Introduction: Emergency Duct Tape Keychain

Picture of Emergency Duct Tape Keychain

Recently I saw a very interesting product online. Some online retailer (name withheld) was selling a very slick-looking “emergency duct tape” on a keychain. It was such a brilliant idea and obviously very well constructed. However, the asking price was $20 and for me this was a deal-breaker. I started thinking about how this could be made in a cheaper yet more rugged way. For those of you who require an acronym, allow me to present a DIY tutorial on how to construct what I like to call the “Torbin’s Super Awesome Emergency Duct Tape Keychain of Fortune” or TSAEDTKOF for short. Total cost? Only $4 and change at the local hardware store!

Items You Will Need

  • 2 inch clevis pin: I went with a 2 inch pin because it was still fairly long but had a small pin diameter. You may want to modify this depending upon your needs. Keep in mind that most duct tape widths are approximately 1.88 inches wide so if you go with this pin, you'll need something a bit thinner.
  • flat steel washer: The diameter of the hole should almost match exactly the diameter of the clevis pin.
  • slip ring: You might have to spend a little time picking around your local hardware store. Some of these are thicker than others and you want to find one that fits nicely.
  • duct tape no wider than 1.5 inches: Again, this width is dictated by the length of the clevis pin you choose.

Step 1: Put the Flat Steel Washer on the Clevis Pin

Picture of Put the Flat Steel Washer on the Clevis Pin

There should be no wiggle room with the fit for the flat steel washer.

Step 2: Attach the Slip Ring to the Top Hole on the Clevis Pin

Picture of Attach the Slip Ring to the Top Hole on the Clevis Pin

Attaching the slip ring now will give you something to use to turn the clevis pin and keep the tape tightly wrapped.

Step 3: Peel Back the Duct Tape About 1 Inch and Place the Clevis Pin at the End

Picture of Peel Back the Duct Tape About 1 Inch and Place the Clevis Pin at the End

Make sure that the side with the flat steel washer is flush with the top of the roll of tape.

Step 4: Begin Rolling the Tape Onto the Clevis Pin Slowing, Ensuring That the Tap Remains Flush With the Flat Steel Washer

Picture of Begin Rolling the Tape Onto the Clevis Pin Slowing, Ensuring That the Tap Remains Flush With the Flat Steel Washer

Continue rolling until the top of the rolled tape is flush with the top of the flat steel washer.

Step 5: That’s It! If You Want More Tape, Then You Can Get a Larger Flat Steel Washer. Enjoy!

Picture of That’s It! If You Want More Tape, Then You Can Get a Larger Flat Steel Washer. Enjoy!

Thanks to the popularity of duct tape these days there's lots of options for customization from neon stripes to pastel cheetah and polka dots (yes, that's really a thing). With a little imagination, you can always have some duct tape available when you need it, and remain fashionable at the same time!

UPDATE: I happened by the hardware store tonight and I got a slightly larger clevis pin and washer. As you can see from the photo, although the overall construction is only slightly larger, the red one is holding a little less than half the roll of tape I purchased (approximately 2 yards)!


pennsylforniageek (author)2015-12-09

BTW folks if you make this for yourself, I'd love to see your photos of how you customized it. Please feel free to add your photos of your own duct tape keychain!

docferus made it! (author)2017-08-15

I went the minimalist route with 1-inch Gorilla-to-Go on a 30mm cotter pin.

Doc, sorry for the late reply. I'm going to have to try that cotter pin. It looks like you got a lot more tape on there than I did. Nice job!

JacobyGoosey made it! (author)2016-01-15

This was great. I just started driving so I have my first key chain! I took an old laser pointer body and made mine that way.

Sweet! Does the laster pointer still function?

No, I wish it did. Most laser pointers you can get for .99 cents online only last a certain amount of hours and it was old and did not work.

severdhed made it! (author)2016-01-04

Thanks for posting this, a truly awesome idea. I just got done making one and i love it. I got about 9ft of duct tape on mine and it is about the size of an old film canister. i added a second washer to the top, with a little bit of electrical tape to hold it in place. This will keep lint from building up on the edge. (i hope). Now that I see how awesome it is, i will pick up a few more pins to make will make a great gift.

Sorry for the late reply Severdhed and thank you for your comments. OMG it's so awesome you got that much duct tape on that role! Totally worth a #NOISE! I love the idea of the washer on the top. I've heard a number of other people mention something similar. Great idea! I'm really happy that this worked out so well for you!

I'm apparently really bad at estimating how long a foot was. I made two more just like it, but this time I measured it, it comes out to right around 6ft. Still, plenty of duct tape to have on you at all times.

Thanks for the great idea

msteers (author)2016-01-11

Ive done much the same thing except I use the body of an old bic pen with some paracord looped through it. They make great zipper pulls for the inside of large packs or where you have gloves on and need something bigger to grab on to.

Could you upload a photo Msteers? I would love to see what you made.

