I'll shamelessly copy what I have written about cross stitching in my other cross stitching tutorials. If you're already familiar with cross stitching, you can go directly to step 4 for the pattern.
I got carried away when making the clock, so I'm sorry there aren't many photos...
Step 1: Tools and Materials
You will need :
- Embroidery floss (black, dark blue, medium blue, light blue, dark green, medium green, light green, yellow, dark yellow, dark red, bright red, light red, brown, orange, flesh, purple, pink, light gray). I used some leftovers I had from previous projects so I don't know what their reference numbers were.
- A cheap clock that you can dismantle and put back together.
- Aida cloth or other fabric fit for cross stitch. The cloth needs to be a little bigger than you clock.
- An embroidery hoop and a small screwdriver will be very helpful but you may do it without hoop (if you use a hoop though, you will need a screwdriver). I prefer wooden ones to elastic plastic ones.
- Scissors and a needle (embroidery needles are usually bigger and less sharp than sewing needles, and their eye is bigger).
- Chequered paper
- A pencil and a ruler.
- A glue gun (optional, I used it to glue the fabric to the background).
Step 2: Creating Your Pattern According to Your Clock
On my clock I was able to remove completely the background. I drew the shape of it on my cloth (it will be on the back of the cloth, so not visible). I figured if I wanted to stitch 12 things for the 12 digits, each had to be around 17 stitches square. Then I tried (and failed) to draw lines dividing the circle into 12 equal parts to know roughly where the images should be. Then I marked the sports with pins.
I looked for sprites from Zelda : the ocarina of time on the internet. I was able to find and use some of them easily (the cuckoo, the chest, the triforce), I had to modify others (the goron jewel) or create them from scratch (the zora jewel, navi). I used Openoffice's spreadsheet for that.
Create a map of your clock on the chequered paper and make paper versions of the sprites to organize them on the map and decide where you want each to be.
Oddly enough it made more sense to me to draw a map of the back of my fabric to know where i'll be planting my needle, so you'll notice on the photo that the right and the left are reversed compared to the final photo of the clock.
Step 3: How to Cross Stitch
Cross stitch is made of little crosses side by side which make a big picture (a bit like pixel art).
The hoop is used to stetch the fabric and make it easier to stitch on it. Take the two circles apart. Put the smaller one on a table and place you fabric over it. Use the screwdriver on the bigger circle to widen it. Put the bigger circle on the smaller circle and trap the fabric between the two. Ajust the fabric before tightening the bigger circle.
Your embroidery floss is made of 6threads. Cut a length of floss. Take two threads out of six and pull them through the eye of your needle. You don't make knots before cross stitching as you do when you sew.
Take a scrap of fabric and practice as follows before actually starting your project.
Pull your thread through a hole in the fabric, from under (the wrong side) to the top (the right side). Your needle must not catch the threads of the fabric. Pull the floss out, but not entirely, and leave a little length under the fabric. Try to visualize the little squares in the fabric.
You are at the bottom left corner of one square, now put your needle across it in the top right corner and pull through (then again, not entirely). You should have made a diagonal half-cross. Put the needle (now it should be under the fabric) through the hole that is just under your last one. As you do this, the floss will make a small loop under the fabric. Trap the loose end of your floss in it. On the right side of your fabric, you are now at the bottom right corner of your square. Put the needle across it into the top left hole. It should make a tiny cross.
When you have large areas to cross stitch, make all the half-crosses before going back and finishing them. It allows you to save floss and to make it look neat. All your crosses should be in the same direction (from bottom left to top right, and then from bottom right to top left, or the opposite, but stay coherent).
You can find several videos on Youtube on how to cross stitch if you think I am not clear enough.
To stop your thread and use another one, finish the half-cross you are doing, then go on the wrong side of the fabric. Stick your needle under a strand of floss, and then under the small loop you just created. Tighten and cut the floss.
Step 4: Stitching the Pattern
Here is the pattern that I made, you can print it or follow it from your screen. To keep track of what you are doing, you may print it, start stitching and colour what you have done every 5 crosses or so with a pencil.
Use the paper map to count the stitches and know where each image is relatively to the others.
Step 5: Putting the Clock Back Together
Now that you have finished stitching, cut out a hole in the middle where the hands of the clock will come out through the fabric. If you can take the background of the clock off, you can put it over your cloth as a stencil for the hole in the middle.
Try to keep the hole as small as possible for it not to be visible. My clock has a little metal washer just over the hole so you can't see it at all.
Glue or tape the cloth to the background of your clock. I wanted to reuse the original background of the clock for that but there were writings on it that were visible through the cloth, so I cut out a cardboard copy of it in a cereals box, then I glued the excess fabric on the back of the carboard background with a glue gun.
Put the clock back together. There you go! Thanks again BunnieBard!