Accordion Paper Clock

Craft & Design Paper Crafts

My Paper Heart

By Patricia Zapata
One of the things that I enjoy the most about working with paper is the challenge of coming up with a project that is contrary to its two-dimensional characteristic. The second part of the equation is coming up with something that is actually useful. This clock fits the bill in both instances and it now happily resides on the wall next to my desk.
The accordion fold is my favorite part of the design. I made a pocket in the back of the piece so that the colored paper can be switched out whenever a new color is needed. The clock can move around a home and be customized to compliment the décor of a room or fit in with a specific time of the year.



Bristol paper or poster board
One strip of green paper (20″x4″)
One strip of orange paper (20″x1.5″)
Clock template
Tissue paper
Cutting mat
Craft knife and/or scissors
Glue stick
Transparent tape
Clock mechanism and battery

Download the Clock Template PDF
(Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. See directions on downloading PDFs.)


Step 1: Print out the clock template, enlarge it by 250%, and trace it using tissue paper.
Step 2: Turn the tissue over and retrace the image over the Bristol paper. Make sure to include the dot that indicates where the clock mechanism will go through the paper.
Step 3: Cut out the outline of the entire shape. Next, cut out the shaded areas as shown in the clock template.
Step 4: Score and fold the entire piece as shown in the photo above.
Step 5: Glue the upper tab towards the inside back of the clock. Fold over the pocket area and glue all the surrounding tabs to the inside back of the clock. Set aside to dry completely.
Step 6: Lay the orange paper over the green paper, making sure that they overlap by ¼”. Attach them using the glue stick.
Step 7: Fold the glued strips of paper in accordion fashion. Each pleat should not be more than ½” wide.
Step 8: Place the folded strips of paper tucked inside the back part of the white frame and slide them into the pocket. Just know that they will not go in all the way. This will allow you to easily change paper colors. The back view is above.
Front view
Step 9: For added reinforcement, place three 1″ strips of tape (one over the other) on the spot that is marked for the clock mechanism to go through.
Step 10: Cut out a small square that is large enough (but snug) for the mechanism to go through. Assemble the clock mechanism according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Now you are ready to display your finished accordion paper clock!
About the Author:
Patricia Zapata is a graphic designer, crafter and the author of Home, Paper, Scissors: Decorative Paper Accessories for the Home. She works from a home studio and lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and two children. Visit her web site at

4 thoughts on “Accordion Paper Clock

  1. saad says:

    Nice idea to decorate the room in contrast to the wall paint.

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