DIY Watch Strap Repair

I have a Michael Kors watch that I bought at my first NAS five years ago. I wore it every day for years. The leather band really took a beating, and since I like my clothes and accessories to look very polished, I stopped wearing it as much. But I still really love the watch. When I inquired about buying a new strap, I found out that MK watches can only be replaced with MK brand straps. It turn out that replacement straps are hard to find (Nordstrom only carries a few), expensive (over $100), and I'd probably have to send my watch away to Michael Kors for them to do the replacement. What a hassle! 

A while ago, Rae and Claire posted about dying leather handbags and shoes themselves and I thought maybe I could spruce up my strap myself. I ordered a white leather dye kit off Amazon. The band had split in a few places, so I started by repairing that with rubber cement. Then I masked off the metal bits (by far the most time consuming part) and followed the direction on the kit. It couldn't have been easier! The dye is very forgiving. I used two coats, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. And it only cost me about $25 in materials and 45 minutes of time. I think this repair will get me through the next few years, until the watch needs replacing completely. 

Anyway, I don't think I would have even thought of dying the strap myself if it weren't for Rae's and Claire's posts. So thanks, ladies! :)

Photo 1: Before dying. You can see where the white dye had rubbed away in several places.

Photo 2: Fixed!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Sona replied 10 years ago

    fab DIY!!!! and not just the savings but the " I did  this on my own" feeling has got to make the watch feel even extra special every time you wear it!

  • Sheila replied 10 years ago

    Awesome! What a smart woman you are!!! I would never have thought of this...

  • ramya replied 10 years ago

    Smart smart move:)

  • Runcarla replied 10 years ago

    Gorgeous watch! I can see why you would want to keep it in circulation. What a fantastic refurbishment you have managed. Congratulations, Ana!

  • replied 10 years ago

    Great fix!

  • Glory replied 10 years ago

    What a stellar job you have done! I love the before and after - I would never have thought the end result would such a dramatic change!

  • lyn* replied 10 years ago

    Whoa! Fab!

  • Ana replied 10 years ago

    Thanks, everyone! I'm wearing my watch today. It looks almost brand new again. :)

  • Susie replied 10 years ago

    It DOES look new! You did a great job!

  • Caro in Oz replied 10 years ago

    Impressive :)

  • Jjsloane replied 10 years ago

    Brilliant - I was inspired by them to order tons of dye, but have only yet tackled one pair of shoes. Watch straps never occurred to me, but DUH I guess belts would be game too... 

  • Betti replied 10 years ago

    Oooo, that is NICE! I'm so glad you posted this, it's a handy tip!

  • Joy replied 10 years ago

    Thank you for posting you leather dye success. It does look like new. What brand leather dye did you use?

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 10 years ago

    It does look practically brand new! Nice job!

  • Ana replied 10 years ago

    Thanks everyone. :)

    Joy, I ordered this TRG brand kit from Amazon:;psc=1

    I think it's the brand that Rae recommended on her blog post a while back.

  • Joy replied 10 years ago

    Thank you, Ana. I've not found white pumps and have been thinking of creating some.

  • Janet replied 10 years ago

    That is terrific, and your watch looks like new! Isn't it great when you can salvage a beloved item?

    I think I'm going to order some of that dye for a pair of infrequently-worn but comfortable booties that are currently mustard. I'm thinking cobalt blue would play better with my wardrobe. :-)

  • Sarah A replied 10 years ago

    Great DIY! Claire and Rae have me addicted to dyeing my own leathergoods too!

  • Ariadne replied 10 years ago

    Great save, both financially and environmentally, by fixing up what you already own!  

  • rachylou replied 10 years ago

    So smart!

  • Kristin L replied 10 years ago

    Great job!

  • Eliza replied 10 years ago

    Awe inspiring! Looks great.

  • Deborah replied 10 years ago

    Brilliant DIY! It looks great.

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