For my next trick, here is the clock I made for my sister Phoebe for Christmas last year. It was inspired by this one from P.S. – I Made This… with a few twists. Not the easiest or least expensive project I have done, but the results were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.
- 12 animal figurines (I used these, these and this, because some stag horns at 12 were a must)
- Plexiglass circle – our local hardware store cut it for me for around $20. It is not a normal cut so it took a few extra days.
- Spray paint – Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2X in Brilliant Blue
- Spray paint – Rustoleum Metallic Gold
- Glue gun and glue
- Clock with only hands (I used this)
- Poster tape
- Sticky velcro
- Triangle picture hanger with screws
- Small paintbrush
- Print-out of a clock and a ruler
- (or a compass & protractor)
I started off by cutting the heads off just in front of the front legs using a hacksaw. The saw left a pretty rough edge, so I went back over the edge with a pair of scissors to smooth it out. This was important because it looked better, but also it made a nice flat edge for the glue. Almost all of the animals were hollow, so it is less work that it looks. Side note – save the other halves. I am kicking myself for chucking them because who knows, maybe someday I will want to make an animal butt clock. Anyway, at the end of a pretty weird evening of decapitating animals, I had this:
Once I had all of my animal heads, I coated them with three coats of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2X in Gloss Brilliant Blue. It takes some extra time for the spray paint to cure on rubber, so I let them dry for two hours.
I had Frager’s, our local hardware store (and one of my favorite places on Earth) cut a 24” diameter piece of 1/4” Plexiglass for me. It took some extra time and several calls from the glass cutter guy because hardware stores don’t normally make round cuts. I had an image in my head of a perfect acrylic disk, but it obviously didn’t come out that way – it didn’t look bad, but slightly irregular and there were kerf marks on the edges. I am sure you can find actual acrylic disks online, but they will be way more expensive. To cover the rough edges, I sprayed some of the blue spray paint into a cup and painted just the edge with a very small brush, wiping up any mess-ups as I went. Incidentally, spray paint eats through styrofoam, in case you were wondering…
While the animal heads dried, I marked where I was going to glue them. First I marked the middle and then each hour using a print out of a clock and a ruler. I thought I was being precise but I had to make a lot of adjustments after it was all glued down. If I did it again, I would use a compass and a protractor, or at least I would be a lot more careful. Story of my life.
Before gluing the animal heads down, I screwed a triangle picture hanger to the back of the Plexiglass, right behind the clock mechanism. If I do it again, I will put the hanger at 12:00 so that the animal head will cover it. I used a very small drill bit to drill two pilot holes for the screws so that they didn’t crack my precious plastic. Once I got the hour points right, I glued the animal heads down with a glue gun. Here is a view of the back once it was all put together. You can see the animals at the bottom.
The last piece was the actual clock hands. I spray painted it gold, moving the hands between coats so that there wasn’t a bare spot. The battery pack is inset slightly so I built it out with a few layers of poster tape (the foam kind) and then attached a piece of sticky-back velcro. I left the two sides stuck together and then, with the hands together in the 12:00 position, pointing directly to 12, I stuck the clock to the plexiglass. The velcro means she can remove the clock from the plexiglass to adjust the time or change the battery.
It was a pretty risky surprise Christmas present, since I had no idea if it would look awesome like it did in my head, or if it would look 100% crazy person. Luckily it was the former, with the added bonus of looking great with the headboard she and my dad made.
Happy animal beheading!