Watch Straps DIY

By no means am I a watch person. I hate wearing bracelets and watches because I have large wrists so they look too small on me, or don’t fit me at all. So surprisingly I have been looking at a lot of cool watches online, namely Cold Picnic watches. I loved the natural veg tan leather. I personally love the way veg tan looks before it gets worn out. I like the new look, but I love that it transforms in color as you use it. I love the feeling of worn in leather, it is one of those materials that ages well, it has the same experience of a soft vintage t-shirt.

trash this2

I wanted a small dainty watch, and found a vintage timex off of etsy. It arrived in great condition , only needing a new battery and a cleaning. I decided to take a few pictures of my DIY to help you walk through it. Another DIY watch strap idea is available on design*sponge if my directions are terrible ;)


For this DIY you will need:

A watch face, and old straps (or strap hardware and a strap pattern)

Mini Binder clips

Exacto Knife with extra blades

Glue (E-6000 is my preference, super glue did not hold up)

Leather of your choice. Make sure it is thin enough to go through the watch face.


My watch was vintage and so I had to clean the watch face. Pro Tip: Use toothpaste. It can be used to clean rusty jewelry or any other spot things off of metal.


After that, take apart the old watch straps and created my own pattern. Measure the width and cut a strap for that length. Because my wrist was so big, I knew I was going to add a few inches to the straps. Trace the pattern of the old straps to match how you want the watch to fit. (If the length of your strap is longer, trace the end of the strap at the end, so that it tapers properly)


Essentially, just follow the pattern of the old watch strap. I made a slot for the buckle, and clamped down two tiny straps. You will have to “skieve” bits of leather to make sure everything fits. You can youtube how to skieve leather, but the idea is to thin the leather. I did this by taking an exacto knife blade and running it through the leather. You will make a mess! I did.








After skieving the leather on the parts I wanted to glue, I put a bit of glue down. I took an extra piece of leather and clamped the binder clips in the middle of the strap. The scrap of leather (or anything you have) just helps the binder clip from imprinting on the top of your strap. To make the holes for the buckle, I used a size 18 machine needle and pushed it through a few times to make a few holes. I also put the buckle through the holes just to make sure they would work out.








After that, your watch is ready! Mine is almost ready, I just need a battery! (I hope I can get one at walmart tomorrow!) Now I have no excuse to be late.

Leave a Comment

October 4, 2013 tutorials, Uncategorized