Introduction: Protective Leather Keyring

For my first -publshed- instructable I am going to explain how my sister (a leather craftswoman) makes an interesting kind of keyrings.

Their best point is that the keys are stored inside a pocket, so they don't scratch other items inside your bag (as the screen of your cellular), nor they wear down the lining, or your pants pockets.

Besides, it is beautiful and handy, so I hope you like it very much, and you vote me for the Tandy Leather contest.

So, let's go!

Step 1: Materials

These are the materials needed to make this beautiful keyring:

  • Some soft leather (ovine leather works perfect), in two different colours that you like to see together. The smaller piece is for the design.
  • Resistent thread, in a color that matches with the leather (best choice, the same colour as the smaller piece of leather)
  • Normal paper to print the keyring and design patterns from a printer.
  • Thin paper (as thin as you can find it), for the design pattern.
  • Some thick adhesive tissue.
  • Adhesive paper tape
  • Flexible glue.
  • A leather snap fastener
  • A metal ring.

Step 2: Tools

As a professional craftswoman, my sister has an important amount of specific tools to work with, but sure anyone can manage to do this pretty well with more domestic stuff.

For example, she uses two different sewing machines, which is not very likely an ordinary person to have them at home just in case...

So, you need (in order of appareance):

  • A computer and a printer (or pretty good drawing habilities)
  • A strong sewing machine, strong enough to sew the leather. You can make a test before starting if you are not very sure about yours. This is for sure the most indispensable tool you need. I would be very hard and difficult to sew the leather by hand and have a good straight result. But you can always try.
  • Leather punch (a sharp nail or somehting similar, could work if you don't have one)
  • A tool to install the snap fastener (I don't know its name in english, but I put a picture of it). If you don't have one, you maybe can manage to install it as the man in this video , but anyway you need some tools... maybe you are able to build some handmade tool that works...
  • Scissors (yeah! finally, something you already have!)
  • Ballpen
  • Some paper clamps

Step 3: Patterns

As my sister makes lots of this kind of keyrings, she uses a set of plastic patterns, but for you we have prepared a drawing with anotations of measurements, so you cant print them. Also, I have numbered each shape in the pattern to make it easier to explain.

The bigger silhouette, numbered as 1, is the main shape of the pocket.

The two rectangles (numbers 2 and 3), together with the circle (number 4), are for the strip where the metallic ring for the keys is placed. You'll see soon.

Cut all the silhouettes in the pattern, so you have a set of paper patterns. Then, use them to copy then to the bigger piece of leather using a ballpen (do it in the reverse of the leather!). You need two of the number 1,and one of each other (2, 3 and 4).

Finally, cut the leather, in order to obtain two pieces shaped as patterns number 1, and one piece shaped as patterns 2, 3, and 4. Besides, you need an extra piece of leather a little bit bigger than shape 4 (its shape doesn't matter very much).

Step 4: Design

For the design, you can choose any silhouette you like. You can design it by yourself, or browsing the internet for ideas... you know. Typical ideas are signs of zodiac, initials, simplified animals, tribal designs... As an example, I have include the design she used this time: a pair of cute cats.

So, copy the design to the thin paper and fix it to the back one of the pieces with shape 1, using little pieces of paper tape, which are very easy to remove afterwards, and don't leave any glue residue. Then, fix the piece of leather in the other colour, and fix it the same way to the back of the piece (pay attention to put it correctly: its outside upright).

Then, using a sewing machine, sew along the border of the silhouette.

Afterwards, remove carefully all the paper, paying attention to not to leave any paper portion under the thread.

And finally, very carefully to not to make any damage to the leather, cut the design following the silhouette.

Step 5: Reinforcement

This is the easier step:

Using an electric iron, fix the adhesive fabric to the back of each piece, except the number 3, and trim de borders.

Step 6: Ring Installation (I)

Pick the piece of leather with the shape 3 and put flexible glue on it's backside. Wait for two or three minutes, and then fold it in half, lenghtwise and make some pressure to get it fixed. Afterwards, with the sewing machine, sew all along its perimeter.

Step 7: Ring Installation (II)

Pick the piece of leather with the shape 2, introduce the ring, fold it in half crosswise, and sew along its perimeter, leaving the ring at the folded end.

Then, sew these two pieces together, leaving the ring in the middle. See the pictures to better understanding.

Step 8: Ring Installation (III)

Now, pick the piece of leather with shape 1 that has NOT the design, and mark the line and the point using a ballpen. Cut the line making and eyelet, and make a hole at the point.

Thread the strip through the eyelet. Pay attention to the pictures to do it correctly. At the end, glue the circle piece of leather, using flexible glue again, and the other piece of leather at the other size, as it was a sandwich.

Afterwards, sew the perimeter of the circle and trim.

And finally, make another hole at the very center of this circle.

Step 9: Fastener

Time to install the snap fastener now.

You need to instal the male in the hole you have made at the shape 1 without design, and female in the hole you have made in the circle at the end of the strip.

Look the picture to be sure you make it correctly.

Step 10: Finishing

Now, put the two pieces with shape 1 face to face, hold them with paper clamps and use the sewing machine again to sew them together, along the perimeter, leaving the upper side without sewing.

For a good finishing, use a needle to make any loose end to be "inside" the pocket and afterwards, tie them up and trim.

You are done! Here you are your very own keyring!

Tandy Leather Contest 2016

Participated in the
Tandy Leather Contest 2016