Felt clock faces


Why felt for a clock face? I like the look of felt.  It’s naturally non-glare, unlike most acrylics, which is helpful when trying to read a clock face.
This project uses stiffened felt, see my other article about using school glue to do this here. There may be some overlap information wise.


You need just enough glue and water solution that you can soak your pieces completely. The glue to water ratio doesn’t have to be too high to be effective. I used 50% glue/50% water with good results. Remove all the protective paper before putting your felt in, as you want all the surfaces to soak in the solution. I pressed the felt into the tray and flipped it once to make sure the felt was saturated.


Once it was well soaked, I let the felt drip as much excess glue as possible back into the tray. Depending on the shape, you can also squeeze with your thumb and forefinger to force more of it out. Lastly, you can lay the damp felt onto some paper towels. What you want to avoid is too much glue on the surface of the felt, as it can leave glossy areas.


Using wax paper I left the laser cut felt out in the sun to dry completely. If you have the time, it doesn’t hurt to flip them.

make sure the felt is in the shape you want it to dry in.  For example, this black lattice work piece was a little distorted after I placed it on the wax paper; I had to take a minute and carefully reposition it into a circle.

Smaller Note: The felt will shrink slightly as it dries. It’s not much, and shouldn’t be too big of a deal.
If it’s a hot day, you might notice the felt developing a slight bow, don’t let this concern you, as we are going  to glue the pieces together and press them with a heavy weight.

Here’s an example of the stiffened felt. It feels hard in the hand, and has little give in the surface.


Taking the felt back inside, I used a foam roller to apply some felt glue to the back of the black portion. It doesn't hurt to dampen the roller to help prevent all the glue from being sucked into the foam. Cover the entire back, carefully flip it over, and align the clock shaft holes. Lay a piece of wax paper on a flat surface, place the felt onto it, and then lay another piece of wax paper on top. Now find something heavy to help press the felt layers together.


I like to use heavy coffee table books for this sort of thing. A New History of Photography has helped me squish many things over the years. I also find having some large flat ceramic tiles is handy, to make sure surfaces don't take on any unwanted textures.


The end result is a clock face made out of laser cut wool felts. The clock hands are made out of painted PETG plastic shown here.
The felt should stay rigid until you get it wet, or try to wash your clock for some reason. Time will tell how the felt will do in direct sunlight and I wonder if changes in humidity will affect the bond between the two layers.
Stay tuned for several other projects that involve stiffened felt, including making your own felt bowls to hold your keys and spare change.


Below are some additional pictures of the red and white clock, the steps were similar.


At first, I tried to soak the red felt with its paper on, to hold the pieces together. The result was uneven coating and a mess. I pulled the paper off and let the small pieces soak separately.





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