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Wall clocks seem sort of retro now, because it seems like everyone uses their cell phone to check the time. I’m a terrible cell phone owner, though, and when I realized I desperately needed a clock for my office, I decided to try making one rather than buying some ugly plastic thing. I wanted to add a bit of colour to my studio as well, so I wrapped an embroidery hoop in some dreamy fabric and then matched the colours on the clock to the fabric. If you want to make this even quicker, you can omit wrapping the hoop in fabric and just have a wood frame. This was a really fun, super-quick project — if you want to give it a try, read on!

Supplies

ctsupplies

  • 8-inch embroidery hoop
  • Clock mechanism (available at Michaels or other craft stores — you want one for the thinnest clock face possible; I believe mine was for 1/4 inch face)
  • 9-inch square fabric of your choice (light colour will make it easier to transfer pattern and see clock numbers)
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Embroidery transfer pen (washable or fade-away)
  • Embroidery floss in colours of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Thick cardstock/chipboard
  • Embroidery needle
  • Fabric for wrapping hoop (optional)
  • Glue gun
  • Spray adhesive or white glue
  • Clock face template (download here)

Instructions

1. Print out clock face template, either onto regular printer paper and then transfer onto 9-inch square of fabric using preferred method (here are some ways to transfer patterns) or take the easy way out and print pattern directly onto washable, fusible stabilizer (I use this brand). If using the latter method, peel backing paper off and stick face-up to front of fabric.

printedpattern

2. Using three strands of black embroidery floss, backstitch around outlines of numbers.

outline

3. Using two strands of coloured floss of your choice (I chose four colours that matched the fabric I wanted to wrap the hoop in), start filling in numbers with satin stitch, continuing all the way around the clock.

filling

4. Once you’ve completed the embroidery, attach fusible interfacing to the back of the square, and iron out any wrinkles.

interfacing 

5. For wrapped hoop, cut long, narrow strips of fabric (mine were about 1.5 inches wide), and press in half lengthwise. I used two lengths of about 40 inches, so 80 inches total, but had quite a bit left over.

biastape

6. You’ll be wrapping the outer hoop in bias tape. Using a glue gun, place a small dot of glue at the top of the hoop, near the screw. Carefully begin wrapping bias tape around hoop, keeping folded edge on top. Continue wrapping all the way around the hoop, placing dots of glue as needed.

wrappingbiastape

When/if you get to the end of one length of bias tape, simply wrap last piece around to the inside of the hoop, secure with glue, and continue wrapping hoop with second length of tape, starting from the inside and overlapping previous length of fabric. Continue wrapping in this manner until you reach the end of the hoop, and secure with glue on the inside of the hoop.

wrappingbiastape2

wrappedhoop

7. To attach cardboard (for added stability) place inner hoop on cardstock and trace around the outside, and then cut out. Center inner hoop over backside of clock face and again trace the outside of the inner hoop with an  embroidery transfer pen.

backing1

8. Using adhesive of your choice (I used spray glue but white glue would be fine as well — just make sure there are no big clumps of glue and that it’s smoothed down well), spray back of cardstock and press down onto circle you’ve just drawn on the back of your fabric piece.

backing2

9. Let dry, then turn over place inner hoop underneath face-up fabric (I didn’t get a picture of this, but it’ll be obvious what I mean). Place wrapped outer hoop on top of the clock face, lining up screw at top with the number 12. Gently adjust as needed until it’s centered, then press down on outer hoop so it encloses fabric and inner hoop. Tighten screw as much as possible.

framing1

10. Turn clock over and cut away excess fabric from around the clock, leaving about 1/2 to 1-inch border of fabric.

framing2

11. Using glue gun, dot glue along inside frame and press fabric down, smoothing down as much as possible. I did an absolutely terrible job of this, but it’s the back of the piece, so I wasn’t too fussy. Take your time and don’t burn your fingers like I did.

gluing

12. Turn clock over, and using embroidery transfer pen, mark center of clock with a small dot. I just eyeballed this, but you can measure it out if you’re really fussy. Use small, sharp scissors to poke a hole through (at this point your hands might turn into a ginger man’s) and then attach clock face according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mine had a small hook at the back, so I chose to hang it from there rather than the embroidery hoop screw, just because it seemed more stable. Hang clock and enjoy!

pokinghole

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