« Hexagonia, Pincushionland | Main | Book Tour - A Quilting Life »

Fabric & Elastic Watch Strap Tutorial

I received so many lovely tutorial requests I couldn't not write one.

You will need:

  • watch face
  • fabric scrap
  • matching thread
  • elastic
  • scissors
  • hand sewing needle
  • 1 safety pin
  • 2 straight pins
  • ruler
  • sewing machine

Step 1

To determine the elastic width, measure the space between the pin holders on the watch face.  If the elastic is wider, it's harder to thread the finished strap thru.  If the elastic is narrower, it will look a little funny.

Step 2

The length of elastic depends on the size of the watch face and the size of the wrist that will wear it.

To determine the elastic length, thread one end of the elastic thru the space by 1/2".  Pin in place.

Thread the remaining end of the elastic thru the other side.  Put the watch on the wrist and pull the elastic to fit.  Add another 1/2" to the end and trim.

Step 3

To determine the fabric width, double the width of the elastic and add 1/2" for seam allowance.

Step 4

To determine the fabric length, stretch the elastic (almost) as far as it will go and measure.  That is the length you need for a very fully gathered band.  You may want it more or less full.

Step 5

Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew down the length with a 1/4" seam.

Step 6

Press the seam open.

Try not to press the edges of the fabric.  This tube will be turned right-side out and you might have a little trouble reversing those press lines.  I just tipped my iron so the point was on the ironing board and the wide end was up in the air.  Or if you have a mini iron, you are in luck.

Step 7

To turn the fabric tube right side out, attach a safety pin to one end, insert the pin into the tube and work it through to the other end.

Step 8

Fold the ends inside about 1/2".  Press the tube with the seam in the middle.  That middle seam will become the wrong side of the strap when it's attached to the watch.

Step 9

Attach the safety pin to one end of the elastic.

Step 10

Thread the safety pin into one end of the fabric tube.  Work the pin about half way into the tube.

Step 11

When the tail end of the elastic gets to the starting end of the tube, pin it in place with the end of the elastic about 1/4" inside the tube (indicated by the needle).  Pin that end of the elastic in place. 

If you miss and pull the elastic in too far, start over.

Step 12

With a sewing machine, stitch that pinned end of the elastic in place with several back and forth seams about 1/2" from the end of the fabric.

Step 13

Finish threading the elastic thru the other end of the fabric tube and anchor it the same way you did the first end.

Step 14

Feed one end of the strap through the space between the pin and the watch face about 1/2".

Step 15

Fold the 1/2" excess onto the strap and pin in place.

Step 16

Hand stitch the end to the strap with a small whip stitch.

Step 17

Double-check the fit of the strap, pin and hand stitch the other end in place.

That's it!

As I was preparing this tutorial, I noticed Pooh and Piglet were tracking me in real time. 

Too funny.  I only mention it to convince you that this makeover project is really super quick and easy.  I hope you give it a try!


EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (25)

This is adorable. Thanks for explaining how you did it. :o)
So sweet. Now I can grab my Grandma's watch and give it a make over! Lovely.
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee
You are SEW sweet to share this with us. My Hello Kitty watch will be even more adorable. Of course I MAY have to explain why someone my age (60) is still wearing a Kitty watch. OR NOT!!!!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterannelies
Thank you so much! Delightful!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJill
Thank you...gotta luv simple, sweet and oh sew pretty!!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkim
Great tutorial!!! Easy to follow and understand, and great pics. Thank you, thank you!!! :)
Thank you for this beautiful tutorial! Now I just need to buy a fancy watch:-) Hildy
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHildy
Thank you for this great idea!
I have a few watch faces that will benefit from this treatment.
It will also make it easier for my daughter to put her watch on. She loves it, but can't quite figure out how to buckle it around her little wrist.
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy
Lovely tutorial! My eleven year old girl needs a watch makeover so I will definitely try this using her fabric of choice! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Very cute! I love this, sometimes watch bands make me itch. Thanks for sharing!

Christine Barker
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Barker
So pretty!! Thanks for the tutorial and all the great photos. I'm going to go looking for a watch to make-over, hehe.
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterusairdoll
I'm going to look for cute watches to remake like this....maybe xmas pressie ideas? Hmmm....
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDana
Such a detailed tutorial, will definitely be giving this a go... thanks so much ... Sarah x
June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Just wanted you to know that I stop in to visit your blog nearly everyday just for a fresh breath of "creative femininity!" Thanks sharing all your knowledge and inspiration! :)
June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCassie A
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!! I am going to do this as soon as summer break starts. You are awesome sharing this great tutorial! Love your ideas - such wonderful inspiration to us all!!

Have a great weekend!

June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBernie
Thank you!
June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorinda Davis
Thanks for a wonderfully clear tutorial, I love this idea so much. Kind of wishing I kept some of my old watches now...

S x
June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandra (Cherry Heart)
I love it! Thank you!
June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArchiethewonderdog
I don't have a watch to fix but this tutorial was foolproof! Have you taught first grade math before? Lol
June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElaine
Trying to complete my Bee In My Bonnet Row-along top. Love it so far. Farmer's Wife trampled blocks, and a lot of UFOs!
July 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam Register
OMG! Cutest watchband ever!
December 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbonnie
Gracias por este tutorial tan lindo. Un abrazo!
June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid
Amazing idea! Just solved my problem on how to fix my daughter's watch. Thank you so much :)
January 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLin Nah
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your easy to understand tutorial for making this adorable watch band! I got my 93 year old grandmother a Betty Boop watch but she can't maneuver the clasp so I am going to make her a new watch band like this. She well be so happy!
October 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSandy
Es genial, me encantó, lo haré en un reloj que tengo guardado, saludos 😀
January 17, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVelia

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.