A DIY Inspired by the Sands of Time Hourglass
My son enjoys action-adventure games and I still remember him spending hours playing the Prince of Persia. If memory serves me, the game is all about an unnamed prince, who finds a dagger and an hourglass while invading some unsuspecting city somewhere in the desert. Now I’m not much of a gamer; Sudoku is more my thing, but I fell in love with the “Sands of Time” hourglass and I’ve always wanted to make something similar. So this post is all about how I finally got my ducks in a row, erhhmmm I mean broken wine glasses 😀 to create this Sands of Time inspired hourglass.
It’s such a novel addition to our decor and quite the talking point too. Everyone wants to know how on earth I managed to get a sandcastle and treasure chest inside. Shhhh, it’s a secret but I’ll share all in a moment or two 😉
And that tarnished outer frame goes so well with a rusty ceiling tile framed portrait of a good friend of ours who sadly passed away.
I’m hoping my Sands of Time hourglass is more than just a decorative piece though. I really wanted to convey a subtle message of how time slips away from all of us. Especially now that all our worlds have been turned topsy turvy. One moment your building sandcastles and the next you’re buried in the sand. Feel free to add your own special touch if you have a few broken wine glasses lying around and want to make one too.
And I have the IBC to thank for finally getting my hourglass vision out of my head and onto a shelf for all to see.
What’s the IBC all about
The IBC, or International Blogger’s Club, is a group of bloggers from all over the world who challenge each other to make something using a common theme. Last month’s challenge was “Rock and Roll” and we had so much fun turning packing tape rolls into boho storage. If you haven’t guessed already, this month’s challenge is “Sands of Time”.
Just a heads up, this is a long post since I thought I’d go all out and share a smorgasbord of ideas with you all. Not only will I show you how to turn broken wine glasses into an hourglass but I’ll also share two mini-tutorials to make a tiny sandcastle and that little treasure chest too.
Okay, before we get to the tutorials, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What You Need
For the hourglass
- Two equally sized broken wine glasses
- Clear Epoxy Glass Glue
If you don’t have a bunch of crazy friends that break wine glasses, this quick video will show you just how easy it is to cut the stem off a wine glass so you can use them to make an hourglass too.
For the rusty Sands of Time hourglass casing or frame
- Balsa wood (thin, medium and thick)
- Small nuts and other décor bits
- Brown craft paint
- Coarse spice (Masala)
- Wood Glue
- ½ a Rubber ball
- Mod Podge
- 3 Skewers
For the sandcastle and treasure chest
- Florist Foam
- Fine sand
- Spray adhesive
- Ice cream sticks
- Wooden tongue depressor
- Jewelry wire
- Wood stain
- Small skeleton hand (optional)
How to Make a Sands of Time Hourglass Using Broken Wine Glasses
I’ll start with the fun and easy bits? Making the tiny treasure chest and miniature sandcastle that will go inside the hourglass.
How to make a tiny treasure chest
Start by making the outer frame or bones of the treasure chest using the rounded edges of a tongue depressor for the sides and two equally sized, straight-cut pieces for the front of the chest. Glue the bits together as shown below.
Paint the basic frame black. This step is optional but it does help to create depth to the finished piece. Use the treasure chest frame to cut small thin ice cream sticks to size. We’ll use these ice cream sticks to clad the treasure chest in the next step.
Glue the cut ice cream sticks to the outside of the treasure chest and over the curved edges to form a lid. Leave a small gap between the “lid” and the body of the treasure chest to mimic a half-open chest.
Making a sandy mound for the treasure chest to sit on
Press the wine glass into some florist foam to “cut” a mound shape that will go inside the hourglass. You can use your fingers or a craft knife to shape the mound so it looks like the chest has been buried.
Aging the treasure chest and adding details
Paint or stain the treasure chest. I used a little of our awesome homemade rusty nail muti to stain this one. To add metal details around the miniature treasure chest, cut small pieces of jewelry wire, and hammer them flat.
Glue the flattened wire around the tiny treasure chest to finish her off.
Right, that’s the tiny treasure chest all done. Next up; the miniature sandcastle.
Making a miniature sandcastle
Use a sharp craft knife to cut small blocks of florist foam into block-ish castle shapes. Florist foam is really easy to cut and you can use all kinds of interesting tools to make indents. For the sandcastles, I used a thin ice cream stick to shape the castle door. The little windows holes were made with a piece of metal that just happened to be lying around 😉
Add a small castle wall by cutting another piece of craft foam and shape and mold it with whatever tools you have on hand.
