Ticktock, it looks like it’s time for you try out the Silhouette Curio™’s amazing etching function. How about you try it out by making a fun Geometric Cactus Clock? This is a quick and easy project that is perfect for anyone who wants to explore all of the exciting etching features of Curio. With such a fabulous clock to draw your eye, you’ll never be late for a party again!

Supplies Needed:

Step One: Design The Cactus

1. Make sure your machine is set up for your Silhouette Curio™ in the Page Setup Panel (Page Size: 5 in. x 7 in.; Cutting Mat: Curio (emboss)). (Note: Both the small and large mats will work for this project.)

2. Open Design ID #189040 (Geometric Cactus) in Silhouette Studio®, and right-click to select Release Compound Path. This will make all of the separate geometric shapes of the cactus individually editable.

3. Open the Emboss Panel. (Yes, we are etching, not embossing, but this is the correct panel for both functions.)

4.  Select each shape one by one and fill with the pattern of your choice. The choices are “Line,” “Concentric,” “Crosshatched,” and “Spiral.” You can also choose to fill in a shape completely. 

(Tip: This part is fun because you can really play with patterns here. Changing the spacing will make the designs bigger or smaller (I went with .03 in. spacing for all of the patterns). If you want to fill in the space completely, just move the selection arrow all the way to the left.)

5. Delete the outline of the cactus that remains, then select all of the shapes, right-click, and click Group.

6. If you are using the smaller Curio mat (8.5 in. x 6 in.), you will need to rotate your design 90 degrees to get it to fit on the metal etching sheet.

7. Scale the cactus design down to fit your metal etching sheet.  

8. Create a 0.125 in. x 0.125 in. circle by using the Shapes tool on the left side. (This circle will show you where to drill your hole later).

9. Select the circle and the cactus. Using the Transform panel, align the circle and the cactus horizontally and vertically.

10. Center your whole design based on the guides for the metal etching sheet.

Step Two: Etch The Design 

1. Place your black metal etching sheet onto the emboss mat of your Silhouette Curio. (It is very important you remember to use the Embossing Mat!)

2. Select the Send tab. Under “Material,” select

  • “Metal Sheets, Etching”
  • Speed – 10
  • Thickness – 18
    (These are the suggested settings from the new Silhouette Handbook, and they worked great for me.)

3. Under Action, change the action to Etch and the tool to Etching Tool. (Be sure the colors match. If your design is outlined in red, make sure the tool you are selecting has the red circle above it.)

4. Assemble your mat. Use the two platforms embossed with “2” and your embossing mat with the metal embossing sheet adhered to it (2+2+embossing mat).

5. Insert the etching blade into the red cartridge.

6. Hit Send, and watch Curio etch away!

Step Three: Cut The Decal

1. Type out the words “Stay Sharp” using Design ID #167752 (Magnolia Font). Change the font size to 80 pt.

2. Right-click the text and select Weld.

3. Cut out the design using a Silhouette gold foil sticker sheet.

Step Four: Assemble Everything

1. Assemble the parts.

2. Glue the black metal etching sheet at a slight angle to the gold metal sheet. Clamp them together, and allow them to dry. Try your best to eyeball them evenly. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

3. Clamp your project to a work table or something sturdy you don’t mind drilling a hole into.

4. Drill a hole in the center of the circle you etched out earlier. (Tip: I used a bit for my hole that was 5/16, but be sure to measure the post of the clock kit you buy because it could be slightly different.)  

5. Attach the “Stay Sharp” gold foil stickers.

6. Assemble the clock according to the kit’s instructions.

7. Add your battery, hang the clock, and stay sharp knowing you’ll now always be on time! (Wink, wink!)

What kind of etched clock design would catch your eye?