Author Topic: Replacing a leather watch strap?  (Read 815 times)

BookLoverL

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Replacing a leather watch strap?
« on: September 26, 2018, 01:16:13 AM »
Hi everyone,

Does anyone know if it's possible to make my own leather watch strap to replace my current one, which is dying, and if so, how? I have access to both leather and sewing stuff.

I could go to town and buy a new one for like 10 or something, but it would be way more awesome if I could make my own for free.

The mechanism of my watch is still 100% fine, it's just the strap that is getting dodgier by the day.

Pics of my watch as it currently is attached, if I managed to figure out how to attach them properly.

Dave1442397

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 05:10:33 AM »
Some people make straps as a side business. You'll find plenty of them for sale on sites like Timezone - http://forums.timezone.com/index.php?t=threadt&frm_id=32

If you want to make your own - https://www.instructables.com/id/Leather-Watch-Strap/

I'm sure there are YouTube videos on the subject too.

lthenderson

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 06:39:59 AM »
I still see the occasional leather goods kit in hobby stores. They come with swatches of leather and tools to make simple things out of leather. I used one as a teen decades ago to make a belt that I still have even if it no longer fits. You might check a nearby hobby store to see if you can find one. But I'm guessing you won't be able to find one for under 10 pounds.

BookLoverL

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 10:15:50 AM »
Thanks - I'll take a look at the YouTube video.

I already actually have some leather that I bought for some reason several years ago (before I discovered Mustachianism) and never did anything with, and we have needles and thread (including stronger versions of both) and sharp knives and the like in the house already, so if I do decide that making my own is feasible, I expect the materials cost to be 0 (if it wouldn't be, then I probably won't do it). The reason I'm asking the question here is that I haven't tried anything like it before, unless you count stitching up a hole in a t-shirt and other simple sewing skills like that, so I wasn't really sure if it's a thing that novices can do easily or not. :3

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2018, 05:10:20 AM »
Thanks - I'll take a look at the YouTube video.

I already actually have some leather that I bought for some reason several years ago (before I discovered Mustachianism) and never did anything with, and we have needles and thread (including stronger versions of both) and sharp knives and the like in the house already, so if I do decide that making my own is feasible, I expect the materials cost to be 0 (if it wouldn't be, then I probably won't do it). The reason I'm asking the question here is that I haven't tried anything like it before, unless you count stitching up a hole in a t-shirt and other simple sewing skills like that, so I wasn't really sure if it's a thing that novices can do easily or not. :3

If you make one, please come back and post your results!

Dave1442397

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2018, 05:43:37 AM »
The reason I'm asking the question here is that I haven't tried anything like it before, unless you count stitching up a hole in a t-shirt and other simple sewing skills like that, so I wasn't really sure if it's a thing that novices can do easily or not. :3

A leather watch band was actually the first leather craft I ever did back in my Boy Scout days. If they let us do it, it can't be that hard :)

wheezle

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 02:10:24 PM »
If you use real top-grain leather (your old strap was apparently garbage), it'll last a long time. If you use a natural veg-tan leather, it will look awesome, especially as it ages.

Cutting leather isn't exactly easy, though, so that may be a challenge if you have random scraps lying around.

BookLoverL

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 03:35:28 PM »
If you use real top-grain leather (your old strap was apparently garbage), it'll last a long time. If you use a natural veg-tan leather, it will look awesome, especially as it ages.

Cutting leather isn't exactly easy, though, so that may be a challenge if you have random scraps lying around.

It's definitely real leather that I have, but not sure what grain, so hopefully it'll go well. Thanks for the advice. :) The watch was given to me by my grandma second hand when the mechanism of my old one stopped working in any case.

My dad's got a whole workshop full of engineering-type tools including small sharp knives, so I'm sure I can work something out for cutting. Alas, I'm going to have to delay the project a bit though, because I'm going to be busy both days this weekend. But thanks everyone, I'm definitely going to try this as soon as I get a weekend where people are not making me go places. :)

wheezle

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 08:03:26 PM »
My dad's got a whole workshop full of engineering-type tools including small sharp knives, so I'm sure I can work something out for cutting. Alas, I'm going to have to delay the project a bit though, because I'm going to be busy both days this weekend. But thanks everyone, I'm definitely going to try this as soon as I get a weekend where people are not making me go places. :)
Also, if you have a Dremel, you can burnish the edge once you're done, which will make the edges smooth and shiny, and darkened if you burnish it a lot. That's what'll make it look like a professional job.

BookLoverL

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 02:37:00 AM »
Ok, so I was giving it a go yesterday, and I've nearly finished. I'll post some pictures up later of my attempt.

I decided to skip the burnishing the edge part because I didn't want to learn too many new things all at once before my brain could absorb them, though I might upgrade later when I get more skilled.

The leather I had turned out to be suede.

BookLoverL

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 01:11:20 PM »
Ok, here's my pics of the project, assuming I got the pictures to work properly.

The bag of pieces of suede I had:


The piece I selected to cut from:


I cut some cardboard templates in the pattern of my old watch strap from an old ice cream box, using a sewing unpicker to score the cardboard and knife to cut it:


I used the templates to cut the pieces of leather. I decided to use just a single piece of leather, rather than doubling it up, because it was already pretty thick and I wanted to make the process simpler. Also, I switched to this other knife because the first one wasn't sharp enough to cut leather.

BookLoverL

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 01:19:31 PM »
Next part!

I made a hole in the shorter part of the strap where the buckle would need to fit through, using this hammer and punch. I had to cut it to be slightly longer later due to the design of the buckle:


I cut a small piece of leather to be the thing that you tuck the watch strap into, and sewed a piece of thread into each end. I was going to do the full loop with the leather, but I decided it would be too fiddly to attach, so I went for leather for the visible part and thread for the part that you can't really see:


I sewed the buckle onto the short strap, attaching the little loop thing in the process. I used the pins to hold the leather in place while I was sewing. In order to get the pins and the needle to go through both pieces of leather, I gently encouraged them with a light tap of the hammer:


I sewed the other end of the watch strap onto the watch in the same way, and then I did the same for the long watch strap:

BookLoverL

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 01:21:47 PM »
Finally, I wrapped the watch around my wrist and got my mum to put a pin in the strap at the point where the hole needed to be for me to fasten it, and then used the hammer and punch again to make the hole properly.

Here's the finished product on my wrist:



I'll report back as to how long it lasts/how well it stays together. But I think it's gone pretty well for my first ever leather project. :)

wheezle

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2018, 12:12:49 PM »
Suede probably won't hold up as long as a top-grain, but that is still pretty awesome. I love me some real leather goods.

Dave1442397

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Re: Replacing a leather watch strap?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2018, 05:34:06 PM »
Looks good, and now you have experience :)