Spray the florist foam sandcastle bits with hi-tac spray adhesive and dip them, and the mound you cut earlier for the treasure chest, in fine beach sand.
Leave to dry and repeat if necessary until the florist foam is covered completely. Easy right?!!!! 😀
Alrighty then, that’s the inside bits of the Sands of Time hourglass all done. Now for the tricky part. Making the casing or frame and turning those broken wine glasses into an hourglass
How to make the hourglass casing or frame
For the outer casing or frame that holds the hourglass in place, I used balsa wood in various thicknesses (1/8″, 1/4″, and 1/2″). Trace the wine glass rim onto the medium-thick balsa wood (1/4″).
Add about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch (1 cm – 2 cm) and draw a bigger circle on the thickest balsa wood. Subtract 2/8 of an inch (5 mm) from the original circle and draw another circle on the thinnest piece of balsa wood. Use a sharp craft knife to cut the circles out. You’ll need 2 of the biggest circles, and 1 each of the medium and small circles. Sand lightly to smooth.
Cut a rubber ball in half to form the domed top of the Sands of Time hourglass. I just used the leftover piece from when I made the ladybug mosaic.
Paint everything including the three skewers and any other bits you’ll use to create interest on the hourglass casing a dark brown.
Make three evenly spaced marks on the two largest circles. Check that the wine glass fits inside the marks with enough space for the skewers.
Drill a hole all the way through on the marks and check that the skewers and the two broken wine glasses fit nicely.
If your skewers are a bit long (like mine), use a craft knife to mark the skewers, take the casing apart, and trim the skewers to size.
Glue the rubber ball to the smallest circle and add the medium circle and one of the large circles underneath to form the domed top of the hourglass casing. Glue on any beads, baubles, or nuts on if you want to make your casing fancier 😉 I added a few small nuts around the edges of the larger circles and a large spacer bead on top of the dome.
Glue the skewers into the holes you made earlier in the bottom circle. Use this spicey trick to rustify the hourglass casing if that’s the look you’re going for. Or, if you prefer you can just paint the casing. I went for the rusty look 😉
Turning broken wine glasses into an hourglass
Repurposing broken wine glasses to make the Sands of Time hourglass isn’t difficult but it does require a little bit of patience while you wait for the glue to dry. You can either use wine glasses where the stems have broken off or you can buy stemless wine glasses. Remember to save those stems for this amazing planter idea or this one. It does help if the wine glass stems broke off cleanly, but if yours are a little jagged, use wet 60 or 80 grit sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood to straighten them out.
It’s really, really important to use the right glue. It needs to set clear, be really strong, and dry quickly. Unless you want to spend hours holding the two wine glasses together 😉 I tried E6000 (it dries too slowly) and Loctite Super Gel (not strong enough) before finding this awesome stuff. Good old Quickset Clear Pratley is manufactured right here in sunny South Africa 😀
Once the wine glasses are joined together firmly you can add more layers of glue to fill up any gaps or spaces. Let the glue dry completely between each application.
Putting everything together
Wash the glued together wine glasses with dish detergent and water and dry. Wipe the inside and outside with an alcohol-soaked paper towel to remove any soap residue, dirt, and oil. Place the miniature treasure chest on the bottom of the hourglass frame and slide the glued together wine glasses over the top.
Pour some sand inside the top portion of the hourglass and add the sandcastle. Place the top domed circle on top of the hourglass and line the skewers up. Glue them in place to finish off the Sands of Time hourglass.
And that’s it 😀 Place the hourglass on a shelf with a few of your favorite things.
Want to know what those two Tillies on the side of the hourglass are called? Their official Latin name is Tillandsia Caput-Medusae, or for us non-Latin speakers a Medusa air plant. Some people call it the Octopus air plant. Appropriate for this Sand of Time hourglass right 😀
And since our friend Willie, the Green man is watching over them I know they’re in safe hands.
If you like the idea of turning broken wine glasses into a Sands of Time hourglass, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring 😉
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
Before you go, don’t forget to go have a look-see at what my friends from the IBC have done with their “Sands of Time” challenge.
