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. Although other tins will work too ;). 

Roll up your sleeves, this this a lovely little weekend project to get stuck into. Plus, it's perfect for anybody looking to avoid putting holes in their walls!


  • 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
Kit for making clock wall clock with Sugru and old keys
Max McMurdo finds the centre of the tin

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.

Max McMurdo sands the tin

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.

Max McMurdo adds the hands to the Sugru clock

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.

Max McMurdo measures wall for Sugru clock placement

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.

Max McMurdo marks out Sugru clock hands

Step 5

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

Max McMurdo takes a quarter of Sugru

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 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!

Max McMurdo secures keys on wall with masking tape while Sugru sets

Step 7

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

Max McMurdo hanging tin clock off Sugru ledge

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. Make sure the Sugru is set before hanging the tin off of it.

Wall clock made of chocolate tin lid, old keys and Sugru

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!

*Depending on the thickness of the application, for load-bearing projects, allow up to 48 hours for Sugru to fully set.