The best CurlyRed Christmas present ever.

Published: December 29, 2008

My amazing husband, Mark Ludwig, created this for me:

(sorry for the picture quality-it was early! and I couldn't use a flash due to the finish)

Mark was kind enough to write out his process:

December 19
1. First, I enlarged the CurlyRed Logo to approx. 2' x 3' in Photoshop. Because the image was much smaller originally, I used the Sharpen filter to crisp the edges. I also erased all outlying pixels and cleaned up the edge.

2. I took the file to Kinkos and had them print the logo out in color, full-size.

3. In the meantime, I used a table saw to cut a piece of luon (about 3/16" thick) to the 2' x 3' rough in that I needed. I then spray painted the wood a deep red. I did 2 coats on the front. I also spray painted the clock hands white, doing 2 coats on each side.

December 22
4. After the logo was here at work, I used scissors to rough in the edges. I knew I wanted about 3/4" all the way around the logo in white so after I roughed them in and freehand drew them, I used an X-acto knife to cut them cleanly.

5. I then used Super 77 spray adhesive and sprayed the back of the print and used a burnisher to mount the print onto the luon. After pushing out all of the air bubbles, I allowed the glue to dry for a few minutes.

6. I applied a light coat of Modge Podge to the front of the print, making sure to cover the edges sufficiently. The print started to bubble a little, but I still liked how it looked.

December 23
7. The next morning, the bubbling had gone away (I left it overnight in a warm room). I then applied another thin coat of Modge Podge to the print.

8. After that dried, I used a pencil and drew a freehand outline (again about 3/4") on the red of the wood to mark my cutting line. Using my jigsaw, I started carefully roughing in the shape.

9. I clamped down the piece and would only cut a little at a time. At first I was following the curves, but then I started sectioning off the piece and making straight cuts into my line, and then cutting little pieces off.

December 24
10. After I had completed all of the cutting, I used a Dremel on the edges and slowly sanded them down. Once I had the shape I needed, I used 600 grit wet sand paper and sanded the edges smooth.

11. I carefully laid the piece on its front and spray painted the back of the piece. I put 2 coats on this and then sprayed 2 coats on the edges.

12. After the paint was dry, I applied a coat of Modge Podge to the back and edges to seal them.

13. The last step was to drill through the piece and add the clock. I marked my spot with a pencil, and drilled through the hole with a small bit. I then drilled through it again with the proper bit for the diameter of the clock piece.

14. I cleaned out the hole with a cylindrical file and then pushed the clock through the luon. I attached the nut, and tightened it down. Then I attached the hour, minute, and second hands. The clock was now complete!

15. The only thing left to do was wrap it up so you could not tell what it was and (hopefully) be able to hide it and surprise Kendall on Christmas morning, which I did!

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