- Unique Creation by Anita – Upcycling a Sand Timer
- Interior Frugalista – Turning Special Memories into Watercolor Prints
- Birdz of a Feather – Making Sand Candles
- A Crafty Mix – that would be me 😉
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
30 thoughts on “A DIY Inspired by the Sands of Time Hourglass”
I absolutely LOVE it!!! Well done. Visiting from Funky Junk.
SO happy to hear that Zefi, thank you
My mind is BLOWN with this AMAZING tutorial! I’d love for you to share over at our Wednesday to Sunday weekly Creative Linky Party https://creativelybeth.com/creative-crafts-linky-party-5-join-in-the-fun/
Have a great weekend!
Thank you for the invite Beth. I’ll pop around. It sounds like fun
Holey moley… this hourglass project is beyond epic. Seriously Michelle… what in the WORLD?! I love visiting here because my mind ALWAYS gets blown. The patience you must have.
I’ve featured this project in this weekend’s DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 543. Thanks for linking up!
Awwww Donna, you don’t know what that means to me. Thank you so much and when it comes to patience, I’m the worst. Especially when I have to wait for glue to dry. I’m always fiddling and messing with it 😀
I’m amazed at your project! I didn’t realize you made the hour glass with wine glasses until I read the post. You even made the treasure chest! Great project and result. I’ll have to look for sand colored florist brick, usually I see the green product around here.
I’m so happy you like it, Jeanne. WRT to the sandy florist foam, it is a bit more difficult to find than the normal green one, but the good news is that you can use any craft paint to paint the foam 😀 Make the indents first and then paint to avoid having any green bits showing through after you’ve added the sand.
Your creativity never ceases to amaze. Its inspiring because of all the extra details you add to everything. It tells a story. Beautiful piece Michelle, no wonder its a conversation starter.
I really had fun putting this hourglass together, Lee and you know how much I love making teeny tiny things 😉
Wow, what an amazing idea!
Thanks so much, Linda 😀
Wow, michelle you put so much thought into this project. Your attention to the small details are incredible. I did wonder how you would move it around without breaking the sand castle, now I know. I had to have a giggle at the pratley putty because it was something we always had in our home. I do think you need to cut down on the wine because you seem to break a lot of glasses. ??
Pratley Putty is the best. I normally use Loctite for all our miniatures, but I think the surface areas at the bottom of the wine glass were just too small (or the tops to heavy) for the Loctite to find a good, stable grip. And would you believe me if I told you the hubby and I don’t drink wine? We love our beer though 😉
You are so talented. This is so charming.
Thank you, Maria 😀
Very clever! If I hadn’t read how you made it, I would have sworn it was an antique piece and marveled at how those miniatures ended up inside.
Yay!!! MIssion accomplished 😉 Thanks so much Lisa
What a great project! Love Willie and the octopus air plant. They are perfect with the hourglass. I love making great projects stuff out of other things like this. The floral foam was a great call. It is so mouldable and perfect for crafts. Pinned!
Willie was an amazing human being and taught me so much about plants. He could grow anything ❤ Our garden is full of his handy work.
Wow! I love the tiny little details!! You are so creative. Love seeing all your crafts, Michelle.
Thank you so much, Lori
What the what! You made this amazing rusty hourglass with what? I don’t think I’ve ever left your blog with my chin in the closed position. Seriously girl, this is so clever, creative, fun, and amazing! Again, I leave wanting to have a wine glass oops.
Thanks so much, Marie 😀 So many of our friends enjoy a glass or three of wine and oopsies happen here all the time
Michelle I am so impressed now that I saw the process. I thought that was real rust on real metal for the hourglass.
You know how much we love our rustification Mary and that spicy trick is the easiest way to rust anything 😉
Michelle you are so gifted and creative. You didn’t just make an hour glass out of recycled glasses, you created a magical world inside them. I love the story too and I bet your son loves this piece. And yes, my friend, we need to be reminded of how precious our time is?
It’s scary how time slips away from us all so quickly and I’m really glad your hubby is okay now Deana ❤
This is brilliant! I loved the story that went with it and that skeleton hand is a hoot! Your tillies grow so massive where you live; I’ve never seen them that large 🙂
I wish I could find Pratley glue here in Canada (for less than the price of a car! ): I desperately need something quick setting for a project I can’t get to stick!
Mmmmmm sorry to hear that Sara. Pratley is always a winner and it’s not expensive either. I suppose because it’s made by a South African company. I’ll send you some in a heartbeat if you want to play around? Not sure if it will get to you in time for your project, but just let me know.