I’m reposting this project today – and this time I’m actually including the photos. ;] This super cool project turns old watches into photo keepsake jewelry. I’d like to say I dreamed up the idea for these amazing “photo watches”, but I didn’t. I saw a photo of them on Facebook and was instantly smitten. If you search online you’ll find other examples that are similar. It’s a simple idea – one that I love SO much. They’re easy to execute (except getting the back off the watch!), and make lovely and unique jewelry.
As you may know, I LOVE vintage photos. I collect them, have a drawer full of them, and use them in my artwork. I often use photos of strangers that I’ve purchased in my projects, but sometimes I use old family photos. My three samples make use of two cherished family photos, as well as one of the vintage photos I altered in my book – An Altered Existence.
Left: One of the characters from the story Cast from a Different Mold (in my book)
Center: My Grandma Neva in the 1920’s
Right: My Aunt Bobby as a little girl, in her swimming cap and bathing suit
I wear the watches featuring the photos of my aunt and grandma on a regular basis, and I often wear both at the same time. I sometimes pause during the day and look at their photos with love and gratitude. It makes me happy to have them close, particularly since they’ve both passed on…
Old watches – they don’t have to run
Photos – either copies or (if you’re daring) originals
Diamond Glaze or Mod Podge (optional)
Something to pry or screw open the backs of the watches
1. Open the back of the watch. You may need to reference the web to figure out how to open a specific type of watch, as I did. Two of the watches opened by prying them open with a metal tool, and one screwed open.
2. Select photos that will fit in the window of your watch. Make copies if need be.
3. Lightly trace the back of the watch onto the photo with pencil and trim the photo to fit inside the watch.
4. Remove the watch “innards” so you can place the photo inside. You may need to trim the photo a bit more to get it to fit and line up properly.
5. Secure the photo inside the watch – either with Diamond Glaze or by putting the watch innards back in the watch behind the photo. If you opt to affix the photo to the inside of the clear face cover, use a thin swipe of Diamond Glaze to “glue” it to the plastic or glass. I did this with the two round-faced watches because the photos were color copies, and were thinner. For the gold watch with the rectangular face I simply put the photo in and then placed the watch innards behind it.
6. Close up the back of the watch, wear, and enjoy!
I love how these pieces turned out, and look forward to making more. For me the tricky part is finding watch bands that fit my (big-boned) wrist. I ordered a few lots of watches from eBay in order to make this project, and because some of the watches are just too small for me I’m offering some of the watches that didn’t work out for me in a giveaway. If you win one of the watches you can customize it your own way – whether you opt to use a color photo or something black and white, as I did.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post saying which watch you’d choose from the three I’m offering. Please include your first and second choices. I’ll choose names at random and will assign watches to folks until they’re all spoken for. The winners will be notified here on my blog a week from today, on March 26, 2014. Good luck!