How to Make a Leather Watch Strap

Not only does a leather watch look cool but it also adds value to your attire. So if you are sniffing around for a way to make a leather watch strap at home? Then no need to look further. As here in this piece, we will walk you through the process of making leather watch straps without any difficulty.

In the age of mobile phones and smartwatches, how many of you love to wear leather watches? The answer might be confusing for some but there is no denial in the fact that lather watches are one of the best inventions of humankind and no technology has that much power to replace it. Even in this technological era, people love to wear watches and maintain the collection of the same. Most people are obsessed with watches. And finding the one that can go with your every outfit might be daunting for you. But what if we prepare the leather strap at home?

Isn’t it fun and exciting? Most people used to wear the watches given by their grandparents as a memory. So the point here is what is the specialty of such watches, the hard work they did in making the watch and you can do the same. Truth be told, it doesn’t require much effort and hard work. Trust us, you don’t have to move mountains. Just some work here and there and voila your watch is ready.

So let’s jump into the process. But before you need to know how to measure a watch band or choose a type of leather.

How to Measure a Watch Band

Watch Bands are distributed in millimeter sizes depending on the inside diameter of the watch lugs. If you’re lucky, the scale of the new watch band will be printed on the back. To find the distance between the lugs of the watch case or the spring bar end of the existing strap, use a metric ruler or a free printable guide. The spring bar should not be used in the calculation. To refresh your memory, one centimeter equals ten millimeters.

Types of Leather Out There

Leather is an example of nature’s most versatile fabrics. As a result, it is a high-quality commodity, and it is also very eco-friendly. Leather products are flexible, durable, and low maintenance. On the market, there are three varieties of leather. The first is faux leather also known as fake leather. It is not a true leather but is constructed from a synthetic frame and thus wears off easily. Faux leather is made without harming animals makes it good to go for people who hate the thought of hurting animals.

The second option is real leather, which is much more robust than artificial leather and one of the excellent alternatives because it offers reasonably good quality. Also, the cost is average. It is inexpensive though seeming to be much more useful.

Full-grain leather is the third category of leather. One of the finest quality materials of leather, as well as the most versatile and toughest. It has an identical appearance to pure leather. Not to mention, it is difficult to discern the disagreement between the two, but full-grain leather lasts for a long time.

A leather watch strap fits both relaxed and formal wear, which ensures it goes with everything. Straps come in a variety of colors and patterns, and they feel light on the skin and do not induce sweating. It is an ideal material for wrist watch bands since it possesses all of the requisite properties. And, without a doubt, leather never goes out of style.

Step By Step Guide to Make Leather Watch Strap

Now as you are aware of the types of leather available in the market and how to measure bandwidth, it is time to jump on the process of making leather straps at home. To make it understandable we have broken down the whole process into simple steps.

Step1: Essential Tools Needed

First things first, you need to gather the essential tools needed for making the straps. Some of the tools are homemade or beautifully crafted instead of commercially available tools. All you need is a real burnishing tool, beveling tool, hole punch tool, stitching groover, glue, a large swatch of leather, and much more. You can easily find this tool in the market. It is crucial to collect all the elements first then jump on the process of making. As it will save your time and resources. To be very honest, it is quite frustrating to leave the process in between because of the lack of tools.

Step2: Initial Strap Cut

Now the next step is to cut the leather strap into two and both the straps should be of the same dimension. Make sure the diameter is equal to the difference seen between the two lugs. Now all you need to do is fold one of the straps in half and then fold the other one so there is about 3cm on one side. The folds should be visible as it will help in the next process.

Step 3: Thinning

As the name suggested, the process involves thinning of the initial strap. All we have to do is thin out the leather where the folds are. It is wise to use a xacto knife and scrape backward and forwards frequently. It doesn’t have to be any thinner than the rest of the leather, only enough to make folding smoother.

Step 4: Cutting the End

Now the next part is cutting the edge, it can be easily done with the help of punch but if you don’t have one then no need to worry. In that case, The simplest method is to fold a piece of paper in half and cut it into the desired shape before tracing it onto the leather and carving from there.

Step 5: Stitching Holes

Next, you have to stitch holes. To make a groove around the edge, use a flat chisel attached to a pen cap contraption. Place the pen cap on the edge of the leather and run the chisel over it. Then, using the pointed chisel or fork, begin marking holes in the groove. Try to keep it even.

Step 6: Inside the Strap

As you all know the strap has one more piece of leather which is known as another leather. You can use different pieces of leather here which are hard and stiff. All you need to do is align the leather so that it was somewhat narrower than the stitching. Further, using needles threaded into the cracks, align the piece of leather. Then it would be best to use fabric glue to secure it. Normal Elmer’s glue would fit, but not in large quantities. You don’t want the adhesive to stiffen the strap.

Step 7: Repeat Last Step

Now all you have to do is repeat the step for another strap.

Step 8: Buckle Hole

First, measure the buckle and mark it on the strap. In measurement, you have to focus on how wide the tang is. After making marks all you have to do is fold the strap and cut where the mark is. It is more likely that you won’t end up with the buckle where you wanted it in the first attempt. For this, you have to make several trials and errors.

Step 9: Time to Sew

As the name speaks, it is time to sew the straps. Simply go through each of the holes before you reach the top. Just half of the holes will be covered, even though they should all be filled. Then tie it off and, depending on the string, fire the ends.

