6 DIY Projects: What to Do with Your Old Watches

Looking for some DIY projects? If you have more time on your hands and are looking for something fun to do, there are plenty of ways to repurpose your old watches. Whether you have an antique watch or classic watch that’s not working properly or simply a watch that’s broken, there’s no need to throw it away.

Even if they’re not keeping the time anymore you can creatively craft entirely different objects out of your old watches. Here are some DIY projects to inspire you. We hope you’ll experiment with these ideas to transform your former timepieces into something fresh and new.

1: Bookmark It

Book lovers will appreciate this one. Remove the bands off an old watch and find any crochet yarn, ribbon or nylon string with beads. Using whichever part of your old watch, you can make your very own bookmark. The straps could be a pretty good use for it. Bookmarks can be made in various lengths to keep your places in your different reading material.

side view of TAG Heuer Carrera white dial watch

2: Catch the Sun with It

Reverse paint the window glass of your old watches and hang the timepieces together to make your own sun catcher. This is an attention-grabbing and decorative item inside or outside your home, plus it makes for an unusual gift idea.

3: Clock It

Make your own clock. All you need is a plastic plate or old vinyl record and some craft store clock works. Use 12 old watch faces for the clock numbers. Remove the bands and set them at the appropriate places around your plate or record. Glue them down and you’re good to go.

If this turns out to be this year’s go-to Christmas gift idea, you may end up making multiple clocks. Simply set your old watches, photocopy them and glue the cut out pictures to your clock background. The watch face sizes can be adjusted until you’re satisfied.

front view of a small clock

Another DIY project idea: To jazz up a dollhouse, use your old watch as a miniature clock hanging on the wall.

4: Frame It

If you’re able to remove the hands from underneath the glass of your old watch, use the face as a tiny photo frame. Find a picture and cut it to fit inside. Screw the crystal window back onto your watch face. Display your watch photo frame in a hanging wall display or wear it around your neck as a locket or pendant.

On the other hand, try removing your old vintage watches from their bands. Hot glue them onto the borders of photo frames—from shabby chic to colorful painted types—and even add different colored & shaped beads & buttons for texture.

crown and bezel of Tudor Heritage Black Bay bronze watch

5: Take it Apart

If you enjoy opening objects up and seeing the inside mechanisms, you’ll probably benefit from taking apart your old watches. Why not make new things out of your old watch pieces?

Create mini animals, bicycles, cars and motorbike sculptures or anything you like using vintage watch parts.

6: Scrapbook It

Scrapbooking is always a good idea for DIY projects. Your old watch gears and pieces can definitely be added in scrapbooking. When you’re creating a new page in your scrapbook related to time, New Year’s Eve or something special you’d like to commemorate, add the watch faces and gears to transform your sheet & add to the memories.


If you’re still wondering what to do with your old watches after these nine DIY projects, why not consider donating them to education or recycling them? The proceeds of recycled or resold watches can aid various charities or online organizations.

There’s always a purpose for unused watches. Someone else can still find immense value in an item no longer necessary to you.

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