Alisha, our Marketing whiz, sent the CT staff a link to a clever adaptation of the Ikea’s Smycke Clock. The sewfearless.com blog posting showed how to cover the plastic hexagon pieces of the clock with fabric. I offered to make a sample with our fabrics because it could be one more color coordinated project to go in my remodeled quilt studio.
I only needed a small scrap of each fabric, if I wanted to make each hexagon a different fabric. First, I searched through my fabric stash to find as many fabrics as possible from current and past Connecting Threads collections to go with my yellow, gray, white, and black color scheme. Fortunately, I had already gathered lots of fabrics for other projects for my quilt studio. I aimed for a balanced number of each of the colors. It was fun to find a few more in the stored fabric at work.*
*I love my job!
The recommended adhesive, Phoomph™ fabric bonding sheets by Coats & Clark, are foam that is sticky on both sides. It comes in Soft and Stiff thicknesses and different colors. The Soft version works well for this project; two sheets are needed. I bought mine at a local craft store, choosing white. I was concerned about the raw edges of the fabric being exposed, but the information from the manufacturer and online assured me that Phoomph secured the fabric edges without any other treatment. It is repositionable while you are working with it.
These are the steps to assemble the clock:
• Read the instructions; place the clock mechanism so it is positioned as it will be hung, and connect a few hexagon pieces to the clock so you will understand how they will be oriented (important later).
• Mark and cut each sheet of Phoomph into sections slightly larger than the 2" x 2-1/4" hexagons; you will need 17 per sheet to cover the 34 hexagons. It is important the Phoomph completely covers each hexagon. (I cut 16 sections 2-1/4” x 2-1/2" per sheet and 2 from a third sheet (but I could have used two smaller pieces if needed).
• Cut a 2-1/2” to 3” square of each fabric for the hexagons; you will need 34.
• Remove paper from one side of a Phoomph square and stick it on the wrong side of a fabric square. Pay attention to fabric placement if the design is directional or fussy cut (you can hold it up to a light to center design). This is why it is important to understand how the hexagons are oriented when connected to the clock. Smooth the fabric if needed.
• Remove paper from the other side and adhere the Phoomph to the hexagon plastic piece.
• Trim the excess with a rotary cutter, scissors, or X-Acto Knife. A rotary cutter, held straight up & down, worked well; the blade did get sticky, so use an old one.
• For the hexagons behind the hands, you can use a hexagon as a template to cut the fabric and Phoomph the correct shape and apply them. These center hexagons will come off if you want them to, although it may be a little difficult to get them to go back as flat. Use lighter colors so the hands can be seen.
• Arrange the pieces in a pleasing, asymmetric arrangement, scattering the colors.
• Connect the hexagons with the white plastic pieces. This is the tricky part; I found an extra pair of hands did not help!
• Place the four stabilizers so they can support the pieces away from the wall.
I ended up dismantling my original arrangement because I wanted to place the red and green plastic hexagons closer to the center. Also, once I decided where to hang the clock, it looked better to have the hexagons “flow” another direction.
• Hang the clock per manufacturer’s instructions.
What a fun, inexpensive, and easy project! It would be a creative activity to do with a child for their room. The adult could do or supervise the cutting, and there isn’t any sewing or ironing. Assembling the hexagons to make the clock is sort of like playing with Legos. Every clock will be different, so let your imagination run wild!