One of the things that really excited people about the Cricut Maker was this magical knife blade that was featured in a lot of the ads…it promised to cut wood. Ooh the possibilities! Sadly, when the Maker was launched, the knife blade wasn’t ready and the – very enthusiastic – Cricut community were deeply disappointed and even angry.
This has been my first cutting machine, so I didn’t feel angry – there’s plenty to experiment with and there are still plenty of things to make. The deep cut blade cuts materials up to 1.5mm wide, including mount board (I think it’s called posterboard in the US…but I might be wrong!), so I experimented with this for this clock project.
I’ve made several clocks using this method and I recommend experimenting with designs (I’ll be showing you how to make a circular clock with an op-art pattern later in the CraftAGoGo 30 Days of Crucial Crafting series!) However, for this clock I have used my own rainbow unicorn design – you can buy it here if you want to recreate it.
Finished dimensions: 15.5″ high x 8.5″ wide (at the widest points)
You will need:
- 17″ x 10″ (43cm x 25cm) piece of mount board (I cut mine from an A2 sheet)
- 34″ x 10″ adhesive silver-coloured vinyl (cut in two halves – I took mine from a roll)
- Adhesive vinyl in white, black, rose gold, mint green, yellow, pink, lilac and blue – A4 (that’s 8.3″ x 11.7″ or 29.7cm x 21cm) will provide you with plenty to make more than one clock – but your scraps drawer may already have enough!
- Quartz clock mechanism
- Our SVG File
Preparing the Pattern:
- Open a New Project and click on ‘Import Images’.
- Choose the file you’ve downloaded – in this case it’s ‘rainbowunicornclock.svg’.
- Click on ‘Ungroup’. You should see four large unicorn shapes as shown below:
- The one on the left shows the main design – the sections that need to be cut out of different coloured vinyl.
- The blue shape is cut out of the mountboard to form the structure of the clock.
- The two red shapes (one of them is slightly larger than the other and the reverse of it) show the silver-coloured vinyl pieces that will cover the front and back of the mountboard (hiding the rough edges and making the whole thing appear neater) before you apply the final design. (Also please note – red and blue are just to indicate that these are different materials – I’m not suggesting you cut them in red or blue! I used white mountboard and silver-coloured adhesive vinyl).
That’s it…you’re now ready to start cutting!
NB: Normally, at this stage, I would Attach the pieces of the unicorn design, for later layering – however, I have decided that there will be NO layering in this design, as it’s much easier to follow where to put the separate pieces based on the edges of the larger piece of covered mountboard than it is to get everything stuck on transfer tape. (Though admittedly a steady hand is a must!)
Cutting out the pieces:
- Your screen will show you the layout for the first mat – I’m never quite sure how it chooses the order, but in my case it chose the white face shape first. This is to be cut from white vinyl.
- Here follows the order that my machine threw the pieces up in! The eyes and nostrils (from black vinyl) came next:Though the position of this may look strange (as we didn’t Attach our pieces), this is because the face of this unicorn is super-easy to put together! If it had been more complex, I really would recommend layering – but in this case that would have been more trouble than it was worth!
- Then we had the unicorn horn, which I cut from rose gold vinyl:
- The yellow section of the mane (I cut from lemon yellow vinyl). Initially, the Cricut had chosen a rather funny position for it, that would have been very wasteful in terms of vinyl! So I clicked on the mat and chose the rotate symbol to position it closer to the edge as follows:I’m not going to go through the rest of the vinyl, except to say that eventually we got to…
- The mountboard: This deserves special attention! First of all, you’ll need to change the settings of the material used. I use the Magnetic 6mm setting. It requires the deep cut blade and it cuts repeatedly – maybe six times! And the movements are quite jerky. For this reason you’ll need to use a *very* clean, *very* sticky mat as it’s likely to want to move around a bit. Go on – give it a special clean just in case! You really need to stick the mountboard down firmly (sometimes I even use repositionable temporary glue dots in strategic places) or else it will come loose and start slashing indiscriminately! When I do this I watch the card with the attention others give their newborns – even holding the mountboard in place as it cuts if necessary! Ultimately, something like this will emerge:
It’s not too untidy, but I think it needs smartening up, so I then cover it with a layer of vinyl before starting on the actual unicorn design. Which brings us to the vinyl covering pieces, which are in bright red on the mat, but (if you’re copying my colour scheme) are to be cut out in silver-coloured adhesive vinyl:
There are two covering pieces – one of them is slightly larger than the other and the reverse of it. Once cut out, they’ll look something like this:
Along with these two pieces and the piece of mountboard, by the time you’ve completed cutting you will have the following collection of vinyl pieces!
Now, we’re ready to assemble your rainbow unicorn clock!
Assembling the Rainbow Unicorn Clock Base:
- First of all, we’re going to take the mountboard and lay it onto the slightly larger piece of silver-coloured vinyl, leaving a margin of equal length around the sides, and ensuring that the holes are lined up. Take your time!
- Rub carefully over the vinyl to eliminate air bubbles while attaching it to the mountboard. Then cut lots of small slits in the overlapping vinyl before folding over the edges as shown (you might find you have to improvise with the corners a little, but the aim is to make the edges as neat as possible:
- Get it to a stage of tidiness you’re happy with. I neatened the corners and trickier areas of mine (especially the circular section at the bottom of the mane) by cutting fragments of the remaining silver-coloured vinyl into narrow strips of ‘tape’ and securing them over the areas as shown:
- Then, take the other, slightly smaller piece of silver vinyl and position it on top of the mountboard piece, matching the circles and edges carefully. This requires some patience and a steady hand!
- Again, smooth over the vinyl to eliminate airbubbles, and cut any edges that overlap. You should now have a tidy base for your unicorn design!
Putting Together the Rainbow Unicorn Clock Pattern:
- Now, it’s a fairly simple process of putting the pieces together like a jigsaw…but again, it requires a steady hand and some patience. You might have to lay the vinyl down gently so you can peel it off a few times to get it just perfect. It’s best to begin matching the holes on the base and the green part of the mane, using the sides of the base as a guideline (I do apologise for appearing again in the reflection here!):
- From here, line up the yellow piece next to it.
- Then, the pink section can go on. This one takes a bit more attention to position the curl of the mane:
- Next, the white face of the unicorn is added:
- Followed by the blue and lilac fringe pieces and the rose gold horn:
6. Finally…the eye and the nostrils are put into place. And don’t forget the ear. I nearly did!
7. Now, all you need to do is insert your clock mechanism. That’s a simple process of inserting the centre of the clock piece and sliding on the washer (optional) and screwing on the nut before positioning the hands. (Though do follow the manufacturer’s instructions).
You now have a finished clock! Stop and admire your handiwork!
Supplies I used:
- Mountboard piece (cut from an A2 sheet) from a local shop – you can buy this
- Oracal 651 vinyl in White (010), Ice blue (056), Mint (055), Black (070), Soft pink (045), Brimstone Yellow (025), and Lilac (042) (Taken from A4 sheets, but you only need small amounts).
- Scrap of rose gold vinyl from Wilko
- Metallic silver-coloured vinyl from Wilko (to cover the base)
- Quartz clock mechanism
- Our Cut File
Fancy having a go yourself? Get your hands on our rainbow unicorn clock cut files!