This tutorial is a collaboration between Jenny Mohn and me (Justine)! First I'll show you how to make an adjustable watch band, then Jenny will show you how to make an scrunchy elastic band! We hope you enjoy making new watch bands with your favorite fabrics.
Please tag @greatheronthreadco and @jmohnn - and use the hashtag #makeyourownwatchband - if you decide to make your own so we can see your projects!
PART 1: Adjustable Band by Justine Wilson
For the adjustable watch band, I am using my Apple Watch Series 8 with a 41mm case. If your watch is a different brand or size, you may need to adjust the width of your band or find other hardware options.
First, gather your materials. You will need:
- your watch face
- one 1" (25mm) slider (I got mine here)
- a set of 2 watch band connectors that are compatible and the correct size to fit your watch face (I got 3 sets in different metallic finishes here)
- 3 ½" x [desired length]** strip of fabric
- 1 ¾" x [desired length]** strip of lightweight woven interfacing such as Pellon SF101
**The size of your fabric and interfacing piece will vary based on the size of your hand and wrist and your watch. Here are some tips for getting the size right for your band:
- Width: I prefer making the width of the band ⅛" smaller than the opening in the hardware. The opening in my hardware is 1" wide so when the band is folded into quarters lengthwise, I want it to measure ⅞", so I am using a 3 ½" wide strip. The width of the interfacing should be ½ that of the fabric.
- Length: Measure around the widest part of your hand and add 2" to determine the length.
Note: You can also use hardware from a worn out watch band or one you just don't use anymore, if you'd like. That's what I used for the blue strawberry band in the photo below.
Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise and press. Open it and fold each edge towards the center fold and press. Open it again so you have 3 folds. Place the strip of interfacing in the center of the strip (between the folds) and press to adhere.
Fold the fabric strip into quarters and press.
Topstitch along each side ⅛" from the edge. Feel free to add more topstitching or quilting lines here to add your own style!
Insert one end of the band through the slider. Go up through one side and down through the other.
Fold the raw edge under approximately ¼", then fold it again as show in the photo below. Sew in place. The side with the folded part of the band will be referred to as the wrong side of the band.
The next step can feel a little tricky because there is also a right and wrong side of the connector. So before we move on to this part, here are some photos for reference:
The side of the connector with three black ovals is the right side. It will be facing up towards the watch face when you attach it.
The side of the connector with a silver oval in the center is the wrong side that will be facing down towards the back of your watch face and your wrist when it's attached.
With the right side facing up, insert the band into the wrong side of the connector.
Turn your band over to the wrong side and insert the end into the slider, going up through one side and down through the other side.
The right side of your band will now look like this.
The wrong side will look like this:
At this point, I suggest attaching the band to your watch face to double check if it's the right length. Loosen the strap as much as possible, then wrap it around the widest part of your hand to make sure it will fit over when you put it on. Remember you'll also need approximately 1" extra for sewing the band onto the other connector.
If needed, trim the band to your desired length.
Insert the remaining end of the band into the right side of the connector. Fold the raw edge under approximately ¼", then fold the band towards itself and sew in place just as you did with the other end.
Attach the connectors to your watch face, put your adorable new band on your wrist, and you're good to go!
If you want to make ALL the bands without having to buy new hardware for each one, you can take the connector apart using the tiny screws on the bottom to switch out your band. An itty bitty screwdriver comes with the connectors I linked in the beginning.
Next up, Jenny @jmohnn will show you how to make a super cute elastic watch band!
PART 2: Scrunchy Elastic Band by Jenny Mohn
For the scrunchy elastic band, Jenny used an 18mm watch band connector. You can easily size up and down for your watch preferences.
For this project, you will need:
- your watch face
- a set of 2 watch band connectors that are compatible and the correct size to fit your watch face
- 2 ½" wide fabric for the scrunchy, with length based on your measurements below (adjust width as needed for your connectors)
¾" wide knit elastic, with length based on your measurements below
First, you will need to take some measurements. For this version, the band is not adjustable, so while not too tricky, it is important to get these correct or you may be unhappy with the fit of your final product. *Note, all measurements should be taken in inches.
1. Take a piece of string and wrap it around your wrist as tight as you would like your watchband to be. Mark on the string what that length is. We will call this measurement X.
2. Now, wrap the string around the widest part of your hand with enough ease that you would be able to slip the string on and off of your hand. Mark this length on the string as well. We will call this measurement Y.
3. Finally, take your watch off and mark on the string the length of your watch face + hardware attachments. We will call this measurement W.
6. Cut your elastic to length calculated in step 4.
*Be sure to backstitch all of your stitching to have secure seams!
8. With your fabric rectangle wrong side up, on both of the short ends, fold and press ¼".
9. Then, fold your rectangle in half along the long axis, with right sides together.
10. Sew along the raw edges. Here I used a serger, but a simple straight stitch will work just as well.
11. Next, turn your fabric tube right side out. You can do this by attaching a safety pin to one end and slowly working it through the tube.
12. Once it has been flipped right side out, give it a good press with the seam in the center of one side. Pressing against the seam will help to both open your seam maximally, and assure that your seam allowance is flat and not twisted.
13. Next, mark a line 1 ½" in from your raw edge on both sides.
14. Attach a safety pin or bodkin to both short ends of your elastic. Work your elastic into your fabric tube until it reaches about ½" past your marked line on the far side. Pin the elastic in place in the fabric tube near your marked line. Remove the safety pin/bodkin from the elastic on the pinned end, leaving the safety pin/bodkin on the other end of the elastic.
15. Using a short, narrow zig-zag stitch (I used 1mm wide, <1mm length), stitch along your marked line on the pinned end. This will fix your elastic in place inside of your fabric tube. I recommend going back and forth a few times to have a really strong connection.
16. Repeat steps 14 and 15 on the other end so that your elastic is secured on either end of your fabric tube. You will have to scrunch your fabric up along the elastic to make the marked line.
17. Then, close the ends of your fabric tube using the same zig-zag stitch.
18. Now, take your hardware attachments and thread one end of your fabric through the opening in the hardware. Be sure to thread it such that the seam of your fabric tube is on what will be the underside of your hardware* and the short end will be folded over on this underside as well (see photo for example).
* The underside of your hardware may have writing or a slot for your quick release pin as you can see in the photo below.
19. Pull your fabric tail through until the end of the tail is flush with the line of stitching you made to secure your elastic to the fabric. Stitch another line of zig-zag stitching over the previous stitching. Again, I would recommend going over this line forward and back at least once.
20. Sew another line of zig-zag stitching ¼" closer to the watch hardware (again, going back and forth multiple times for a strong connection).
21. Repeat steps 18 – 20 for your other end.
22. Attach your watchband to your watch and admire your new, handmade band! 😊