Introduction: Second Layer Clock: Intro

The background behind this clock is as follows: there's an excellent book series about a girl named Ren Crown which takes place in a magical dimension parallel to our own (this other dimension is called the Second Layer; ours is the First). In the Second Layer, as you might imagine, many things are different from our world, including the system for telling time. Their day is also divided into 24 hours, but their names are based on the zodiac and the clock face shows all 24 hours. Since I've had plenty of time to obsess over this series (which you really should try -, I decided I wanted my own Second Layer clock to hang on the wall. This instructable will show you how to make your own, though if you found this by mistake, use whatever clock face you like.

Note: I am not affiliated with Anne Zoelle, and my endorsement of her books is completely voluntary. I do want to thank her, however, for kindly responding to my email asking for more details about the clock. The extra information she sent has made the clock look even cooler.

Step 1: Materials

You will need:

Clock base (I used an 8" diameter round wood plaque from Michael's)
Router or forstner bit (if your clock face is thicker than the clock movement's maximum dial thickness)
Craft paint
Spray adhesive
Clear acrylic spray coating
Color printer
Compass (optional)
X-Acto Knife
Needlenose pliers
24 hour clock movement and hands (I got mine here:

Step 2: Hollow Out Clock Back

Based on the material you're using as a clock base, you may need to make the body thinner in the center to accommodate the clock movement. The movement I bought had a maximum dial thickness of 1/4", meaning that I needed wood that was less than 1/4" to fit the screw part through the face and still have room to attach the hex nut. Since the plaque I bought was thicker than this, I needed to use either a router or a forstner bit to cut a hole partway into the back of the clock as shown in the picture. In my case, I used a forstner bit to make several round cuts into the wood which eventually gave me a space large enough to fit the clock movement. If you go with a thinner piece of wood, feel free to skip this step.

Step 3: Sand Forever

This step is pretty standard. If you have a wooden clock face, sand it using progressively less coarse pieces of sandpaper (lower numbers to start, then work your way up to higher numbers).

Step 4: Paint the Clock Base

If your dial doesn't cover the entire base, paint the clock base to protect it and allow the dial to blend in. I chose white because that's the color of the background of the face I designed. Use several coats if necessary to cover the bare wood.

Step 5: Print and Cut Out Dial

The PDF of the clock face I designed is attached. If you're using a different design, format it to be high enough resolution to print (at least 300 dpi), and ensure it's the same size as your clock dial. This file will print a clock face that is 8 inches in diameter.

I printed mine on standard printer paper, but I don't recommend it. Card stock would have behaved better, since mine wound up wrinkling slightly due to the moisture content in the glue, sealer, and/or atmosphere.

Finally, cut out the clock face, leaving a slight border around the outermost circle.

Step 6: Attach the Dial to the Clock Base

In a ventilated space (and preferably with some sort of face mask), use spray adhesive to attach the dial to the clock base. Once it has dried, use several coats of clear acrylic spray to seal the face. I originally intended to go with a decoupage method, but found that with the paper I was using, the paper wrinkled too much. If that's a comfortable technique for you, feel free to experiment.

Step 7: Make a Center Hole

Measure to find the center of the clock face (in this case, it was pretty easy since my design already has a line across the equator which I could measure along). Mark this point, then optionally use a compass to mark a circle around this point that is the diameter of your clock movement's screw piece. Use an X-Acto knife to cut out the circle, so that when you drill through the clock the paper doesn't tear.

Finally, drill a hole for the screw piece to go through. I recommend drilling down through the front of the clock, which should help the paper tear less. Also, it's best to start with a very small drill bit and slowly work your way up, since this will help prevent the clock from splintering, and help prevent the dial from tearing. In my case, the clock movement was 5/16" but I had to widen the hole very slightly to get the screw to fit. Apologies for the missing photo of this final step.

Step 8: Assemble the Clock

Push the clock movement through the face from the back as in the instructions, aligning the hanger with the top of the clock. On the front side, use needlenose pliers to tighten the hex nut onto the face until the clock movement will no longer rotate. Continue to follow the instructions to assemble the hands and finally, put in a battery and hang your clock on the wall. Now your home is slightly more magical.

Finally, if you haven't already, go read The Awakening of Ren Crown, The Protection of Ren Crown and The Rise of Ren Crown and review them on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. (I promise the author has no idea I'm pushing her books).