Recycling Uses for Old Watch Bands

Updated February 21, 2017

Watchband materials include leather, plastic and metal. The material of your watchband and its design limit your recycling options. Also, you must consider if you are recycling just the band, or a watchband with a broken or outdated watch attached. Instead of sending the watchband off to a recycling centre, recycle the watchband by using it to create or decorate an entirely different object.


Transform an attractive watchband into a distinctive bracelet by covering or replacing the watch face with a decorative ornament. This might be a lacy flower, with gemstones in its centre, a decorative bow, or a cartoon face, such as a kitty or bear. If the band is leather or plastic, as opposed to metal, embellish by affixing small beads, rivets or other decorations, as well as making an ornament to replace the watch face.


For the crafter looking for new ways to make scrapbook covers, one way is by creating a leather cover, using recycled leather watchbands. This involves disassembling each watchband, and collecting enough bands to cover a sturdy cardboard base, to use as a cover. Cover the entire board puzzle-like, by fitting the watchbands side-by-side and gluing them into place.

Altered book

An altered book is a hardback book altered by the artist to create an art object. Altering typically includes removing pages, inserting objects within the pages, decorating with d├ęcoupage, paints and rubber stamps. Embellishing the cover might include gluing on small ornaments or adding a closure, such as one ribbon attached to the back cover and a second attached to the front cover, tied into a bow to close the book. Instead of a ribbon, recycle a leather watchband to create straps for holding the covers together.

Dollhouse Accessories

Use your old watchbands when making doll furniture. Make leather luggage for the dolls, with handles made from old leather watchbands. Disassemble metal links from metal watchbands and use the pieces to make miniature dollhouse accessories, such as a small metal toaster, created by painting black stripes on the top of a rectangular metal link (for the bread slots) and gluing a tiny black bead on one end, for the control lever. Glue the metal piece onto a tiny, flat, rectangular piece of black cardboard that becomes the base of the toaster.


Disassemble the watchbands and use the material to create works of modern art, such as sculptures or mosaic-like pictures. Use metal links like tile pieces.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.