If you have a watch that simply won't keep time any longer, repurpose it into something that you can wear or use every day. Instead of filling a jewelry box with broken time pieces, do something fresh and new with these often sentimental items. Don't be afraid to take your old watches apart using needle nose pliers or other horology tools.
Some ways to repurpose your favorite watches include:
Something artsy. A watch face makes a great addition to a wall-hanging or collage. Cover a stretched canvas or panel with velvet, stapling to secure. Use hot-glue to attach old jewelry, beads, buttons, and watch faces to the panel. Arrange the items in a design or shape that is aesthetically appealing.
New jewelry. Remove the glass front of your watch face to fill the casing with beads, charms, and trinkets. These items will appear to float in the casing and make a unique bracelet when retired as a time-piece.
Personalized pendants. Create pendants out of old watches by snipping off the strap or bracelet and securing a finding. These can be used in charm bracelets, necklaces, or pins.
Photo faces. Fill the face with a photo, either by opening-up the watch and sliding the photo behind the glass, or by gluing the photo to the front of the face. You can use decoupage glue behind the photo as well as on top when it is in place to help keep it secure. Use cool, older pictures in black and white for a vintage-style accessory item.
Great gear ideas. Take apart your old watches and repurpose the gears in art, cards, or crafts. Sort these tiny fixtures and glue them to your crafts for a unique, vintage accent that also has an industrial flair.
Add some inspiration. If you want to make your own distinctive gift to share with someone special, add an inspirational message to the face of an old watch. Use the same techniques as with a photo, or paint the front of the face with acrylic paint and allow to fully-dry before writing your message with an oil-based paint pen. These are cool, contemporary accessories that young people will also enjoy receiving.
Try these ideas with any old or not-working watches that you have laying around. These will become treasured keepsakes that also make thoughtful gifts. Visit a crafting store and sites like TED CROM BOOKS for more ideas related to horology and repurposing your time-pieces in creative ways.