The Bramwell Brown Blog

What to do with Old Wall Clocks

old clocks on the wall

For the DIY and upcycle crowd, we’ve got some stellar ideas for repurposing an old clock. Though the first action might be to toss it and just get a new one, you might have some sentimental meaning in the clock or looking to lessen your environmental footprint by turning the clock into something new. Below are a few ideas to spark some motivation to make that clock something to serve a new function. 

1. Photo Frame

photo frame clock


Depending on how the clock is put together, you might be able to detach the clock face from the outer frame. It may require a screwdriver and some careful prying with a knife but once detached, you’ll have a circular frame for which you can place a picture inside. An unusual frame like this is excellent for adding visual interest versus the typical rectangular frame. If you’ve got more than one clock you’d like to try this to, you can create a collection of circular framed pictures. 

You’ll have to cut your pictures out in a circle, so we recommend getting them printed bigger than you’d normally have so that the important parts are captured in the frame. Use the detached clock face to trace your selection from your photo so that the picture fits perfectly. This makes a picturesque accent to any wall.

2. Mirror

mirror made from old clock


Mirror accents are a stunning look for a bedroom, washroom or even transitional space like the hallway. A collection of differently-sized circular mirrors placed in a strategic spot can make your space tasteful and timeless. You can use wall clock frames to frame your mirrors, making sure that you have the right sizes for each frame. 

Another decor idea for a larger frame is to have a mirror installed in it and then use that as the base for a sunburst look. You can find materials at a craft store to have lines radiate out from the center of the mirror. You can pick a similar colour to the frame or another complementary colour that accents the sunburst.

3. Decorate It 

Recommended Reading: How to Decorate Around a Wall Clock

If you’re looking to create a piece of art from the old clock but don’t want to take it apart to use the pieces, consider drawing on the outside or face of the clock. You can use paint or a permanent marker to draw abstract designs or find graphics and stencils online to use as a template.

Consider doing something in the same tone as the wall clock. A blue-framed clock can look wonderful with green and white accents, or you can stick to a monochrome palette such as greys, blacks and whites for an austere and bold look. If you’re looking to make a statement, go with bright and opposite colours to make the most of your clock’s face. As a symbolic action, this exercise of doodling on your old clock inspires the statement of time being what you make of it, serving as a reminder that you are much-needed on bad days.

4. Create a Shadow Box

shadow box made from old clock

See full DIY tutorial at

For bigger clocks, and smaller ones with some space, you may consider wanting to turn your clock into a shadow box. With sufficient space between the clock face and outer frame, making a shadow box is an easy activity. First think of a theme that you want to explore--it may be a beach, or the night sky or a hobby that you are passionate about.

You’ll want to separate the clock’s frame from the face. You can use the face as your working template, and then start finding flat and 3D objects that evoke the theme you have in mind. For a beach, you might want to collect some shells and sand. You can paint the clock face with a sunset and water and then glue the sand and shells to the foreground. You’re likely to find other suitable trinkets in craft stores and second-hand shops, so keep an eye out for items that help create the look you want. The 3D objects are perfect for adding visual texture and bringing your piece to life.

5. End Tables

end table made of old clock

Full instructions at

If you have a reasonably sized clock, consider making it into an end table. Even a smaller clock can make a cute accent table in a tight space. You’ll need to source craft stores or secondhand furniture stores to find an appropriate stand. As long as the base is a shape that you like and the table is sturdy, it will act as a good stand for your clock end table. A good fit is likely a table that is the same size or smaller than the diameter of the clock.

Once you have the table, you may want to spray paint it to match the colour of the clock, or go bold with something unusual or let the clock be the center of attention and paint the base a neutral black or brown. When you’ve finished that step, adhering the clock to the table is next. You can find epoxy or strong adhesive glue in a hardware store, in order to anchor the clock to the table. Finally, you can finish the table with gloss or lacquer so that it is sealed and won’t get damaged from wear.

6. Buy a New Clock

Bramwell Brown Weather Clock

After you upcycle your old clock, you may be thinking of buying a new and functioning clock as a replacement. Start thinking about what kind of style and size you would like, keeping in mind where the clock would likely go. A smaller clock is best for the kitchen, but a living space that is large can look great with a significantly bigger clock. Also, consider how much you would like to invest in the clock and if you’re likely to pass it on as an inheritance or sell it later.

Bramwell Brown has a collection of clocks that are also able to show the current weather in a series of whimsical pictorials. There are smaller sized clocks with a variety of patterns, some that are limited editions and a larger clock for that statement piece.

A fantastic addition to any room: take a look at our Weather Clocks

Bramwell Brown Weather Clock