Okay, show of hands: who still wears a watch? I guess I am old school, because my smartphone hasn’t replaced my watch just yet. Typically, it’s not one of my favorite things to put on, though, because I am a bracelet-a-holic (a fact that’s evident, if you read here often). So I thought if I made a watch that was more like jewelry, it would be a lot more fun to wear! I combined my love of layers and leather and added some brass beads and a watch face to make this beaded watch.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make a watch, it’s SO easy when you start with a watch face. You can re-purpose one with a broken (or ugly) band, or buy one designed for DIY watch making. I got all my supplies today from Goody Beads (my favorite for specialty jewelry supplies that are tough to find anywhere else) and I’ll leave links below for you in case you’re inspired to shop for yourself! These are affiliate links, which means that if you decide to buy, it supports my blog at no extra cost to you (and thank you)! As always, though – feel free to get creative, and use different supplies to get your own look!
Supplies I used to make my layered leather beaded watch:
- 1-inch brass watch face
- 28 inches 5 mm pastel emerald flat leather
- 21 inches 2 mm metallic teal round leather
- 12 – 5 mm brass nugget beads
- 14 mm brass end clasp
- Super New Glue
- Leather cutter
- Jewelry pliers
First, I really wanted to add lots of layers to my watch. So I started with a clasp that has a 14 mm opening. I cut four 7-inch lengths of 5mm flat leather, plus three more lengths of 2mm round leather in two coordinated colors. If you’ve got leather left over from other projects, it might be fun to mix and match, too! Just add a few drops of glue to the inside of one cap, and glue as many leather strands as you can. Allow it to rest for about a minute, until the glue sets.
Then, add a few beads to the round leather strands, and thread some strands through the loops on your watch face. In my case, I used 2 stands of 5mm flat leather and one 2mm round strand, because I wanted the watch face to fit on snugly and not slide around. It can still be adjusted, but you won’t find that it slides to the bottom of the bracelet as you wear if if you make sure the loops are filled as tightly as you can.
To keep the nugget beads at the top of the bracelet, I crimped the end beads slightly with my pliers, so that they grip the leather. You can crimp them all into place, but I liked the idea that some beads can still slide around. I just secured the end ones to keep the beads at the top of my wrist.
Finally, glue your second end clasp onto the opposite end. I wanted a somewhat loose fit, to be most like a bracelet, which is why I opted for 7-inch leather strands. If you prefer a snug fit on your wrist, a try cutting your length 1/4 inch or even 1/2 inch shorter.
The end result is a statement piece that’s wide without being too chunky or solid looking – the thin layers keep it light to wear and it looks very much like a wrap bracelet, without the hassle of wrapping it round and round your wrist. It’s fashionable enough you won’t even miss your bracelets!
Happy crafting ~