For a fun clock for the pop-art inspired home office in a previous post, we decided to go custom. From spare fabric used on pillows and curtains in the office and a $10 clock from Ikea, we created a fun and coordinated clock for our clients. If you’re interested in making one for yourself, here’s how:
STEP 1: GATHER MATERIALS.
A wall clock that is suitable for taking apart and accepting of glue and/or tape, scissors, fabric glue, fabric, an inexpensive paintbrush, paper adhesive (such as double-sided tape), computer drawing program (such as Photoshop, Paint, GIMP, etc.), a box cutter, and small hand saw.
STEP 2: FABRIC STRIPS.
Cut strips of fabric to cover the plastic area of the clock. Allow for about a half-inch (or 1 centimeter) of fabric on the clock face, to about a half-inch to an inch (1-2cm) over the edge on the back. The first strip can be the pattern for the rest. It doesn't have to be too exact.
STEP 3: GLUE THE FABRIC TO THE CLOCK.
With some fabric glue and the paintbrush, squeeze glue onto about 2-3 inches of the plastic clock area and brush it to cover evenly. A larger size area is possible but the glue may dry prematurely. Lay the strips across. They will have to overlap - it is best to put a little glue on the underside of the overlapping pieces. Wrapping the pieces around the back of the clock a little bit ensures a clean finish. Be sure to pull any extraneous threads off before adhering to the clock.
STEP 4: ADD A FINISHING BAND TO THE UNDERSIDE.
This is optional, it just gives a nice finish to the clock and helps prevent the fabric strips from coming off and threads from unraveling. More fabric glue and a 1 to 1.5-inch strip of fabric finishes off the jagged edges.
STEP 5: CREATE A NEW CLOCK FACE.
Remove the clear plastic face of the clock and the hands. A Google seach for “clock face template” will help you find a good template with which to begin. Find a good font and type the numbers in. You may have to print, cut the center hole, and position it on the clock a few times making sure the numbers are in the right place. Using basic inexpensive printer paper lets you see the original clock face through your printed face, allowing you to line up the new numbers to the original. A few tries may be necessary. When you print, print the numbers and the center hole, but not the border. Our final clock face print was on thicker stock paper. If you prefer to go in the lo-tech direction, just go to the next step and cut out the face circle from some heavy paper stock, then draw the numbers on yourself with a marker, paint, crayon, whatever looks fun. Options such as photos of your kids' faces, roman numerals, fruit, letters, buttons, flowers, any kind of photos, cartoons, etc., are fun in place of numbers.
STEP 6: CUT OUT THE CLOCK FACE.
Using the clear plastic clock part as a stencil, draw a circle around it on the back of your clock face paper. Cut a little on the inside of the line. For the center hole, a box cutter knife works pretty well.
STEP 7: PUT ON THE NEW CLOCK FACE.
Using double-sided tape or a tape runner (available at a craft store in the scrapbooking section), attach the new clock face right over the old one, which will also cover up the raw fabric ends. Make certain your "12 o'clock" is at the TOP of the clock (look at the underside and find the mounting hole).
STEP 8: ASSEMBLING THE CLOCK.
Put the hands back on. The next part might be a bit more difficult. Due to all of the fabric and the overlapping, the clear plastic may no longer fit back in the clock. To get it to fit, we sawed 6 small grooves into the plastic which allow the plastic to compress a bit when fitting it back in. Only cut the grooves about half way down, or they may start to split. Once this is complete, put the plastic back in the clock carefully and evenly.
*An alternative to this method is to glue the fabric to the end of the clock plastic but not down and onto the face of the clock. A paper or fabric circle can be used to finish the ends and the clear plastic will fit just the same as it originally did. You can also leave the clear plastic off the clock if you choose, just be sure you don't have any jokers around the place or you might find you're curiously late often.
STEP 9: HANG THE CLOCK.
Grab an appropriate battery, set the time, and hang the clock. An easy way to hang a clock or piece of art is to screw a screw half way through a paint stir stick. Hang the clock onto the screw in the stick, then put the stick up to the wall and position the clock. Once you have the perfect position, remove the clock and tap the screw in the stick into the wall just a bit to make a mark. This is where you will put the screw on which the clock will hang.