Introduction: Hello Kitty Clock - Gift for April #3

About: My name is Jeff and I've been a Maker all my life. I will be posting Instructables of my projects covering woodworking, woodcarving, electronics, 3D Scanning & Printing and 3D Modelling. Since 2001, I have b…

Hi my name is Jeff and I am a Maker. I have a 6 year old niece who LOVES Hello Kitty, so I decided to make a one of a kind gift for her. My Hello Kitty clock design mashes the art of wood burning with the new technology of 3D printing. I love exploring the use of such new technology with my traditional woodworking projects.

Step 1: Tools, Materials and Design Concepts

Tools & Materials:

  • 8"x10" wood painting canvas
  • clock parts
  • wood burner with a skew tip
  • computer and internet access (for Tinkercad)
  • access to a 3d printer and filament
  • graphite transfer paper and red pen
  • acrylic craft paint (white, pink, yellow & black) & brushes
  • fine sand paper
  • 5 minute epoxy

I used my Razortip wood burner and the 3D printer at my Library's Maker Space to make this project. All the materials were purchased at my local hobby store for a budget of $20.

I still prefer to get my initial design ideas out of my head by sketching on paper. I use traditional draftsman tools for this step. The attached time lapse video at the end shows my design process.

Step 2: 3D Designs and Prints

Tinkercad is my goto tool for my projects that need 3D printed parts. It is a free cloud based easy to use design tool. You will need a computer with Crome/Firefox and a high speed connection. I use an iMac at my Library's Maker Space. If you have not used Tinkercad, first go through their included tutorials.

I use the built in geometric shapes to construct the Hello Kitty's bow. I size and modify the parts to get the look I want. I add the built in letters to spell my niece's name to make the gift personal. I add April on top of the bow off setting the letters for the look I like.

I initially was going to use smaller bows for the clock numbers, but the look did not appeal to me. So using the same technique I designed a flower for the clock numbers. I copied it 12 times then added the numbers 1-12.

I used my Library's Maker Space 3D printer to print the parts. The colour of the filament did not matter as I will paint the parts later.

The time lapse video at the end shows how I designed and printed these custom clock parts.

Step 3: Transfer the Design

First sand the wood canvas panel with fine sandpaper to make a smooth surface for wood burning. Brush the dust off before transferring the image.

Using white graphite paper I trace the design onto the panel. I use a red pen to see where I have already marked. I like white graphite paper as the lines do not show on the finished piece.

Step 4: Wood Burn the Pattern

Before starting be sure to read and understand your wood burners instructions. Work safe in a well ventilated area.

Using a wood burner with skew tip I redraw the design tracing my transferred pattern. Take your time rotating the canvas so your wrist can move naturally. Any mistakes can be sanded off and retouched.

I create a 3D effect by stippling a gradient pattern around the edges using only the tip of the burner pen.

See my maker video at the end for my technique. You can also see my Batman Clock Instructable for more wood burning techniques.

Step 5: Painting the Wood Panel Canvas

I use acrylic craft paint for all my projects. To allow the wood grain to show through, I dilute the acrylic paint to a wash. Put on thin coats, repainting in layers if a stronger colour is desired. The burnt outline helps prevent the paint from bleeding outside the pattern.

Step 6: Painting the Clock Parts

To paint the 3D printed parts and clock hands I again use craft acrylic paint, but this time I do not dilute the paint. The parts will need several coats. Using a hair dryer helps speed up the drying time between coats. I choose pink, my nieces favourite colour, and purple a common colour of previous gifts I made her. (Check my you tube channel link at the end for the previous gifts (owl bank & tool box) I made for my niece.)

Using a dry brushing technique, an old paint brush is dipped in white acrylic paint, then tapped on newspaper to remove most of the paint. This dry brush is used to add highlights to the letters and numbers to help them stand out.

When I make something as a gift, I always add a personal message as a signature. I used Tinkercad and 3D printer to make a custom label to attach to the back.

Step 7: Drill the Hole for the Clock Shaft

I used my drill press to make the clock motor hole, but a hand drill will also work. I matched the clock shaft size to the drill bit diameter. Take caution not to damage the completed paint job.

Step 8: Glue on the Clock Parts

Using 5 minute epoxy I glue down the clock numbers and bow. My experience has been when bonding plastic and wood, epoxy works the best.

Step 9: Install the Clock, Hands and Battery

Following the instructions with your clock motor, install the parts.

Finally insert a fresh battery to operate the clock.

Step 10: Maker Video and Links

My Maker Video:

The clock parts can be downloaded from my Thingiverse page:

My Thingiverse files

Please follow my Instructables to see past and future projects for wood working, electronics and 3D design.

My Blog covers the current projects on my workbench: My Blog

And my youtube channel has other Maker Videos: My Youtube Channel

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