JackieD20 made it! (author)2015-12-15

It's a great idea, but you actually make it harder (and heavier!) than it needs to be. I make mine by taking an 8 inch length of paracord (which in my experience is plenty sturdy for a key ring), fold in half, and wrap gorilla tape around until it's as fat as I want. Sometimes I singe the ends of the cord, though I didn't on this one. Gorilla tape works best in my opinion because it sticks to EVERYTHING but is also easy to tear, especially if you don't need the full width. I've used mine for everything from fixing a torn bag of cat litter at the grocery store to holding glass in place on a shattered iphone to hanging signs and banners.

Ah, sweet! Thanks for the photo and such a great idea! Someone else had mentioned paracord but I was having a hard time envisioning what they were talking about. This makes it much clearer and it's a great upgrade.

Admittedly (and a bit shamefully) I haven't toyed around with paracord much but I really think that needs to change. It seems like the kind of thing that's almost a natural compliment to duct tape. Thanks for sharing this Jackie!

helter_skeleton made it! (author)2015-12-13

found the clevis pin but couldn't find a washer to fit, so I used and eye bolt instead.

I love it! Plus that solves the issue Pilot brought up with the paracord! Nicely done!

old_code (author)2015-12-11

Brilliant modification. Looks like it could easily attach to backpacks, belt loops, etc.

Thank you! I keep one in my gig bag and one on my keychain.

Mi cha el (author)2015-12-10

Another washer on the "ring end? Other than that, you saved me better than 2 lbs. in my backpack. Thank you. Very well done.

Awesome! I'm glad you found this helpful! I thought about the other washer but there's nothing there to keep it held tight. It would definitely be required if I did a paracord version so maybe some thought needs to go into making a version 2.0.

Use a threaded bolt. Put a washer and a nut on it, and drill your own holes. Just an idea. Then you have an emergency nut and bolt as well.

Awesome twist (no pun intended)!

berky93 (author)2015-12-10

You could also put a second washer on the end once you've wrapped the tape, to help prevent dirt and lint and such from getting stuck to the edges when it's in your pocket.

JonathanB10 (author)berky932015-12-10

This + gaffer's tape instead of duct tape would make this perfect for my keychain :)

Yeah, I was thinking about that this morning with regards to Pilot's comment. Even if you try to lay the paracord nicely, at some point it's going to get out of whack. The second washer definitely would help with that.

sean m (author)2015-12-10

I always just used a pencil nub and a piece of paracord. Loop the cord next to the pencil and wrap the tape until I had about 10 feet,

pennsylforniageek (author)sean m2015-12-10

Since there's been so many comments about paracord I think I'm going to have to start playing with that next.

maxman (author)2015-12-10

Lay a loop of string next to a lighter. Wrap duct tape around the lighter and string. Then you have tape AND a lighter at your disposal. Use the loop of string to attach the devise to your keychain.

pennsylforniageek (author)maxman2015-12-10

LOL, nice!

Golfingpunk (author)2015-12-10

Great idea and well constructed - thanks!

Thanks for your comments GolfingPunk!

pennsylforniageek (author)2015-12-09

Well yes. That's what I meant. :P

oletos13 (author)2015-12-05

I love it. Simple stuff like this is the best stuff

Thanks man! After finding all of the different types of duct tape patterns (links above in another thread) the kid inside me feels like just making 1000 of these things for Christmas stocking stuffers!

herzergirl (author)2015-12-09

I'm picturing little zebra striped and polka dotted key fobs hanging off all over my bug out bag!

jcduplessis (author)2015-12-06

Great idea! Is the name/acronym by any chance inspired by Flint Lockwood?

Ah, nice reference! No, it's not. I just happen to have a very dry/slapstick sense of humor. I think DIY tutorials should be just as enjoyable to read as a good short story. You should be able to learn something but not be so bored in the process that you want to tear your eyes from you head. This was my intended goal. How'd I do? :D

3366carlos (author)2015-12-06

great idea.

Thanks Carlos!

suducode (author)2015-12-05

This is awesome !

Thanks dude! Hey, if this helps just one person then it was worth it.

4WantofaNail (author)2015-12-05

great idea. solid construction. I'd call that a win.

Thanks dude!

Alex 2Q (author)2015-12-05

Very cool and simple project.
Cheers Alex

Thanks Alex!

pennsylforniageek (author)2015-12-05

With the clevis pin that should be fairly easy. The holes go all the way down the shaft so you should be able to attach it and wrap it like a firehose. only issue you might have is tying it off but if you slip the cord through the top-most hole and tie a lose double knot, that should do the trick.

Street-Wise Irish (author)2015-12-04

Duct tape is da best

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-12-04

Duct tape is the ultimate emergency tool. Take it with you everywhere.

About This Instructable




Bio: Philadelphia InfoSec Evangelist / Gamer / Developer / Technologist transplant now living in California.
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