Ugh, so tired of all the waste that comes with take-out! Every meal comes with guilt as the packaging gets tossed afterwards. Inspired by this chopstick project on Readymade, I gave myself a challenge to repurpose a dinner’s worth of refuse into an objet d’art both stylish and useful. Behold my version of the recycled chopstick clock!
And here’s how I did it…
Lay out your take-out menu and trace the outline of plastic take-out lid. With the remaining paper, make random circles with the compass. Cut out all the circles. You can make other shapes to incorporate in your design if you like.
On to the dyeing…
For the wooden chopsticks: Shake, measure and mix a Tbsp or two of Rit Cherry Red dye with ½ cup of very hot water. Apply dye with paint brush to all the chopsticks. Let dry and apply a coat of Mod Podge to seal. I did a glossy finish.
(Note: Eight of the chopsticks, I cut down by 2″ to make for an interesting design but that’s just an optional detail.)
For the background: Shake up the Rit Teal dye. In your reused plastic container, arrange about a teaspoon’s size drop of dye next to a teaspoon’s size drop of Mod Podge. With the paintbrush, mix the dye and Mod Podge in small amounts. Dip your brush in water to thin the consistency as you work. Paint the Teal dye color onto the large background circle of paper. This will give you a nice painterly watercolor effect. This is pure play, make it an even color or go expressive with broad brushstrokes.
For the smaller circles: Clean out your plastic container and use the same method with Rit Sunshine Orange. Some circles have just one coat of dye color and some have two coats of dye color. This gives a nice variation of tones especially when circles overlap.
When the paper has dried, lay out your background with the circles arranged in a fun random design. Glue and seal the design by brushing with Mod Podge. You can do a few coats to create a nice stiff collage or if you’re paper feels thin, you can always glue it to a cardboard backing.
Here’s a close-up of the collage:
When dry, glue the paper collage to the plastic lid. This is the base of your clock. Cut a small circle through the center of plastic and collage just large enough for spindle of the clock mechanism.
Arrange the chopsticks around the collage to designate the hours. I designed my clock using 4 longer chopsticks in the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. Glue down the chopsticks with Mod Podge or hot glue gun if you have one. Then just insert clock from back of the plastic lid and attach by screwing the nut that is included with the mechanism to the front of the collage.
You can use the hands that come with the clock but I decided to go for a more graphic look. Cutting two arrow shapes from grey construction paper, I simply glued these paper hands on top of the metal hands that came with the clock. Attach the hands to the spindle of the clock mechanism with the nuts provided.
Pop a battery (rechargeable for extra eco-points!) in the clock and you’ve got a fun new clock that will tell you when it’s time for take-out again!