When I decided to participate in the Crafty Teacher Blog Hop again this summer, I thought I would choose a super easy project. I saw some cute books that were made into clocks and was inspired. I would just find a popular children’s book and put in a clock kit. I almost felt guilty for not putting in more effort.
And then the project began. I felt like a mix between Amelia Bedelia and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day! Thankfully, I didn’t make any accidental calls to Australia. I was however so exhausted during this time that I MAY have fallen asleep one night while talking to my mom and she might have had to call me back and ask what happened!
After much effort and stress, I do have a completed project for you! You can choose between the Owl Moon clock which is made to be set on shelf and opened slightly so it stays standing. The other choice is the Trumpet of the Swan clock. It is made to be displayed in a closed position. You can add a hanger to the back and hang it on the wall or use a little picture or plate display to hold it up. You could also prop this one open a bit to get it to stand. Both of the books are used and have a bit of wear. The Owl Moon one has a name written on the inside cover and some browning (from age) along the front of the spine.
So, how to complete it? Well, I can tell you what I learned. 🙂
1) Book choice – Buy the clock kit & numbers first. I bought mine at Michael’s Craft Store. Lay them out and see how much space you need for the hands to circle. For me it was about 5 and a half inches. Keep that in mind when you are buying the book. Then think about where the numbers would be. If you are shopping for a book to use, you could even bring along a little protractor so you easily see where the numbers will need to be. I tried to avoid books where the post of the clock (the middle section) would be right in the middle of a face or other important part of the image. I also tried to avoid covering the author’s name with any numbers. That eliminated many books.
2) Measure and mark where the numbers will go. This looks all precise in the picture. The reality was after many attempts to glue on the numbers (more on that later) most of the stickers had come off and I was guessing by my final attempts! I used stickers because I was was hoping to not add any extra marks to the books.
3) Drill a hole for the post of the clock. The drill bit that I used was 9/32. Try to keep the hole as clean as possible. You can wiggle a pencil in there to try to get out any extra bits of paper and make it smoother. Take all the pieces (the hands and washers) off the clock base. Add the rubber washer (the black thing in the picture above) to the clock base and push the post through the hole so that it is sticking out of the front of the book. You’ll have to exert some force to get it. You want the battery compartment to be flat against the inside cover. At this point, I was feeling great. This was going to be a pretty easy project. And then came the hands…
4) Add the hands – The directions for this clock were terrible – just this diagram. When I got to the minute hand, I realized that the opening was rectangular instead of round. I tried every which way I could think of to get it on the post. It was just not working. I did some research and thought that the kit was was defective. It seems that a hand with a rectangular opening would go on an “i” post and this was obviously round. Back to the craft store I went! It was another craft store and I was going to buy a different branded kit. I looked at it and was dismayed to see it was just like the other. What??? I asked one of the workers and they were so great and knew exactly what I needed! (Thank you, Hobby Lobby) She pointed out that if you look at the post very closely there are 2 smooth (flat) parts on the edge of the round post. You need to put the hand on so it fits onto the flat parts. That would have been very helpful information to include in the instructions! OK. I think I’m set now. I’ll have this finished in about 10 minutes, right?
5) Glue on the numbers. Glue is not my friend. I knew this and yet I had hoped this time I would triumph. I can handle a glue gun, but that’s about it. I won’t bore you with all the many glues I tried or how much super glue is currently attached to the ends of my fingers. I will tell you the 2 glues that I used on the final projects. One isn’t quite dry yet, so if I have to use another glue then I’ll come back and update this post. I used some model glue (Testor’s) for one of the books. It’s the black bottle in the top right. The plus is that it has a tiny little applicator so it is easy to apply a thin layer and it is clear. The negatives are that it is strong stuff. I would advise not getting any on your fingers! Also, when you put the piece down, it moves around a lot and doesn’t seem like it will stay. However, in about 45 minutes it was dry and it was not going anywhere! For the other one I used a clear tacky glue (from the package that is showing on the right side of the picture). It worked great and would be my first choice. It was safe to use, dried clear and was easy to re-position. My only fear is that it won’t be a solid hold. I’ll know in the morning!
6) If you are using a thick book (not a thin picture book like Owl Moon) you may want to cut out pages to nestle the clock mechanism inside the pages of the book. That way the book can be closed and hang on a wall. Trace around the clock mechanism onto the pages. Then use an exact knife to cut out a section of the pages. This is what I did for the Trumpet of the Swan book. I also taped down the dustjacket so it wouldn’t slide around.
It’s time to win!
1 winner will be randomly selected. The winner will choose which book they want.The winner must be a classroom or homeschool teacher and must live in the contiguous US (because of shipping). You will be contacted if you are the winner and will have 5 days to respond to give mailing instructions or an alternate winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified.
Be sure to go to Sebrina’s blog next. I saw a sneak peek of the item that she created and it is really cute.
Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