Upcycled Innertube Watchband





Introduction: Upcycled Innertube Watchband

About: Oh wow a lot can change in three years. can't say I forgot about this place but got pushed away from it a little.

In the standard course of things, items on the everyday person can get damaged and worn out. My tough working watch band, stays day in and day out, doing is best to keep me on time. I repaired it once, but two more breaks were forming. I knew I had to replace it, but it occurred to me. I am a maker. Why would I go buy something.

Inspired by an old contest I participated in, I dug out some of the remaining inner tubes I had, and got to work.

Step 1: Take Apart the Old Band

Not all watches are created equal. There are different ways the band can be attached to the face, and inevitably different styles and sizes of watch bands. Mine was simple enough to take apart, merely sliding it off of the leather band. There were other pieces I needed to gather though, being the buckle, and the loop to hold the excess of the band for adjustments. It was easy enough to slide an xacto blade between the leather to cut the stitches, or to just cut through the damaged portions of the band to get the pieces I needed.

Step 2: Put Together the New Band

When I was cutting the material for the new watch band, I just laid the old one next to it and used it as a reference. There were some lines on the inner tube, I'm presuming came from manufacturing, and they provided a fairly good guide for where to cut it lengthwise, although it did end up giving the finished band a slight curve. Its not really noticeable when I wear it, but if its something that would distress the wearer, it'd be good to lay it down and cut it straight with a ruler.

The third picture shows how the two strips met up, so I cut the lengths of my strips of rubber down to match, before lining them up, and stitching them together. I started with the longer underside, and after I made it back up to the cross section I folded over the other piece, again using the original leather as a guide for how to space out the buckle and the loop.

Step 3: Size It Up

Once the rubber was sewn, I slide the watch back onto it, and closed it around my wrist, adjusting it until I found a spot that seemed comfortable. I did use a leather hole punch to make the hole for the buckle, and while I only added the one that seemed comfortable to me, it would be very easy to punch in more and make the band more adjustable.

Something to keep in mind about this design, although I did not take advantage of it myself, is that its possible to leave an opening in the band. I strongly reinforced the folded over section near the buckle because I intend to get a lot of mileage out of it, but leaving that unstitched would give this design a small, waterproof, pocket. A folded up dollar bill for emergency vending machine cravings, some fishing hooks and line in a survival situation, even a ceramic razor for escape and evasion tactics for those traveling abroad in riskier countries. This one I kept simple, just because I needed a functional watch band quickly, but there are definitely possibilities. Although I would recommend, in that instance, lining the inside with paper or something that would help prevent the rubber from holding onto whatever is slid in. Enjoy



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    10 Discussions

    You did a very neat job hand sewing! Looks professional! I have done this but only in a single layer. Yours looks better.


    2 years ago

    Wow. I just had another one of those ~Smack myself on the forehead and say "why didn't I think of that?"~ moments! hahaha

    Well done Sir. Well done. :)

    What a great idea & clear photos & instructions. Like leather, the rubber would be difficult to push the needle through but I have a decorative wrist cuff made of the same upcycled tyre innertube rubber and its very comfortable & not smelly or sweaty. Im posting this on my own facebook page (yoursandmineonline.com.au) to share it around!

    1 reply

    Thank you for sharing it. I actually have a Facebook link if that's more convenient for you. Its up on my artist page I use for crafts and cosplay at: https://www.facebook.com/ElusiveGreen/

    This is awesome! I love the idea of using an innertube! How comfortable is it? I'm really quite picky with watch bands. Does it smell like innertube or over time has the smell gone away?

    1 reply

    I was worried about that as well, which is why I kept the leather band for so long. I left the rubber a little loose, just so it wasn't constantly rubbing or putting too much pressure. With that, it's actually been rather comfortable, and really fits better than my old band did. As for the smell, I haven't noticed any, but I also had this section of tubing a few years, in addition to washing it before I sewed it, so perhaps it was already aired out.

    thats really cool! just out of curiosity what watch are you wearing? does still smell of inner tube?

    1 reply

    The brand of the actual watch is Bertucci. When my last watch stopped ticking, I got this one because a local store can service it, and it has a steel case, so its very durable. As for the inner tube, I've had it for quite some time, just stored with other materials, and I also washed it before I sewed it, so I haven't noticed any rubber smell.