DIY Accordion Photo Album In Pocket Watch Shell

by Destri on June 13, 2011

Pocket Watch Photo Album Tutorial

I have had this idea rolling around in my head for about a year now, thinking it would make the best gift idea for Grandparents.  Sure they have the digital ones, but no one really ends up using those – at least ours didn’t :).  They still carry a few tattered pictures in their wallet and purse, but I think this gift just might grab for Grandpa.

DIY Pocket Watch Photo Album

He can carry it on his key ring, and when a moment presents itself, whip it out and let loose an accordion of photos from a vintage pocket watch.  Carries a bit of charm, no?

Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Birthday’s, Just Didn’t Want You To Forget What We Looked Like Day…perfect handmade gift!  There are a bunch of different ways you could do this, and I’ll show you how I made mine after the jump!

How To Make A Photo Album With A Pocket Watch

Supplies:

  • pocket watch, shell of pocket watch, or something similar
  • photos printed to wallet size
  • Gorilla glue, or E6000
  • Mod Podge and brush
  • lightweight fusible lining (you could make do without this)
  • scissors
  • photo protectant spray (I used matte)

I did make one with a sewing machine, but for the sake of Make It Monday, I thought I would make a version that didn’t require a machine.  I will let you know where I did things different with the one I sewed.

Assembly:

Let’s start with the shell.  On this one I literally took a hammer to the front, then took out the insides.  Save the face for a cutting guide.  I used an old Avon powder case before, and all I had to do was take out the powder.

Every case might be different, but on this one the prong that released the latch was connected to the guts.  So I placed a little glue, just on the ridged part that you would use to wind, and held it place for a minute.  I did not have to do this on the make-up case.  Just look at yours, figure out which parts need to still move and which you can glue.

For the photos, you will want pictures where the head shot doesn’t take up the whole photo.  Have have them printed to into wallet size.  I just did mine through Walmart.

Now using the watch face as a template, trace around the part of the photo you want to keep.  Cut them out just on the inside of the line you drew, so the circles are slightly smaller than the hole. Cut one extra blank for gluing in the bottom.  If you are lucky enough to have a circle punch that would work, by all means :)

Now you should have your pictures all cut out, plus the extra blank.

Lay them all down in a row, with just a little space in between, on a piece of scrap fabric.  Make sure they are all facing the same direction, and put the blank at one end.

Take a strip of the fusible lining that is cut to length, and carefully place over the photos.  Press with an iron set on medium.  I only left my iron on for 7 seconds, no steam.

You could possibly skip this step and just mod podge the photos to fabric, but this was nice to stabilize the photos.  Let me know if you try it that way and how it works.

If you want to use a sewing machine, after this step I sewed around each circle, then cut around them.  Again, you could do this many ways, just use what you have!

Next put a light coat of mod podge on the back, just enough to soak through the fabric and let dry.  For the one that I had sewn, I skipped this step.

Once dry, carefully cut around each photo, leaving fabric in between to hold them together.

Spray on the protectant per the instructions.  You might want to spray a little on a tester first, just to practice :).  Let them dry fully.

Now, put a good layer of glue in the bottom of the watch shell and press the blank that you put at the end onto it.  Hold for a minute, and then let dry.

You’re finished!

Just fold them up…

They should all fit nestled in the shell…

And you have a pocket watch photo album perfect for giving!  Isn’t it nifty?  Would fit in a purse or on a key chain quite nicely I think.

You can find the old pocket watches everywhere.  Vintage stores, thrift stores, etsy (under vintage or supplies), and even old Avon make-up cases look like pocket watches.  Anything that acts as a casing for the pictures would work.

If you make one, please let me know, always makes my day :)

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I will answer them there!

Happy Monday everyone, hope it is a great one!

~Destri

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