My roommate will be moving out soon and moving in with her boyfriend. As a parting gift, I felt the need to make them something super awesomely nerdy. They both LOVE Portal, so I immediately thought of the companion cube. I decided that a clock would be a great functional piece that they could enjoy and revel in its nerdiness.
Step 1: Materials
Wooden base (square)
String (I used hemp)
Something to mix your paint in
Painter's or masking tape
Something round (not spherical) to use as a template. The diameter should be able 1/2 the size of the side of your wooden base.
Exacto knife or razor
Everything on this list (except the power drill) is available at your local craft store.
I used water based paints for the companion cube. I would not recommend using hemp for the string. I would recommend using something with a much more uniform texture.
Step 2: Paint the Base of the Companion Cube
Before you can actually start this, you need to mix your paint. I used 3 parts white to 1 part black for this color. I mixed the color until I got an even grey color. I then slathered a nice even coat on to the wooden piece. I coated all of the sides as well so that the clock would be viewable from all angles.
Step 3: Make the Line Detailing
Measure the center of your square. Make a mark in the center of the square so that you can use this as a marker to make the detailing.
Again, you must mix the paint. For the pink, I mixed 3 parts white to 1 part red. After mixing the pink paint, coat one side of the string with the pink paint. Place the string on the companion cube, ensuring that you are placing the string over the mark that you just made. If the detailing does not come out exactly the way you want it, touch it up with a smaller brush of pink paint. If you REALLY hate it, it's easy to start over at this point. Just coat the whole cube in the same dark gray again and start this step over.
Step 4: Center Circle
Lay out a layer of tape by slightly overlapping pieces. Place the circular object on top of the tape pieces and trace around it. Use your exacto knife or razor to cut out the center circle. Don't through this away yet. Set the inner circle aside for now. Take the stencil of the circle and line it up exactly center on the companion cube. You can do your markings on the layer of tape before trying to move it. This will make it easier to line up.
Mix a lighter grey color for the edges and center. Paint inside the circle and let this dry. Remove the tape.
I found after the first few pieces that masking tape works better than blue painter's tape.
Step 5: Outside Detailing
Tape off for the inside detailing. You want about 1-2" for the insides of the edges, depending on how large your piece of wood is. Tape off the edges, ensuring that you measure using a ruler. This will ensure that all four of your details will be the same size. Follow the line of the circle with about 1" of padding between the edges and the inside circle. Once dry, remove the tape detailing.
For the corners, tape off the area approximately half an inch outside of the detailing you just painted. Again, follow the circle, this time leaving approximately half an inch between the circle and the corners. When dry, peel off the excess tape.
Step 6: The Heart
Grab the piece of tape sheet that you set aside earlier and use it to cut out a heart. The best way to do this is to draw the heart on one side, cut it out using your exacto knife or razor. After you're done cutting it out, fold the cut half over the half that has not been cut and use the cut side as a template. This ensures that your heart is symmetrical. Place the heart on top of the circle and paint inside the stencil with the pink paint.
Step 7: Adding the Clock Mechanism
Find the correct drill bit for the clock shaft that you have. Drill your hole in the exact center of the wood block. Place your clock mechanism in the hole according to manufacturer instructions and enjoy your new Companion Cube Clock.
Thanks for reading!