How to make a leather watch strap

Written by ruth o'neil
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How to make a leather watch strap
(Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

The face and electronics of a watch often outlast the watchband. Watch straps mainly come in leather, metal or some type of plastic. The plastic straps do not usually last too long. Metal straps can be uncomfortable for some people. Leather watch straps can be very expensive to buy, depending on where you are shopping. It is not too difficult to make your own leather watchstrap, especially if you already have some hand sewing experience. Even if you have no knowledge of sewing, making your own leather watchstrap is still a fairly easy task.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Leather swatch
  • Cutting board
  • Metal ruler or straightedge
  • Utility knife
  • Sharp needle
  • Wax thread
  • Buckle
  • Awl
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Measure the part of your watch where the pins are. Make sure to measure carefully in between the two holes for the pins. Write down the measurement.

  2. 2

    Measure around your wrist using the measuring tape. Allow an extra 4 inches for the overlap of the watchstrap at the buckle and around the pins.

  3. 3

    Divide the measurement around your wrist in half to get the measurements for the two separate straps that attach to the watch.

  4. 4

    Mark out your measurements on the leather. Narrow the strap down from the watch pin measurement to the end if you want a tapered leather strap. Make sure all your lines are straight, using a ruler if necessary.

  5. 5

    Lay the leather on a cutting board. Set the metal ruler on the lines you drew. Cut out the straps for the watch using a utility knife, putting some pressure on the knife to help cut through the leather. Cut out both pieces of the strap.

  6. 6

    Fold the end of one of the leather straps where the pins go under 1/4 inch. Sew straight across to hold the leather in place using the needle and the wax thread. Repeat with the other piece of the strap.

  7. 7

    Punch some holes for the buckle clasp in one of the pieces of leather using the awl and the hammer. Make sure to evenly space out the holes.

  8. 8

    Attach the buckle to the unfinished end of the other piece of the strap by wrapping the leather around the appropriate part of the buckle and sewing straight across as you did for the pins.

Tips and warnings

  • Save the buckle from your old, worn-out watch strap. Use that instead of trying to find a new one.
  • If you have the old leather straps from your watch, trace around them on the new leather for easy measuring.
  • If you are using thick leather for your strap and are having trouble getting the needle to go through, make some holes along the edge where you want to sew with an awl and a hammer. You may still need pliers to help pull the needle through completely.
  • Look for special leather thread and needles at a craft or fabric store. You will need to use a very sharp needle to help you get through the leather.

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