I made this clock for my daughter, who is learning to tell time, and she LOVES it!
The clock is made of a 9” resin disc with numbers made of resin and alcohol ink, and a separate 4” resin disc with shiny confetti numbers. I made the 4” disc to help her learn to read the minute hand, and I want to be able to remove it in the future for a cleaner look, so I made it as a separate piece that sits in front of the face of the clock.
If you’re interested in buying a clock like this, visit my Etsy shop.
If you’re interested in making your own, I’ve outlined my process below.
- Resin starts off the same consistency as honey, and a chemical reaction between the resin and hardener causes the liquid to become solid (rock solid) over the course of 72 hours
- It’s sticky and messy, so protect your workspace!! You can line your work surface with a large garbage bag
- Silicone is your best friend when working with resin. Silicone repels resin, so when the resin hardens it can be peeled away from silicone. For this reason, I use silicone spatulas to mix my resin with, and silicone measuring cups to measure, mix and pour. I line my work surface with a giant silicone baking mat, and all the molds that I use to pour my resin in are 100% silicone
- To clean your tools (hands included) when you’re done, you’ll want to have rubbing alcohol on hand. With silicone tools, the best thing is to let the resin on them dry and then peel the resin off, then wash with soap and water
- Be sure to work in a dust-free area (and wipe your tools free of any dust or hairs before you begin – including any water stains on the inside of the mold). You’ll want to be mindful of what you wear while you work, for two reasons: 1) you’ll ruin your clothes if you get resin on them 2) if you’re wearing long sleeves, dust and/or hairs can fall into your resin and ruin your piece
- If you want your resin piece to have a high-gloss clear finish, you need a silicone mold that is glossy inside – if the mold is matte inside, your piece with have a frosted matte finish when it dries (this can be corrected afterwards, but you can save yourself an extra step by using a mold with your desired finish)
- Most of the time, your piece is ready to be removed from the silicone mould within 6-12 hours (drying time can vary dramatically depending on the climate in your area – I’ve had some dry within 3 hours and others take 12+ hours). It’s best to remove it once it is hard and not tacky to the touch, then place it on a flat surface (a clean silicone baking mat is ideal) to harden completely for the remainder of the 72 hours
- Occasionally I’ve had issues with my mold sticking to the edge of my resin piece as I remove it, which is a nightmare for two reasons: 1) my mold rips and is rendered useless, 2) my beautiful work of art is ruined around the edge. After mourning the loss of one too many expensive molds, and grieving over the damage to some of my favourite creations, I decided to start taking preventive measures; before using my molds, I spray them with mold release
- If you’re using alcohol ink in your resin, white alcohol ink is the key to the magic; the white ink reacts with the coloured ink, pushing the colour down from the surface in order for the colour to bloom into 3D stalactite-looking beautifulness. Without the white ink, the colour remains translucent and sits on the surface of the resin.
Here’s what you need:
- Art Resin
- Butane torch
- Protective gloves (I use biodegradable latex gloves)
- Measuring cups (I use OXO silicone measuring cups for measuring/mixing/pouring)
- Mixing bowl (not needed if you’re mixing directly in measuring cup)
- Stirring utensil (I use silicone spatulas)
- Toothpicks (optional but helpful when removing air bubbles or any pesky pieces of hair or dust that may sneak in)
- Silicone moulds (the ones I used for the clock face and numbers are shown below, not shown is the mold I used for the 4″ disc)
- Alcohol ink (the brands I currently use are Tim Holtz, Pinata, and Brea Reese
- Rubbing alcohol (for cleanup)
- Something to protect your workspace (large garbage bags, etc.)
- Something to cover your mold so that no dust lands in the resin during while dries (I use a large roasting pan that sits over my mold)
- Clock movement kit (I got mine at Michael’s)
- Washable marker
Here’s what you do:
Make numbers 1-12
- Combine equal parts resin and hardener, then mix slowly for 3-5 mins (it’s best to stir very slowly to minimize the amount of air that gets in and creates bubbles – be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom while mixing). The resin will look cloudy when you begin mixing, and should be clear and streak-free when properly mixed
- Before you pour the resin in the mold, check one more time that there are no hairs or dust in your mold.
- Carefully pour resin into each number in your mold (if you only have one mold, you’ll need to do several pours to make all the numbers for your clock)
- Let it sit for 3-5 minutes, bubbles will rise to the surface and cluster in the middle
- Use your torch to very quickly pass over the resin in order to pop the bubbles, but don’t linger or you’ll burn the resin and/or mold
- Drop alcohol ink, in the colours of your choice, into each number cavity, adding a drop of white ink to each drop of colour
- Cover to protect from dust particles landing in it during the drying time
- Let sit for 6-12 hours, until no longer tacky to the touch
- Carefully remove each number from the mold and place them face up on a clean, smooth and flat surface
*Note that the number mold that I used has a matte finish inside, so the numbers come out with a frosted finish, but they regain the clear glossy resin finish once they’re set inside the clock face.
Make the clock face
- Place numbers facedown inside your round mold – be sure to mirror them so that when you flip it over the numbers are in the right direction
- Just as before, combine equal parts resin and hardener – volumethen mix slowly for 3-5 mins (remember to stir slowly and scrape down the sides and bottom while mixing). Again, the resin will look cloudy when you begin mixing, and should be clear and streak-free when fully mixed
- Carefully pour about 1/3 of your resin into the mold, while trying not to disturb the placement of each number. Now you’ll want to very carefully tilt each number from side to side, in order to make sure there are no air pockets between the numbers and the mold
- Use your torch to get rid of any air bubbles
- Pour another 1/3 of the resin
- Use torch to pop bubbles
- Pour remainder of resin
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes so bubbles rise to the surface, then use torch to pop them – if you see bubble that are trapped to deep for the torch to reach, use a toothpick to bring it to the surface and pop
- Once all bubbles are removed, cover and let harden for 12+ hours
- Remove from mold and let sit on a smooth and flat surface for the remainder of the 72 hour drying time
Make 4″ disc with minutes *optional*
- Repeat same steps followed for clock face *note that if you use number confetti, like I did, that after placing the numbers and pouring the resin, the confetti numbers may float in the resin and therefore their placement can shift during the hardening process (if you look closely at mine, you’ll see that some of the numbers are uneven/crooked)
Once both resin discs are fully cured, it’s time to drill holes into them and bring your clock to life.
- Use a ruler to measure and find the centre point on each of the two discs, mark the spot with a washable marker
- Carefully drill a hole in the centre of each piece, wide enough to thread your clock movement through
- Follow assembly instructions on your clock movement kit
If you give this a try, let me know in the comment section! And tag me on Instagram so I can see your creation!