Clocks have been made from all kinds of materials: interesting pieces of wood, CDs, vinyl records, old unused books–even old boots.

While these materials may require more tools, the clock project here recycles an empty cereal* box and a new or recycled quartz clock movement kit to create a fast and easy one-of-a-kind time keeper.

(*You can recycle any suitable food produce box instead of a cereal box.)

Not only will you have fun making it, but you will be helping the environment by keeping one more piece of cardboard out of the landfill or recycling bin.

Teachers: This is a great classroom project. Use it to create clocks that you and your students can sell to raise money for school outings or other school projects.

Parents: Kids can also make these clocks to raise money for themselves or for their clubs, at craft shows or your local church bazaars. It’s a great way for parents to kindle the entrepreneur spirit in your little ones.

Clock-Making Materials And Tools

Note: Once you’ve gathered up all the tools and materials you will need, you can make this clock in less than half an hour. This project is easy enough for the smallest member of the family to make (with an adult standing by).

  • 1 empty cereal box
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors or a sharp pointed knife
  • Quartz clock kit (available at most craft/hobby stores or purchase online)
  • Battery (most require AA–see the clock kit package for information)

Instructions For Making A Cereal-Box Clock

Note: An adult or older sibling should be available to help smaller kids.

  1. Gather up all your materials.
  2. Glue the top of the cereal box shut with your glue stick and then open the bottom of the box.
  3. Use your scissors or knife (ask an adult for help) and make a pea-sized hole in the center of the front of the box.
  4. Following the directions on your quartz clock package, first, insert the battery into the movement box.
  5. Next, insert the movement box in through the bottom of the cereal box and place the shaft/rod through the center hole you created.
  6. Follow the remaining directions on the clock package to attach the hour, minute, and second hand to your clock.
  7. Reach inside the cereal box and set the time on the clock correctly. (Most will have a small dial on the back of the movement box – see your clock kit package directions for this information.)
  8. Use the glue stick to glue the bottom of the box closed.

To enjoy your new clock, place it close by on a desk, shelf or bedside table!