Introduction: Broken Watch Brooch

About: Tate is an artist, occasionally a curator, author, social designer as well as a frequent workshop facilitator focusing on utilization of available materials, tools and site specificity.

Many watches and clocks don't work and can be incredibly costly to fix. When it is not worth it to fix the clock, you can still find a use for all of the delicate brass gears and parts inside.

The following Instructable will show you how to make a steampunk brooch out of some common tools, materials and a handful of clock/watch parts...


Here is a list of all of the tools/materials that you will need:

  • Watch/clock parts
  • A brooch back
  • Epoxy resin
  • Clay or another modeling compound
  • 1 or 2 disposable cups and sticks for mixing the Epoxy Resin
  • Latex gloves
  • Screwdrivers
  • A file
  • Sand-paper/Emery-paper
  • Possibly you will need a drill or dremel and small drill-bits

Step 2: BACK

Choose one of the watch/clock parts to serve as your template as well as the foundation for your brooch.

Once you have something chosen, attach your brooch back to it.

I was lucky in that the holes in my brooch back perfectly aligned with two screw holes in my brooch's foundation which meant that I could just screw the two together using the original hardware from the clock. Depending on the parts you have/find/choose, you may have to drill a couple of custom holes and bolt the brooch back to the foundation piece.

Step 3: INDENT

Take a flat piece of your clay and set it on your working surface.

Take your foundation piece with the brooch back and press it into the clay until you reach the desired thickness of your brooch.

Smooth the edges and corners, removing any bumps if they occur. Getting the clay as smooth/even as possible now will save you time in the final step.

Step 4: EPOXY1

Mix your epoxy thoroughly.

When you mix it, try to mix it slowly so as not to create bubbles but remember to work within the time limit of your epoxy. You will have to pour it and then lay the gears into it so that they are resting on the surface or slightly submerged.

Give the epoxy enough time to completely harden before moving to the next step.

Step 5: EPOXY2

With your epoxy completely hard, mix another batch of epoxy to cover all of the watch/clock parts. Lay the foundation piece over them so that it sits on top of the epoxy.

Allow the epoxy to completely cure before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: DE-MOLD

After giving the epoxy resin sufficient time to harden, peal away the clay. If you used an earthen clay like mine, you should be able to wash the surface with water so that only the epoxy and watch/clock parts are left.


For my brooch I filed down epoxy so it matched the shape of the original steel clock part better but you should determine the final shape of your brooch based on your own aesthetic judgement.

After filing down the sides so they would be flat I then sanded the epoxy up until 1200 grit. For a glass-like finish, you should polish it to a higher grit.

If you want more details on how to polish epoxy, you should check out this really detailed Instructable on polishing resin:

Step 8: FINISH

Now you have your up-cycled, steampunk broach made of old watch/clock parts!

If you make a Broken Watch Brooch for yourself, please post a picture in the comments and don't hesitate to ask any questions. Good luck!

Metal Contest 2016

Participated in the
Metal Contest 2016

Clay Contest 2016

Participated in the
Clay Contest 2016

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016