Instructables

Fabric watch-strap cover

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Picture of Fabric watch-strap cover
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This removable cover can be made to fit any watch, but is particularly suitable for watches with fixed metal straps. It's both pretty and practical, particularly if your skin is sensitive to metal.

I've always found that the metal strap on my watch is slightly too big and twiddles around on my wrist. (The next adjustment down is slightly too tight.) Then I developed an allergic reaction to the back of the watch itself.

After seeing a few watches with leather straps that passed behind the watch back, I decided to design a fabric strap which would fit over the original and sit between the watch and my wrist. It works well. The watch no longer twists around; the strap is more washable than leather and more comfortable than plastic.

I've had several people ask me how I made it, so here you go. As a bonus, because this is a watchstrap, you get to see in real time how long it took me to make it!

This project will work best for a watch that is slightly loose on your wrist, and that has a strap with a catch or buckle which is not much wider than the strap. However, it's not impossible to accomodate a wider buckle.
 
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Step 1: Materials / equipment

Picture of Materials / equipment
You need:

A watch
A piece of fabric, at least 10cm by 20cm (4" by 8")
Sewing thread
Thread in a contrasting colour for tacking (optional)
A snap fastener (preferably plastic)

Paper and pen
Ruler
Needle
Pins
Coin or round object about the same diameter as your watch face
Sewing machine (optional)
Steam iron

I have always used washable cotton fabric so far, but you could use anything so long as there is something comfortable next to your wrist. If you're buying material specially for this, 10cm off a roll will be plenty.
saosport1 year ago
Thanks! I have to make some of these for my mom she can't wear any metal on her skin because of some allergy. She will love this.
Tanz272 years ago
This is a great idea. My mum has always had trouble with watches going loopy if the metal back touches her wrist. Think she's magnetic or something....lol.
pinkfiero3 years ago
Great idea! My BFF's b'day is next week and this will make a perfect present as she can't wear a watch without it irritating her wrist. No more thanks to you!
chulupa23 years ago
I'll have to make a few of these for my son (allergies also).. the problem he's had was the metal casing behind the watch itself. He can't have any metal touch his skin. This would be perfect! (btw- Levi jeans use nickel free buttons, so he does now wear jeans)
lilbit775 years ago
Finally!! I can wear normal watches again! I've developed an allergy to nickel and it has been impossible finding watches that fit (I have large wrists). Thank You!
YES!  I had totally given up on wearing a watch due to nickel (and other) sensitivities - and put at least two pocket watches through the laundry : (  Now I can go resurrect my watches from the "junk drawer" and actually not have to pull out my cell phone to find out when I am!

Thank you!!!
I have the same issue with metals, and this is great... I'm gonna make out out of some faux leather because cloth just isn't manly enough...
kicking_k (author)  lilbit775 years ago
Glad you like it! Metal allergies are so annoying - you just can't get away from metal fasteners and even plastic watches so often have metal backs...
graymalking5 years ago
My watch's bracelet doesn't have a clasp. Its made by a few springy links that give it elasticity and they pinch my wrist. I've been meaning to make a fabric bracelet to substitute the original, but this way is much better (I can make many different and change them according to my mood!) and I'm sure I can adapt it for my watch. So thank you very much, I've faved this :)
mhippo5 years ago
Could this be adapted for a watchband whee the edges are permanently attached?
NadaZ5 years ago
Awesome..Simple 'n nice..I like it!!
Thank you so much for this tutorial - I developed allergies to my watches years ago and just stopped wearing them but this means I can actually use that very nice one my grandparents got me!
This is a really great idea. Probably makes wearing it a lot more comfortable, and it looks quite stylish! :D
kicking_k (author)  jessyratfink5 years ago
Thank you!
ChrysN5 years ago
This is a wonderful idea, I'm allergic to a lot of watch straps and end up having to use a cheap ugly plastic strap that breaks easily. Thanks for posting!
kicking_k (author)  ChrysN5 years ago
Glad you liked it! I have had plastic watch straps in the past and they don't last as well, it's true.
artquilter5 years ago
Before I read through your whole tutorial, I thought that you were replacing the latching mechanism with a snap and I instantly thought if you switched to hook and loop (velcro) that this would be fabulous for Seniors. But I see you are still using the watchs latch to close. I wonder if there is a way to secure the watch to only the fabric band so that it would only be the fabric band that is secure around the wrist. I guess there's probably too many types of clasps to figure that out. You did a great tutorial, informative pictures and good descriptions.
kicking_k (author)  artquilter5 years ago
Interesting question. I think if you wanted a fabric strap permanently anchored to the watch, you could take a watch with a leather or plastic strap and remove the strap completely, leaving just the little rods at the top and bottom of the face, which could then be sewn directly to a fabric strap. You can see something similar in this pattern for a knitted watchband http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/PATTboogietime.html.

If you wanted the fabric strap to be removable and washable, you could use two shorter fabric bands, and use Velcro to attach it to the watch face at each side - sewing the hook and loop patches next to each other at the end, slipping around the little rod, and pressing shut. (I wish I could draw a diagram for this - maybe I'll add it to the tutorial.) Then you could use more Velcro to close the band at the back of the wrist.

Either of these would probably be easier to make than my original, since you would only need a simple fabric tube of the right width to fit the watch face.

It would be harder to remove a metal strap without special tools, though a jeweller's shop could do it for you. I did my work-around this way because I like my original watch (even if my skin doesn't) and didn't want to take the strap right off!

With my watch you can actually remove the clasp mechanism, so you could sew the ends of the strap to the fabric and hold it secure that way. But I've never seen another clasp quite like it.
Bitsi5 years ago
What a great idea. I adapted your instructions a bit to use grosgrain ribbon instead of fabric -- and saved myself some steps in the process. I love my new watchband! I'm making many more. :-)
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kicking_k (author)  Bitsi5 years ago
That's really pretty - I like the sideways stripes! Grosgrain ribbon isn't widely available where I live, but if I get my hands on some I'll try it. These are addictive. I've got five so far - made another since I posted this tutorial (from the red flowery fabric in picture 4).