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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Recycled Watch Band Bracelets: DIY Jewelry Tutorial

Recycled Watch Band Bracelets with Vintage Accents, A DIY by Dabchick Vintage Gems
I enjoy restoring, reconstructing, and restyling vintage jewelry especially when I can reuse fun trinkets like watches, watch faces, and wrist watchbands. I make statement necklaces, chunky cuff bracelets, and watchband bracelets from old vintage watches and charms I curate from auctions, estate sales, antique shops, and flea markets.

The attractive recycled watchband bracelets in the photo below were made from vintage expansion stainless steel bands and paired with assorted antique rhinestone pins, gold charms, vintage beads, and dangling charms. Each bracelet is now an intriguing conversation piece combining both old and new elements for a recycled modern vibe.
Recycled Watch Band Bracelets by Dabchick Vintage Gems

  Here are a few simple steps to follow to transform an attractive watchband into a distinctive bracelet:

1) Scour thrift stores for old watches with cool and distinctive bands in good condition, look for stainless steel for durability. You should be able to find them for $1-$5 depending on the condition of the watch face itselft.

2) Carefully remove the watch face and save for another DIY jewelry project or home craft. Most wrist bands attach to the watch face with spring-loaded pegs that you can remove with a small pin and pliers. Press down on the spring loaded peg with the pin and remove the peg with pliers.

3) Thoroughly clean the watchband. This is important; those suckers can be really dirty! I soak them in Simple Green, then I expand them and use a toothbrush to clean thoroughly between the links.

4) Next, you'll need to decide what closure you want to use and which decorative element works best with your band.

5) To close up your watchband, you can use large jump rings or jewelry wire in interesting shapes like scrolls to close up your band. Just insert your jump ring or wire threaded through the band where the spring loaded pegs were removed and close up your ring or loop your wire.

6) Attach a decorative ornament to the jump ring or wire. I like to use vintage pins and brooches, dangling charms, old earrings, and vintage beads to add a punch of style.

8) Slide the bracelet on your wrist and you are finished!

All my recycled vintage watchband bracelets are available for purchase in my Etsy shop!


  1. I am SO GLAD that you posted this! I have watch bands and pins etc... from my Grandma and Great Aunts I've been at a loss for what to do with. Doing this!!!!!!

  2. Your vintage bracelet creations are nice. It doesn’t look recycled at all! I agree that stainless steel bands are known for its durability because it can last for a long time without rusting.

    Carl Patten