Recycled jewelry DIY – turn a watch into a resin bracelet

recycled watch resin braceletHow to recycle a broken watch into a resin bracelet

Originally published September 2013.  Updated February 2020.

At some point, it happens.  An inexpensive watch breaks and I just can’t part with it.  Then it happens again.  Or maybe I hit a flea market and find an entire bag of watches that don’t work for $10 and buy them determined to make them into a recycled jewelry DIY project.

For the watches that are still in good shape, you can open up the back, rip the guts out, and make the shell a resin reservoir for an awesome bracelet.

Resin supplies needed:

broken watch

For this recycled jewelry DIY project, I’m using a watch with an intact front, but where the backplate and watch components have been removed.


Step 1

recycled watch parts

Open the back and remove the watch face, gears, etc.  When doing that, there will be a hole on at least one side (from the winding mechanism).  Cover this hole with masking tape during this project to keep the resin from running out through the hole.


Step 2

cutting a transparency sheet

Trim a transparency image to fit your watch face.  If you don’t have any of these handy, you can get clip art printed onto transparency sheets at a copy store.


Step 3

Not shown:  Measure and mix a small amount of resin.


Step 4

adding resin to a recycled watch

Carefully place a small amount of resin into the open back of the watch bezel.  You want to put in enough to cover the area in a thin layer.  Remove bubbles with a heat gun before allowing to cure.

If you’re worried at all that the glass face does not fit snugly into the frame, you may want to cover it with masking tape as well so that your resin won’t leak around the edges.

Pro tip:  A drying mat isn’t essential for this tutorial (green mat shown at left), but I think the knobs on the mat are helpful to keeping your watch in place.

Step 5

placing resin coated transparency into watch

Dip the transparency piece into your cup of resin (not shown).  This will help to prevent bubbles as you put it into your watch face.  Slide the transparency into the layer of resin in the watch.  Remove any bubbles as necessary.  Cover and allow your recycled jewelry DIY project to at least partially cure.


Step 6

adding powder to resin

Mix a new batch of resin and add a stir stix scoop of glow in the dark powder.  You should aim to add no more than 1 part powder to 4 parts resin.  Mix thoroughly for a couple of minutes.

Step 7

pouring resin into a recycled watch

Spoon the glow powder and resin mixture into the open watch.  Be careful not to overfill.  Remove bubbles as necessary.

Note:  I find that once glow powders are added to resin, it makes the resin thick.

Cover and allow to cure.


resin watch bracelet

Enjoy your new bracelet!


glow in the dark resin

After charging your recycled jewelry DIY bracelet with a bright light for 10 minutes, you can see how it GLOWS!



Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC

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