Turn old keys into a colourful clock feature

Max McMurdo with a feature clock made with old keys and Sugru

We all love a feature wall, so why not make it functional too? Upcycling expert Max McMurdo gets creative with a bunch of old keys, a mix of brightly coloured Sugru Mouldable Glue and an old tin of Roses (other chocolate tins are available). 

It’s definitely time to try something different. 

Note: Anybody looking to avoid putting holes in their walls will love this!


  • 4 single-use packs of Sugru (your favourite colours)
  • 12 x old keys
  • 1 x old biscuit tin lid
  • Clock mechanism and clock hands + 1 AA battery 
  • Sandpaper 80grit
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Piece of string
  • Pencil 
  • Spirit level
  • Masking tape
    • You might also need
  • Drill or cordless screwdriver + 8mm drill bit
  • Piece of old wood to drill into 
  • Standard clamp
  • Dust mask if using electric sander
  • Cordless screwdriver or drill with abrasive flap wheel
4 packets of Sugru, old Roses Tin, masking tape, 12 old keys, clock mechanism, pencil, sandpaper, ruler, string,

Step 1

Use the tape measure to find the centre of the tin lid and mark with a pencil. Drill a 2mm pilot hole and then drill an 8mm hole to fit the clock mechanism.

Step 2

Sand the front and sides of the lid either by hand or using a flap wheel, leaving some original colour for a distressed look. Sand to your taste.

Step 3

Take the clock mechanism and insert through the back of the lid, securing with a nut to the front of the lid. Place the hands onto the front of the lid, starting with the shortest hour hand, followed by the longer middle hand and finish with the longest second hand.

Step 4

Decide where the clock should go on the wall and measure outwards. We suggest marking 12 o’clock at a 300mm radius for more impact.

Step 5

Tie some string to a pencil and lightly mark out where the numbers should be.

Step 6

Open a single-use pack of Sugru and take about a quarter for each key. Create a cone on the back of each key and press slowing onto the wall, letting the Sugru ooze through. Mix and match your colours of Sugru as you please - the pop of colour will be part of the feature!

Step 7

Use masking tape to help keep all 12 keys in place whilst the Sugru sets.

Step 8

Attach the clock with some leftover Sugru by making a small ledge from which to hang the clock from the top of the tin lid above 12 o’clock.

Step 9

After 12-24 hours, gently peel back the masking tape and set the clock to wherever you are in the world. Thanks Max!