Beaded Watchbands with Vintage Style

Replace an old watchband with this beaded version of earth tones and textures.

Vintage watches are easy to find in flea markets and antique shops. Make one of these finds truly your own by replacing a worn or broken band with one crafted from an assortment of beads. And while you're at it, buy some extra beads to make a coordinating necklace or earrings.

What You Need:

  • Wristwatch
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Stretch Magic bead-and-jewelry cord
  • Assorted beads
  • 4 crimping beads
  • 4 4-millimeter jump rings
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 4 6-millimeter jump rings
  • 2-inch-long head pins


1. Remove the band from the wristwatch, retaining the spring bars.

2. Cut two 10-inch lengths of elastic cord. Double-knot one end of each length. Thread a 6-1/2-inch length of beads on each cord. The length will vary, depending on wrist size and watch face size. The finished watch should fit like a bracelet. Remove or add beads as needed.

3. When you determine the final beaded length, push the beads away from the knotted end of each cord. Thread one crimping bead, and then one 4-millimeter jump ring on the open cord ends. Loop each cord back through its jump ring, crimping bead, and the closest bead (or two). Using the needle-nose pliers, squeeze the crimping bead to securely hold the cord. Repeat on the opposite ends after cutting away the knots.

4. Attach the beaded cords to the spring bars of the watch from 6-millimeter jump rings and needle-nose pliers.

5. Attach bell-beads directly to the spring bars on the watch. Thread them on the bar while one end of the bar is in place; then snap the other end in place. Attach beads to the spring bars after they are in place, connecting them with 6-millimeter jump rings and needle-nose pliers. Attach additional beads to the spring bars by threading the beads on 2-inch head pins. When the beads are threaded, cut off the excess length of head pin, leaving 3/4 inch at the end of the wire. Bend the wire into a closed loop with needle-nose pliers. Attach the head pins to the spring bars with 6-millimeter jump rings.


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