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Problem: It's getting cold again and I walk a good bit to campus with lots of winter gear on. I'm always afraid I'm going to lose my keys because I can't quite feel them as I put them in my pocket of my coat. Also, when I pull my gloves back out of the pocket sometimes the keys want to come right back out. I did have a backpack with a great fob for attaching my keys on but it wore out and I needed a new one. Unfortunately, it came without this great feature. Also, I have all of these lanyards from conferences laying around my office just cluttering things up. Why not reuse them?

Solution: Why not turn the key end of one of these fobs into a handy key holder that would be zipped inside the pocket of my bag. It turned out well and simply solved an annoying problem of the winter! Tah dah! Free and practical!

Step 1: Gather Materials

You'll need:

1) A lanyard with a removable strap and key ring - this one is from a conference I went to and those of you that go to a lot of conferences know that there are a LOT of these around. Look around, scavenge, beg, borrow, but don't steal! For this particular instance I wanted one that keys could attach to, but one with a clip could have worked too. I also liked that this one was attached to a ribbon which was easier to sew and seems more sturdy than string lanyards.

2) a pocket knife with a bottle cap remover (a screwdriver would be fine too!)

3) A needle and thread - I don't know the gauge of the needle or thread, but it's pretty thick thread and wouldn't go through the eye of a standard needle. Normal thread would be fine, this is just what I had.

4) A pair of sharp scissors

5) A match or lighter to seal the ribbon after cutting it

6) A backpack with pockets. The lanyard will be attached inside one of the pockets, in this case on the top.

Step 2: Disassemble Your Lanyard

In this case, this was very easy. I just put the bottle cap opener (or screwdriver) between the ribbon on the lanyard and the plastic casing and twisted. It popped right off! Reserve all pieces for later use.

Step 3: Prepare Your Pocket

Choose the pocket the lanyard is going into. In this case I chose the top pocket because it's easy to access and seems like the best place to put my keys. Open the pocket and pull the lining out. Determine the length of ribbon you'll need and cut your lanyard to that length. I would err on the slightly longer side because a little more ribbon in the pocket is better than having your keys flop out when you're zipping it closed because it is too short. When finished cutting the ribbon I used a lighter to melt the frayed end of the ribbon so it wouldn't fray more. Unfortunately I did not show this step, it is the same thing you might do to a rope or shoe lace if you cut it.

Step 4: Sew, Sew, Sew

Okay, I'm not a tailor but I can sew a bit. First, I folded the ribbon in half and reattached the reserved parts of the lanyard to the free ends. Then, I sewed the looped end into the pocket with the attaching end going into the pocket. I sewed through the ribbon and ONE side of the pocket. I put dashed lines in the picture above to illustrate where I sewed. My job isn't very pretty, but it is very effective.

VERY IMPORTANT! Try your best to sew through only one side of the pocket. If you do not, you will have to rip out your threads and start over!

Step 5: Finish Up!

Now, you're almost done. Attach your keys to the key ring. Then turn your pocket back right-side-out. Make sure it zips closed and you're finished. Now, you won't lose your keys in the winter because of your big fat gloves!

<p>Very clever, definitely looks like it will be easy to find from now on!</p>
Thanks MSS! It was as my hope that it was a simple yet elegant solution.

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