Introduction: Embroidered Watch

Our local Arts Council has an annual Materials Hard and Soft exhibition. It's always so inspiring, so I was thinking of how I could mix hard and soft. What could be better than warm embroidery with stark clockwork? Take an old out of style watch and refashion it to suit your own personal style.


watch (I got mine at a thrift store.)


thin fabric scrap


white glue

embroidery thread



X-acto knife

Step 1: Disassemble

Disassemble the watch. Before removing each piece, investigate how it is put together, so you can put it back how you found it.

Pry off the back plate.

Pull the pin out by pulling straight away from the watch. It may seem like you're going to break it, but it'll be fine. Pull hard.

Gently pry the watch face from the clockwork on the back. When you do this, make sure it's face down. The arms will pop off with the face, and you don't want them to fly across the room.

Step 2: Planning

Trace the watch face onto a piece of thin material. If the material is too thick, it won't fit in the watch when it's time to reassemble.

Trace the watch face on a piece of paper as well. This is your planning space. Use a pencil to plan your design. I opted to turn the watch face on it's side for another upcoming project. You need to keep the stitches away from the center to allow the hands room to be reattached and move. Also consider the build up of thread on the back as well as the front. You need to keep it as thin as possible.

Place your thin material on your paper plan and trace it onto the fabric lightly with pencil. If you can't see the plan through the fabric, put it up against a sunlit window or on a tablet screen. If you still can't see it, you may want to consider a different fabric. It may be too thick.

Step 3: Embroidery

Split the embroidery thread in half so you are left with three strands.

Thread your needle, but do not tie a knot in the end. Let the end hang off a couple inches in the back to avoid unravelling. If you put a knot, it may be too thick when you get ready to reassemble.

Step 4: Securing the Threads

Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of the fabric to stiffen, secure threads, and prevent unravelling when cutting the piece out. Spread it evenly with a finger. Allow to dry.

Cut out your new watch face.

Use your tweezers to poke a hole in the middle for the hands.

Reattach the old face to the clockwork.

Glue the embroidered face onto the old face making sure to press firmly around the pin in the middle. Press the fabric down as flat as possible around the pin.

If there is any fabric sticking out around the old face, use an X-acto knife to trim it off.

Step 5: Reassebly

Use tweezers to lay the hands back in place and press firmly to reattach.

Lay the face back into the crystal, reinsert the pin, and reattach the back plate.

Step 6: Enjoy

Before and After Contest

Participated in the
Before and After Contest

Metal Contest

Participated in the
Metal Contest

Reuse Contest

Participated in the
Reuse Contest