Pocket Sundial

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By General Craft Contributor Michelle

Create a sundial that’s part craft, part science, and all fun!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

To begin, drill a hole in the center of your wood slice.

Insert the dowel into the hole, and mark up about 2-inches from the bottom with your pencil.

Cut your dowel off at your pencil mark.

Now the fun part, marking the course of the sun!  Take your sundial out to a flat spot that is in the sun all day.  Make sure it is somehwere that your sundial will not be disturbed, or moved.  Using your compass, figure out which way is North, and mark North on your sundial.  You will use this as a reference everytime you use your sundial.  As long as you line up North on your sundial, your sundial will read correctly.

At the top of each hour, make a mark on your sundial, and label it. (1:00, 2:00, 3:00, etc.)  I set an alarm on my phone so I would be sure to go outside and make a mark every hour.  I was only able to make a mark every hour until 8:00 pm, and then again starting at 7:00 am.  If you wish, you can write “Dark” between the hours that you lose the sun.  We’re just making the most basic of timepieces here to track the sun–if you wish to be more accurate, you can research how to adjust for your position on earth, daylight-savings time, and other variables.

To make a bag to carry your sundial in you’ll need:

Fold your fabric right-sides together.  Cut a rectangle of fabric, with the bottom of the rectangle on the fold of the fabric (this will be the bottom of your bag) a couple of inches bigger in both height, and width of your wood slice.  Cut a piece of jute about a foot long.

Open your fabric so it is a long, skinny rectangle with the right-side of the fabric facing up.  Fold the jute in half, and place the folded middle about an inch-and-a-half down from the top of the fabric.

Fold the fabric back in half, sandwiching the folded loop of the jute in between the edge layers.  Make sure the ends of the jute ties are tucked inside, away from where you’ll be sewing down the edges.  Pin as needed.

Sew down the side of the bag with the jute loop.  Then sew down the other side of the bag.  The fold at the bottom is the bottom of your bag, the top is just going to be the pinked edge–no need to hem.

Turn your bag right-side out.

To store your sundial simply remove the middle peg, and place in the bag with your compass.  Tie to close.

To use your sundial, remove from the bag, and place on a flat, sunny place.  Place the peg in the hole in the center.  Use your compass to find North, and align your North mark on your sundial, with North on your compass.  Then, see where the shadow falls on your sundial to figure out the time.

Happy crafting!

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