DIY Cozy Embroidered Clock

This started out as a simple project. I was going to turn a stretched piece of fabulous fabric into a clock with a ready-made clock kit. Then I considered spray painting the numbers white. Then I thought… I could embroider the numbers! So here we are a few weeks later. Ever have one of those projects? And in the end I think that I would have like the original idea better. Still cute tho, and Clare will dig that it is tea party related.
Instructions after the jump…

What you need:
– A stretched painter’s canvas
– A piece of fabric (large enough to wrap the canvas and generously overlap the wood part of the frame on the back) – A radial design would be quite cool. I used wool felt.
Clock Kit, 1/4″
-Sheet of paper
-Plate (for tracing)
-Head pins
-Fabric/Craft Glue
-Staple Gun
-Light Tack Masking Tape
-Disappearing ink fabric marker
-Embroidery needle and thread
-A scrap of cardboard at least 5″ wide and as tall as your canvas with the “ribbing” horizontal.

What to do:

1. Lay the canvas on the fabric (right side up) and trim so that the fabric is large enough to wrap around and overlap the wooden frame on the back. Mine was a smidge small. If your fabric has a pattern, be a aware of your composition.

2. Tape a border around your canvas directly on your fabric.

3. Using a plate, trace a circle on to your piece of paper to the desired (inside) circumference of your clock face.

4. Cut out your circle, fold circle in half and then in thirds. When you open the circle you will have 12 folds.

5. Lay your circle on your fabric in the desired position with one of the folds pointing directly north (12 o’clock) and stick a head pin in the exact center of your circle and back through fabric to secure.

6. Stick a pin in fabric (just outside paper) at each fold.

7. Holding paper in position, remove center pin, fold paper up and replace pin at exact center.

8. Secure all pins with tape

9. Using a small piece of felt to measure height, freehand your numbers at each point using the disappearing ink fabric marker. Start with 12, 3, 6 & 9 and then fill in the other numbers evenly. Your ink may disappear before you finish embroidering, you can always redraw. You should probably test your pen on a scrap before starting.

10. Embroider your numbers using a Back Stitch.

11. Draw your additional design. Any “time” themed art is kinda fun but a simple felt silhouette of your child’s favorite animal would be equally adorable. Clare is really into doing tea parties right now so I went with that.

12. Embroider your design. Remove all pins except for clock center pin.

13. If your fabric has any wrinkles, now is the time to iron it. Seriously, never skip the ironing.

14. With both front-facing-down, lay your canvas on top of your fabric. Lift the sides of your fabric to check that the canvas is precisely centered within the tape frame.

15. On one side lay a thin string of glue along the entire edge of your fabric and fold up to attach to the edge of your canvas.

16. Fold the edge of your fabric over the back of the frame and secure with staple gun. Add a couple more staples to either side of the first staple.

17. On the opposite side, pull fabric tight but not stretched, add string of glue along edge and add several staples.

18. Alternate adding staples to each side about 1″ apart until both sides are finished.

19. Cut out a bit of the excess felt at the corners to avoid bulk and repeat glue/staple process on opposite side. When you get to the corner, fold excess fabric inside and create a straight edge fold. Staple in place.

20. Press your cardboard into the back of your frame so that the excess height folds to a right angle inside the top and bottom (see picture.) Make sure the cardboard is centered behind your clock center. Trim excess cardboard. (this photo was taken before the fabric was stapled, at this point your fabric will already be in place.)

21. Pull back top and bottom flap of cardboard and glue to inside of wood frame.

22. Carefully push center pin through all layers, Fabric, Canvas and Cardboard.

23. On Cardboard, mark the pin hole with a pen and pin can be removed.

24. VERY GENTLY remove any remaining tape. The tape can damage your felt.

25. Using the sharp point of one scissor blade, gentry “drill” a hole through all layers. Your hole should be be just big enough for the clock “screw” to push through but no bigger.

26. Push clock mechanics through hole. If it seems loose, support with duct tape or glue.

27. Add clock hands to front as instructed on clock packaging.

28. Insert batteries, set on shelf and teach baby how to tell time old-school.



Shaina P.

i've decided to make all christmas gifts handmade this year, and this is EXACTLY what i was looking for. it's perfect, thank you!!


I love this idea! I've been searching for a craft suitable for my brother and I can easily translate this into a "guy-friendly" design. Brilliant! Thanks!


I would have never thought of folding a circle to get the spacing right. I am always measuring etc. It's a real pain.
Wow! Great idea!
You are amazing!


hi there. sorry for this silly question but what's a stretched painter's canvas? i thought its a styrofoam board initially but i realised after scrutinising your picture that it might not be one afterall.


xianHUI it's just a blank painting like you would buy at an art supply store to paint on. they are made of canvas stretched over a wood frame!


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