DIY Fridays: how to make a wrap around leather watch strap

October 1st, 2010

This might be the best DIY friday ever! Maybe I shouldn’t say that… I guess it’s up to you whats your favourite – but this is for sure my favourite so far!

I haven’t worn a watch in a while – mostly because all of my watches batteries died at once, and I never have time to hang around our boring mall for an hour to have them replaced. Then this week I decided enough was enough & gathered them all up to get new batteries (there are 3). When I realised one was working – hurrah!

The bummer was that I haven’t worn it in so long that the strap was looking kind of old, icky and b o r i n g. Then it struck me, how am I going to find a cool one in the watch place – I know exactly what all the leather straps look like, and I’m not very enthused. But as fate would have it, I found a really cool vendor at the farmers market the other week, who was selling elk hide. I am totally into leather at the moment (I’m feeling a little creatively worn out so I’ve been experimenting with accessories!) – so I bought a heap of different pieces. I wasn’t sure what I’d use them for, till I remembered this gorgeous goldy coloured piece.

After a bit of thinking – this is what I came up with. Awesome right?! This watch strap took 10 minutes to make – and I refuse to take it off!

What you’ll need:

  • An old watch with a boring old strap
  • A piece of leather at least 20″ long and as wide as your watch strap (mine was 1/2″)
  • Snaps (you can either use the ones you hammer in place (cheaper) or use the special pliers for the job that you can get at fabric stores

What to do:

  1. Cut your leather to the right size – mine was 1/2″ by 20″ – I used my rotary cutter and a metal ruler, and neatened the edges with my fabric scissors.
  2. Using a something thin, pop out the pins holding your old strap in place (they’re spring loaded)
  3. Turning your watch the wrong way round, lay your new strap on top with the wrong side facing up, and put the pins back in place one by one.
  4. Now put your snaps on – you will need to make sure that the outside of the snap is on the right side one end of the strap, and on the wrong side of the strap on the other end (so you don’t have to twist the strap to close)
  5. Wrap it around your wrist however you like, and use the snaps to keep it closed!

    Or you could wear it as a headband like I did this morning (yes I am a bit of a nutter sometimes)
  6. Optional: add an extra snap closure 1/2″ away to make the strap adjustable

I’m thinking of experimenting with some other types of straps too – this project was just way too fun and easy not to repeat!

21 Responses

  1. Kristen says:

    GREAT idea! We have a ton of tanned deer hide….what did you use to cut it to the width you wanted?

    • Meg says:

      I just used my rotary cutter and a metal ruler – the same stuff I use for fabric. It worked like a dream!

  2. Wow that looks so good.

    The leather looked fab with the colouring of the watch face! :)

  3. Annelise Nielsen says:

    It never ceases to amaze me the things you can do. Such a cool watch band!

  4. STACE says:

    Oh gosh, it’s fantastic!
    Like a leather bracelet + timepiece in one.
    Iw ish I’d thought of that myself haha.


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  6. Meg- this is a REALLY awesome DIY! I can’t wait to track down a watch face I like so I can try it myself! Oh the potential combinations! Man!! So chic!

  7. swiss army watch says:

    GREAT idea! We have a ton of tanned deer hide….what did you use to cut it to the width you wanted?

  8. Ohhhhh, love this idea! I got sick of my straps breaking and haven’t worn one in years. This just may convince me to don one again – you rock!

  9. Shelley says:

    What a great idea! and the best directions too! lovely

  10. Candy says:

    that looks amazing!

  11. […] I have a lot of advice I’d like to share, as well as detailing the specific process I go through, but it’s too much for this post. So I’ll split out the topics into a few different posts I hope you enjoyed hearing my little story! Dress: Megan Nielsen, Lady dress SS2010 Clog sandals: Rubi, via Cotton On Belt: Vintage, from my mom (she wore it when she was dating my dad!) Necklace: Vintage, via Ebay Watch: strap made by me, get the tutorial here […]

  12. Joyce says:

    Thank you so much for this inspiring tutorial! I was looking at a $100 La Mer wrap watch that was just like what you made. Thanks to you I’ll save money and have a stylish watch!

  13. Interesting! will visit you again …

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  15. I have a ton of watches needing new batteries too. I love this, I have some suede in almost the same colour, I’ve got to have a go soon. Thanks for the how-to.

  16. This must the be coolest way to refashion a watch or leather bracelet. Bookmarking!

  17. Faith says:

    Thank you for this idea! I love your blog and I’m so glad I found it! xoxo

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  19. Andra says:

    This a great Xmas present idea!