Yesterday evening, I headed into the city to check out the purely paper flower shop at the West Elm store on Broadway and 62nd street, designed by the ever-amazing David Stark (of course, who else would create wellies out of book pages!). I definitely suggest making a trip today or tomorrow while the pop-up shop is open — there are oodles of paper flowers and all sorts of out-of-box ideas magically constructed from pages of discarded books (all for sale!).
It sort of felt like being given a ticket to shop one of the pretty paper installations in an Anthropologie shop window. Very whimsical and fun. The place was mobbed, and so I didn't get to say hi and personally congratulate David on the paper wonderland he created. But I'm thrilled to share this fun DIY project that David's created for us! A crafting how-to from the crafting master. I'm excited!
Scott, from David's design team, made a clock out of a book for the pop-up shop. The clock is David's fantastic new book, David Stark Design, transformed into the shop's timekeeper. Since the installation is all about books and their transformation, we thought it'd be fun to share how to turn a book into a clock. You can use these steps with any book you love — think how cool a fat dictionary or vintage children's book would be.
Here's how to make your own book clock!
To make a clock, you need two things: the clock movement and the clock hands. There are many movements, but for the simple clocks we make, we buy these. This is a simple, 3-handed movement that runs on a AA battery. For this particular movement, there are a few options. The important one is the column they call "maximum dial thickness". This is the length of that threaded brass neck that sticks through whatever the clock is made from. The options range from 1/8 inch to 3/4 inch. For a typical hardcover book we recommend buying a neck length, or maximum dial thickness, of 3/8 inch.
+ Pick your favorite book.
+ Decide where on the cover you would like to place the clock hands. They could be centered or off-centered — whatever looks good to your eye.
+ You will need to cut a reservoir into the pages of the book to house the motor of the clock so that the cover can shut. To do so, use a sharp exacto blade and cut the book deep enough to hide the thickness of the clock movement, about 1/2 inch. The size of the square hole should be about 2-1/2 inch x 2-1/2 inch.
+ When cutting the book, it is important to NOT open the book flat on a table. (The pages fan out when the book is opened all the way, so when the pages realign in the closed position, the cut will not retain their intended square shape.) To avoid this, prop the front cover against something when cutting so that the book is only opened to 90 degrees.
+ Use a 5/16" drill bit to drill a hole in the front cover of the book to host the clock hands. To keep the drilled hole clean and prevent it from fraying, sandwich both sides of the cover with two thin scraps of wood. Hold the wood tightly in place with a spring clamp and drill through the entire sandwich. Then remove the wood.
+ The Klockit site sells the motor and the hands separately — and they have hundreds of hands to choose from. Look here for options. The hour and minute hands are sold as a set, and the second hand (sometimes also called the sweep) is sold separately. The above clock movement works both with and without a second hand, but we recommend getting one because it is the only hand that moves fast enough to see.
+ The clock movement is not affixed to the pages of the book. It is held in place by bolting through the hole in the front cover. All hardware for this is included with the clock movement. The book still is able to open and this allows access to set the time and change the battery.
+ Once you have bolted the hands, the cover, and the motor together, carefully close the book, aligning the motor to fit within the cut reservoir and set the hands to the appropriate time.
+ Hang your book clock or use on a table and enjoy!
A big thank you to David and his team (thank you, Scott and Lesley!) for creating this DIY project for us, and congratulations on the amazing book! One of my favorite parts of the book is this peek at Cynthia Rowley's Swell for Target event that David designed, back in the days when Swell was around (loved that line). I definitely have making a book clock on my project list — now to find the perfect book.