Step 10: Edge Finishing

After sewing, you have to do edge finishing. The very step is when the leather edge is wet, run this over it. Go backward and forward and quickly; the aim is to generate some fire. Also, use a leather conditioner. Put a conditioner on a tissue then run it on an edge. It is advised to run it only in a single direction. Lastly, use leather colors, simply put it on tissue then run in one direction only for better finishing.

Step 11: Hole Punch

The final step is to make holes. It is suggested to use a hole punch. The step is difficult and it is impossible to get all of the holes to be the same distance apart and in rows. If you don’t have a hole punch then you can use a hammer and a small pipe. But let us tell you it is way more difficult. Even with hole punches, people don’t get holes at even points. However, with little practice, it can be easily done.

These are the all steps for making straps at home. Isn’t it easy? Indeed it is. You might find it overwhelming on your first try but it is one of the best DIY methods. With little practice, you will be a pro in no time, and then making a watch strap might seem like an easy task on this planet. However, it is most likely that things can go wrong in the process like uneven holes and edges. But don’t let this discourage you.

How to Stop Leather Watch Straps from Smelling?

Leather has a clean, rich, earthy odor but the smell doesn’t stink. If you prefer to wear a leather watch band on a regular basis, the leather pores will trap smells after some time. To avoid this, you’ll have to disinfect it from time to time. If you’re curious how to avoid the leather watch belt from smelling, the very first move should obviously be to take a short break from it. Since it is so similar to skin, the leather retains moisture and dust that is unavoidable when wearing it on a daily basis. Leather watch belts have to breathe. The pores in the leather can trap scents if it is not allowed to breathe. Perhaps what the band requires is some downtime. It can do the trick if you leave it on the night table overnight or any other suitable place. It’s a smart idea to remove your watch when swimming. Of course, you should scrub your strap and clear any accumulated dirt or smells.

Is there a Way to Clean a Strap of Leather Watch?

If allowing your watch band to relax does not remove the smell, it might be an opportunity to refine it. Take these measures to clean your leather watch strap:

  • The very first thing is to use a microfiber fabric to clean off both sides. It will remove all the trapped dirt from the watch.
  • Put a mild hand of soap or shampoo on the cloth and then gently rub it on the leather strap back and forth. Always go with a gentle soap or baby shampoo.
  • Wipe the leather clean with a different wet cloth. Don’t use excessively much water, as this can do leather harm.
  • Now it is time to dry the strap. Let it dry on its own.
  • If desired, treat the leather with your particular leather grease or conditioner to smooth and cover it.

How to Condition and Soften Leather Watch Straps

The strap can be rigid at first, as with all leather goods, it will relax with time. Since leather is elastic, it can absorb oils and convert more resilient over time. You may also use conditioner or leather oil on the watch strap, but not too much or in significant quantities. During the time of conditioning the leather, less is more. This softening procedure is to make your strap comfortable and supple, can help avoid damage to the leather, which is possible when the leather starts losing its normal lubricant. It should be noted that applying a leather oil can slightly deepen the leather color, so check with your cleanser product to view what it suggests regarding darkening, and then do a spot test on the underneath of the strap.

What is your Take on Leather Watch Straps Being Waterproof

No, the leather watches are not waterproof. Genuine leather watch belts are a natural commodity that behaves similarly to the skin, which means they are somewhat elastic and can never be completely waterproof. Water may ruin a leather watch strap by staining, discoloring, or causing it to deteriorate prematurely. If you have your leather strap wet, the very thing you can do is softly wipe it clean. Press the belt dry with a smooth, breathable fabric, then let it air dry. Never use a hairdryer to speed up the process. While it is difficult to fully shield leather from spray, you can apply a leather protectant or beeswax cream to gently coat your watch band for added protection.

How to Change a Watch Strap

Now after making the strap the most important thing is to apply it on your dial. For this, you need to know how to change the strap. The method is further divided into two sections which we have mentioned below.

1. With the Help of Removal Tool – To execute this, you will need a spring bar tool. The first step is to place the tool’s fork tip between the device lug and strap. Then all you have to do is give a little push so that the spring bar can compress and the strap should be removed easily. Further, attach the new strap. Check that it is pointing in the right direction; the shorter side should follow the 12 o’clock angle of the watch. Now, start by inserting one side of the spring bar into its lughole. Moreover, load the spring bar with the spring tool’s fork end before inserting it into the other lug socket. This is all the spring bar will be in place and it is done.

2. Without Any Tool – Okay now if you don’t have a spring bar tool then it can be a little tricky to do the job. The alternative is to use a dull knife or sharp object. You may also compress the spring bar and cut the strap with a blunt knife or hard plastic card, which is much more difficult but not impossible.

The Bottom Line

There you have it! This is our take on the “How to Make a Leather Watch Strap”. Here in this guide, we have covered all about the leather watch strap. We know the happiness we get while creating or building something from scratch. Whether it is big like building your car or renovation or your house or a small like making a watch for your loved ones. Hand-made things always hold a special corner in our hearts. It is the best gift for your loved ones. Not to forget the fun part which you will get by creating a watch. Now it might be a little tricky or scary in the first attempt but the result is always worthwhile.

So, don’t confuse yourself anymore! Just get all the things you need to create a watch strap in one place and start making the strap. In case we are missing anything, you are more than welcome to contact us in the comments section.

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