DIY Clock using an Embroidery Hoop


I’m sure I’m not alone when I totally loose track of time when I’m in my sewing room.  This clock is a fun but useful way to keep track of when it’s time to head out of there for school pick up or feeding time at the zoo.  It’s also a fantastic way to display a collection vintage buttons or make as a gift for a crafty friend.  

DIY Clock using an Embroidery Hoop

By Sarah Caporn of Hunting for Ladybugs

 DIY Clock using an Embroidery Hoop

You will need:

  • A 10” / 25cm bamboo embroidery hoop
  • 15” x 15” (35cm x 35cm) square of both fabric and thin batting or felt
  • A clock kit **
  • 12 buttons (or 4 if you only wanted to mark 12, 3, 6 and 9)
  • Handsewing Needle & Thread
  • PVA glue and double sided tape
  • Short length of ribbon (optional)

** Clock kits are inexpensively sourced on eBay with many styles of hands available.  The kits include a battery pack and spindle,some washers and the clock hands.



How to DIY Clock - DIY Clock using an Embroidery Hoop

 1. Using the template provided at bottom of article (make sure to print at 100%/Actual Size),mark the outer hoop into 30° increments (thus dividing 360° into 12 equal segments).  Use the gap just under the tightening screw as your mark for 12 o’clock and, using a light touch and a lead pencil, go around to mark the other numbers.  Separate the outer and inner hoops.

2. Trace around the inner hoop on a thin sheet of cardboard; a cereal box is perfect.

3. Lay down the inner hoop on a flat surface.  Place the batting/felt and then the fabric over the top and slide down the outer hoop over the top.  

4. Tighten the screw while also adjusting the fabric with small tugs.  You want it as taught as you can without twisting or warping the threads. 


How to DIY Clock - DIY Clock using an Embroidery Hoop


5. Using a needle and thread, hand sew a button on each of your increment marks.  I found that two-hole buttons looked better sewn horizontally but it’s totally up to you.  Try to keep each buttons an even distance from the edge of the hoop.  Tug the excess fabric to tighten it again if it loosens.  

Visit for a fantastic video of my go-to handsewing anchor knot.  

6. Find the centre of your hoop and pierce a small hole with sharp scissors.  Trim any fraying threads.  Use some fray stopper if you have any.

7. Cut out your cardboard disc and place it inside the inner hoop recess.  You may need to trim it to fit.  Cut a small hole in the centre of it for the spindle to fit through.



How to DIY Clock - DIY Clock using an Embroidery Hoop

8. Glue the disc onto the batting and allow to dry.  You may choose use double-sided tape here instead.

9. Insert the clock mechanism.  The battery pack and rubber washer are placed on the back with the spindle poking through the central hole.  It helps to use some double-sided tape on the back of the pack before you screw down the nut down on the front to secure everything.  The hands will only fit one way.  The hour hand usually has the larger hole so it fits further down the spindle.  Then the minute hand and finally the second hand fits on top.  

10. Trim away the excess fabric and batting as close as you can to the edge of the hoop.

Your clock is now finished.  Depending on where you’re putting it, you may want to tie a length of ribbon to the tightening screw to hang it on a hook.  Add a battery and away you go.  Enjoy!  





Sarah is the creative genius behind Hunting for Ladybugs.  It is her superpower to teach beginners how to sew at home via your mailbox with her simple project kits.  They’ll come with all the supplies and instructions you’ll need to complete the project, even the needle and thread.  Dust off that sewing machine and rediscover your creativity.

  Head over to her website to hear more –


 DIY Embroidery Hoop Clock




 Save this image and then print out as your template. Remeber to print on the setting **Actual Size**


You may have seen this article in One Thimble Magazine Issue 8

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