Tick, Tock, Mandala O'clock!
May 15, 2015
Over on The Little Bee Facebook page I often share cool projects, patterns and ideas that I happen to stumble upon when poking around the various social media sites. One concept that caught my eye the other day was an image of a crochet doily clock. A quick Google search brought on a flurry of inspiration and I began planning how I would go about making one for our place.
Why? Because, well, I'm not bored but I am driven to 'Crochet all the things!'.
In my stash at the moment there is a fab range of colourful Rico Cotton Essentials DK, which I love to work with. I began experimenting with some ideas for a new mandala pattern to use as the base of the clock and this is what I came up with...
(you can find the pattern here)
I tend to make things up as I go along, including stitches, which always makes for some interesting pattern writing (and vows from me to be more simple next time - yeah right!). The pattern still needed a few tweaks here and there, so I worked on it some more and before long I had accumulated a nice little pile of mandalas...
My first mandala had 8 flowers & hearts within the design, which I was happy with, but after some followers suggested modifying it to be more clock-like I decided to adapt the pattern to incorporate 12.
Now that I had the mandala sorted I needed to gather the bits and bobs to turn it into a timepiece.
You can pick up clock mechanisms at your local craft store. However, the range at our local Spotlight was limited and they were also pretty expensive once you bought all the necessary parts. So I managed to find a simple clock on special for $7, which I bought with a plan to remove the hands and working parts. This particular clock had a hole on the back of the plastic housing too which allowed it to be hung on the wall ~ bonus!
We had glue & paintbrushes at home already so all that was left to do was work some magic and make the jumble of materials turn into a clock ~ somehow! Here goes...
Love Blooms Mandala Clock Tutorial
I know there are a few people out there keen on a tutorial, so below is a run down of how to make your own Love Blooms Mandala Clock...
Love Blooms Mandala pattern or another mandala or doily pattern of your choice.
3.5mm crochet hook (US E)
DK yarn / 8 ply / 11 WPI in a range of colours of your choice.
The yarn used in this pattern is Rico Cotton Essentials DK. It is a little thinner than regular DK so if you want to use another yarn composition (e.g. acrylic) you may need to go up a hook size.
PVA glue, and (optional) epoxy glue (Araldite or similar 2 part epoxy glue)
Clock mechanism battery
Flat dinner plate or surface to lay your mandala on when gluing.
- There is an alternative method you can use for stiffening your mandala (please note I have not tried this but I have read about it). It involves immersing your mandala into a generous amount of glue and massaging it right into the yarn. Lay to dry flat in shape as you would when blocking, and allow to dry. This method may affect the look of the yarn, giving it a bit of a shine. You can read more about it here.
- There are other ways of hanging your clock than this. You could fasten (with glue) or sew your mandala to a piece of fabric and attach to an embroidery hoop. Similarly, you could use the little chain 'points' in Round 12 of your mandala to attach more yarn and tie it to the embroidery hoop. Once in place attach the clock through the centre hole of your mandala as outlined below. Here are some ideas...
Flip your mandala over so that you are working on the rear of your piece. Lay it on a flat, shiny surface (I used a dinner plate) so that you can easily remove the mandala once the glue is dry.
Take your paintbrush and begin applying the PVA glue all over the back of the mandala, paying attention to the weaker rounds with less stitches. DO NOT glue over the centre hole - this is where your clock gearing will need to poke through.
When the entire back of the mandala is covered allow the PVA glue to dry. Once dry repeat the process.
*Note: I found that even after two coats my mandala was not as stiff as it needed to be to stand up when attached to the clock, so I repeated this process with a third coat of epoxy glue. Though a word of warning: be careful when using epoxy glue - it doesn't come off easily and will ruin your clothes!! (photo shows PVA, epoxy is clear)
Once all the glue is dry, carefully peel your mandala off your plate. It should be reasonably stiff. If it is still a little floppy you may need to apply another coat. Here is what the back of the mandala will look like - all shiny.
Now comes the fun part, you're nearly done!
Take your clock mechanism and remove the hands, nut and washer as per the instructions on the pack (or if you are cannibalising another clock, take care to remove each piece from the old clock paying attention to the order in which they come off).
Insert the clock's gear shaft through the centre hole and begin to assemble the remaining pieces.
Align your mandala so that your flowers (or hearts) are in the correct places for the hours of the day and tighten the nut. Flip it over and pop a battery in the back and you are ready to set the time and find somewhere special to hang your clock!
Home for my new mandala clock is in our caravan kitchen space. Where will you put yours?
I hope you have fun making your own Love Blooms Mandala Clock! I'd love to see what you come up with. If you feel like sharing please feel free to post to The little bee Facebook page or over on Instagram with the hashtag #lovebloomsmandala