerson, Essortment].

Drilling will cause a lot of dust so clean the plate thoroughly when you're finished. Now you can decorate the plate any way you'd like. If you plan on painting, grab a piece of sandpaper. Lightly sanding the plate before you paint it will help the paint stick [source: MarthaStewart].

When you're done decorating and the plate is dry, assemble the clock mechanism according to the instructions provided. This will generally involve inserting the clock mechanism shaft through the whole in the plate, attaching the hands, and then securing them with some type of nut or cap. When the clock mechanism is securely attached, you can put numbers on the face of the clock or leave it blank. If you do use numbers, use a protractor to make sure they're placed in the right positions. Then simply rest your finished clock on a shelf or attach a wall hook to the back.

That's all there is to transforming a regular old dinner (or salad) plate into a clock.

For additional information and ideas, check out the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Links


  • Emmerson, Kassidy. "How to Make Your Own Personalized Wall Plate Clock." Associate Content. Mar. 10, 2006. (Accessed 04/28/2009)
  • Essortment. "How to make a personalized wall clock." (Accessed 04/28/2009)
  • United Kingdom Parliament. "Clock Tower Tour" (Accessed 05/06/2009)
  • Martha Stewart. "Plate Clock." April 2006. (Accessed 04/28/2009)