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Gradhatclock-09 1-600Pix

Graduation Cap Clock
By Tiffany Threadgould

Transform your mortarboard into a keepsake clock with this crafty number. Graduation caps and gowns are like old bridesmaid dresses — you pay good money for them, wear them once, and then they get filed away in the back of your closet. Dust off that old cap because it’s time to give it a second life.


Graduation cap
Clock mechanism
Needlenosed pliers
Wire cutters
X-Acto knife
Needle and thread or glue gun for attaching the year charm from the tassel


Step 1: Remove the button from the center of the graduation cap with pliers and wire cutters. If it’s really stuck in there, just keep working at it by wiggling around the pliers. Cut off the post with the wire cutters.
Step 2: Use your pliers and X-Acto knife to widen the hole in the center until the clock mechanism shaft fits through.
Step 3: Secure the clock mechanism in place with the bolt. Add hands to the clock.
Step 4: Remove the year charm from the tassel and place it on the appropriate space on the clock. We used the year ’09 so we placed it at the 9 o’clock position. Either stitch it in place or hot glue it on.
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Your new clock is ready to go. It’s sure to get an “A” in upcycling!
About the Author:
Tiffany Threadgould is a design junkie who gives scrap materials a second life. Her business, RePlayGround, sells recycled goods and features DIY projects. Tiffany thinks that garbage has feelings too and sometimes can be found talking to her pile of junk at her design studio in Brooklyn, N.Y.

6 Responses to Graduation Cap Clock

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  1. Girlie Girl Army on said:

    Craftzine is being feature on Girlie Girl Army (! Your great guide to eco, glamazon living! Spread the sustainable love <3

  2. Holly on said:

    Boy, we don’t get to keep the hat from graduation- never heard of anyone who could!

  3. Natalie Zee Drieu on said:

    Really? That’s strange. I did back in the day for high school and I think we all had to buy it.

  4. Elizabeth on said:

    For my high school, we had to return the gowns, but got to keep the caps.

  5. Graduated Long, Long Ago on said:

    This would make a great gift for a friend about to start senior year–counting the time left to graduation!

  6. tiffanytomato on said:

    hey there – when I graduated we had to buy our caps and gowns – which meant keeping them and turning them into fun new projects like this. But straight reuse of them for the next round of grads is even better. Wish more schools did that.

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