Fun Desk Clock From Recycled iPhone 5

Technology changes so fast, and we all want the latest gadget, but what is the cost of consuming so much? Big business wants us to keep buying devices, even if the old ones are still good. We wind up with millions of abandoned iPhones, Androids and tablets. Some are recycled responsibly while tens of thousands are just tossed in the trash or the back of your desk draw never to be seen again.   Here is a super simple way to recycle your old iPhone into a great retro looking desk clock.

Recycle Your iPhone into a clock – WHAT YOU NEED


I needed a stand for my clock and since my objective was to keep this project as simple and low cost as possible. I started with two 3×5 acrylic photo frames.


3×5 acrylic frame. Very low cost, about $5.00 at Amazon


You will also need 8 flat rare earth magnets (Neodymium) The stronger the magnets the better. Keep them small and flat, the actual shape round or square does not matter. $14.00 at Amazon


A little glue to hold it all together. I tend to like GOOP, but any strong adhesive should do. Goop at Amazon $ 11.00



The last two items you probably have around the house.

  • A colored spay paint for tinting the acrylic frames, I used black.
  • Some type of counter weight for the back of the stand to give it stability, I used a pair of hard drive spindle motors.
Putting it together

Assembly is easy and should take you less than an hour to complete.

First glue four rare earth magnets on the rear of your recycled iPhone. I have an old iPhone 5 that was no longer in service.

Next, break the backs off the two acrylic frames to make them a single piece of acrylic. Turn them on their sides and glue together. *NOTE – If you don’t break the backs off the frames, the magnets may not be strong enough to hold the iPhone to the stand.

Once the frames have dried, glue the other four magnets to the back of the frame. Make sure they align with the magnets your previously glued to the iPhone.  When dry, paint it a color of your choice.

Add counter weights to the back of the frames to give the setup better stability. I chose to use a pair of hard drive spindle motors since I had them around and was also able to use them to keep the power cord neat.

The finished project

Let everything dry overnight to insure good adhesion of the magnets and counter weights. In the mean time head over to the app store and purchase your favorite clock app. I found a great retro flip clock app, and also a great retro analog face app.


Overall this was an easy project to complete. You could easily make a wooden stand or metal but my goal was to use what was hanging around the house and recycle everything.

The next questions are:

  • How long will a recycled iPhone last with its display on 24/7
  • What happens to the battery when its on charge almost 24/7

I guess we will find out…


Thank you for reading my blog,


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