Making a button clock

Here’s a really useful, cute and easy to make gift idea – a button clock. Just the thing for someone who sews, or appreciates sewing paraphernalia.

I made this one in super bright colours, but you could make it any style that you like, just through your choice of fabrics and buttons. And we have hundreds of choices!

You need:

  • a 20cm embroidery hoop
  • 30cm square of fabric
  • a piece of stiff card (I used a cake card as it is a really good size and weight, and the silver coating is pretty)
  • clock mechanism with hands
  • 12 buttons that go with your fabric
  • tacky glue
  • scissors
  • something to make a hole in your card
  • a ruler.

clock1all the bits and pieces

Before I go on, I confess I made the whole thing up then disassembled it to photograph the process, so the holes are already in the fabric and card but wouldn’t be.

I separated two rings by loosening the screw, then put the  inner onto the cardboard and traced around the inside. I them trimmed the card to that size. This is perfect because it will be tight enough to stay in place. Find its centre and make a hole about 7mm wide. It doesn’t have to be beautiful but it does need to be in the centre. You can make it by pushing the blade of a pair of paper scissors into a small starting hole, and twisting. We made ours using a drill bit not attached to the drill!

clock2I then spread tacky glue around the inside of the inner embroidery hoop.

clock3Centering it more or less on the BACK of the fabric, start tucking the fabric inside it, smoothing it onto the glue to help keep it in place.

clock4When it is all tucked inside, trim the excess a little. Make sure the fabric is nice and taut. Then push the card disc into the back, pushing it right down on a flat surface until it is settled into the ring. You should now put the outer hoop back on.

clock7Now make a hole in the fabric where the cardboard hole is. I pushed an awl through, wriggled it a bit then snipped carefully with scissors to make it a bit bigger.

collageFrom the back, push the clock mechanism post through the hole, lining it up so the battery pack is directly below the hoop’s screw. The white post will show on the fabric side.

collage2Stack the large black washer, the smaller brass washer and the sided nut onto the post and screw the nut firmly into place. The big black washer hides the holes nicely. Then stack the hour, minute and second hands into place.

clock9You can now organise the buttons into place. I eyeballed it, I confess. If you don’t feel up to that, before applying the clock bits you could chalk the positions on as a guide. Just use a protractor or quilting ruler to mark every 30 degrees from the centre of the circle.

Finally, I glued the buttons on with tacky glue. If you really wanted the look of them being sewn on, you could do that after gluing the fabric to the inside of the embroidery hoop and before putting the card into the back.

Cute or what?!




This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jenny

    What a fantastic idea! I have crafting friends who are going to receive this as a birthday present. Thanks Maryanne for the idea 🙂

    1. Made Marion

      You’re welcome Jenny! It is heaps if fun indeed.

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