, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This project was probably the hardest and took the most time of all the projects I have done to date (and there are a number of projects I haven’t posted yet) but I think it turned out really great! It’s an oversized time turner (or hourglass). I saw this when I was scouring the web for fun projects to do for my fellas’ Harry Potter party. This wasn’t super relevant to Harry Potter but I thought it looked so cool that I just had to try it.

This project took me about a month to do. It shouldn’t take you as long as it took me because I’m sure you’re not a big wuss like me. ūüôā The reason it took me a whole month was because I kept putting off doing the next step when I would finish one because I was so nervous it wouldn’t turn out well. Does that ever happen to anyone else when they’re crafting? Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of steps, and a looooot of drying time. But most of it was me procrastinating because I was a scaredy-baby.

Styrofoam CirclesTo start, I cut out two different sized circles (you will need two of each). You can see on the smaller one, I made an indent with one of the bottles. I did this on both of my small circles, it will be useful when you go to put it all together later.

I just found a couple bowls that Styrofoam Circles Step 2were the sizes I wanted so I could trace nice, uniform circles to cut out. Just keep in mind that for the larger circle, it will have to be large enough to fit the dowel rods you will be using. Note РI pressed the rods in just one of the larger circles. I waited until after I had everything else in place before I pressed the dowel rods into the other large circle. I just wanted to make sure everything would line up and this seemed to be a good way to accomplish it. (It turned out I was right, phew!)

I chose three dowel rods, sorry I don’t remember what size, they weren’t too big though. Since I used Styrofoam, I didn’t want to add too much weight. I knew the sand would add a lot of weight so I wanted to keep the dowels as light as I could. Just don’t go too thin, you want to have some good stability and you want it to look proportional.

I glued the two pieces (let’s call them the lower two circles) together before I sealed them. I didn’t want to waste time sealing the part that wouldn’t be painted. I used an industrial adhesive but you can find a glue that works for you. Just be sure to test the glue on some of your scrap Styrofoam to make sure it will hold together and also to¬†make sure it¬†won’t melt your Styrofoam.

Then I “sealed” them. To do this, I mixed Elmer’s glue and a bit of water together and then painted it all over the circles. I just eyeballed it so I don’t have the measurements or ratio, sorry. I used to work for a company that built model train tables so I used to mix glue and water professionally. Not to brag or anything. ūüėČ But you want the consistency to be a bit more runny then normal glue.

This is where the majority of the time was spent, waiting for the glue to dry. Even less exciting than paint drying. But I would do a coat on one side, let it dry, flip it over and do a coat on the other side and let it dry and so on. I did about three maybe four coats. I did this¬†for a couple reasons. The first was to help fill in some of the holes so I wouldn’t have to paint a ton of coats. The second reason is to¬†keep the paint from eating the Styrofoam. Many types of paint will eat at Styrofoam (especially spray paint) so if you plan on using that you will want to do a lot of coats of the glue. You can test your paint out on scraps of Styrofoam, it’s always a good idea.

*Side note, I didn’t seal the large, top circle yet. I wanted to wait until I pushed the dowels into it before I sealed it. This added a couple extra steps and extra drying time but I didn’t want to mess up the seal later if I did the glue first and then pushed in the dowels. So I waited until after I pushed the rods into the Styrofoam.

Next I worked on the plastic bottles part of the hourglass. I cut the bottom off of two, Plastic bottle steptwo-liter bottles. I made them as close to the same size as I could so it would look proportionate. I then took some plastic I hoarded, er, I mean, saved from packages and other things for a divider between the two bottles. I traced the top of the bottle and cut out the plastic circle. I poked a small hole in the circle to test it with the sand. I held it in place on one of the bottles and poured some sand into the top and let it fall out into a bottle. I made it a little bit larger at a time until the sand came out at the speed I was happy with.

Once that was done, I glued the plastic disk to one bottle with my industrial glue, let it dry, then glued the other bottle to the other side of the plastic circle. You can see from the picture what it looked like when I was done.

Next I sized my dowel rods. They were way too long so I had to trim them down so they would work. I also sanded them so they would sit nice and flat in the Styrofoam.

Wood Dowels Step 1       Wood Dowel Step 2








Then I painted the bottom two circles, the small, top circle and the dowel rods. When they were coated to the color I wanted, I started the nerve wracking part of gluing everything together.

Time Turner Step 4¬†Time Turner Step 5I’m not¬†afraid to admit that I¬†was a nervous wreck. And I will also admit that it fell apart, well, a number of times. The dowel rods wouldn’t stand up by themselves and I tried all sorts of things to keep it together (both literally and figuratively) while I worked on the top circle. It was a disaster and at one point the bottles even came unglued and sand went everywhere. But I didn’t give up. I re-glued the bottles, pressed¬†the dowels into the top bigger circle, then¬†finished up the sealing and painting of the final top circle and finished gluing everything together.

Oversized Time Turner