So, just what is an EDC Key Chain Tape Carrier? Well its exactly what it sounds like. Its a convenient way to carry a decent length of tape of your choosing, on your key chain at all times. Its super simple to make using recycled or discarded materials and takes no time all. Best of all, the tools and materials needed you most likely have laying around the house.
Having tape close at hand can often save the day. You'd be surprised how frequently it comes in handy. From posting up a note to repairing anything and everything, when you have the right tape at your fingertips anything is possible. So join me as i show you how we make the EDC Key Chain Tape Carrier
Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed
OK. So everything you need to make one of these handy dandy bad boys can be readily found in most homes. If you don't have tape, well you can get that pretty much anywhere. Also no fancy tools are required and it if you have all the tools and materials handy it will take you no more than few minutes to make. How great is that? (full disclosure: In the time it took write up this Instructable and document the process, i could have made dozens of these
#1 - Scissors - preferably a decent pair that can cut through plastic card
#2 - Hole Punch - again, nothing fancy but it must be able to punch through plastic card
#3 - Ruler - to make and nice straight guide line for you your scissor cut
#4 - Marker (OPTIONAL) - if your using scissors marking your cutting line helps tremendously
#5 - Xacto knife or utility blade (OPTIONAL) - used to score your cutting line for a cleaner cut or to cut the card if you don't like using scissors.
#6 - Cutting board or mat (OPTIONAL)- I recommend using something to protect your work space if your not using scissors to make your cut.
TAPE! - whatever your preference or perceived need dictates. For our example we'll be using the only tape that matters - DUCT TAPE. no specific brand but if you have a favorite go with it.
Plastic card - I'm going to be using an old Discount card, but any similar plastic card will work. Alternatively you can cut a strip of plastic out of a 2 liter soda bottle as well. in fact 1 bottle will make several of these which you can then pass out to your friends so they don't steal..erm "borrow" yours.
Split Ring: so we can attach our carrier to our keys of course. This maybe harder to come across if you don't have them laying around. Personally I hoard these things. they are great to have around. If you have old key-chains or fobs you can simply remove them and re-purpose them here. You can also use the *bead chain links if you have that instead of a split ring (see image)
Step 2: Cutting Your Card to Size
OK, depending on what kind of plastic card your using to make this, you'll need to make at least 1 cut.
For the Credit Card/Gift card, all you have to do is cut the card parallel to the longest side so you end with a strip of plastic. Be sure to leave enough width for your split ring hole that we'll be making with the hole punch. The narrower the strip, the more tape you'll hold as the roll gets thicker, however this will also make the strip flimsy and difficult to use when you get down the end of tape through use. I generally keep the strip to a minimum width of 1cm. this leaves enough room for the hole and proves a study base to the tape. This strip is the basis for the EDC Key Chain Tape Carrier
If your using scissors, i recommend taking a ruler or straight edge of some kind and a marker to mark out your cut. It also helps to have scissors with a cutting edge longer than the length of the card your cutting to ensure a nice clean cut all the way across the card.
If your using an Xacto or utility blade, simply set the ruler to the width you need, make your marks and score the card using the blade and your ruler/straight edge.BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU ARE USING A XACTO OR UTILITY BLADE. When you make your scoring cuts with your blade, your fingers will be very close to the path of the blade as it runs along the straight edge.Keep even pressure on the straight edge or secure it with tape to card and cutting board/mat so that it does not move while you score the card/plastic. Once scored you should be able to cleanly snap the strip off of the rest of the card(credit card) if you haven't cut through it. The membership card i used separated after about 5 passes. You may want to place a piece of card board or cutting mat under the card to prevent damage to your work space.
Step 3: Punch Your Hole
Now that we have our strip, which is the base of the carrier, we need to add our hole. Using whatever width tape you intend to carry as a guide, take your hole punch and put 1 hole through whichever end you like. the hole should be far enough from the edge of the card that the split ring wont be able to easily tear it out.I used a sharpie to mark where I felt was best. If you don't have a hole punch you can use your utility blade to carefully cut a round hole in the card strip. Be aware this is much more difficult and dangerous and doesn't leave as clean a cut but it will work
Step 4: Add Your Tape
Pretty straight forward, the key here is to be consistent and methodical when you apply the tape to the Carrier so that as you add layers they are evenly stacked on top of each other. This is to ensure that when you pull tape off of the Carrier it pulls evenly and does not tear the tape at odd angles resulting in runs and uneven widths on the roll.
Start by pulling a section of tape off the roll your using, not to much, say a few inches at a time. Carefully stick the Carrier to the tape and fold it over so that the tape is now forming a roll on the Carrier. Continue to add layers by folding the Carrier onto the tape as you pull more off the roll. try and be as neat as you can when wrapping the tape around the strip to add layers.
We want that nice even edge on our Carrier, just like the edge of the tape roll that we mentioned above. Keep wrapping more layers onto your Carrier until you are satisfied with the thickness. Keep in mind your not going to carry an entire roll of tape (or are you?) using the EDC Key Chain Tape Carrier, but as I've shown here you can hold 5ft or more without significant bulk. With this amount of tape it weighs next to nothing.
Obviously the more tape you add the thicker it becomes,10ft of tape is about 1" thick give or take a few mm depending on the width of the Carrier used. 5ft -10ft of duct tape may not seem like a lot, BUT its more than you would have if you didnt have the EDC Key Chain Tape Carrier, and since the tape is the full width off the roll (in this case aprox 2" wide) you can double of triple your overall length by reducing the width of the strips you unwind tape off the Carrier
Step 5: Attach Your Split Ring
Ok so your almost done. You've got tape on your Carrier, and a hole to attach it to your key ring. Find the break in the split ring as show .Slip the edge of the card under the break in the split ring and turn the ring so that it slides into the hole on the Carrier like you would if you were adding a key to key-ring. Once the ring is on the Carrier you can go ahead and add it to your key clip or other key chains.
Step 6: FINAL STEP - Clean Up and Attach to You Keys/Caribiner/key Clip Etc.
OK, all that's left is some finishing touches. I took scissors and rounded off any sharp edges at either end and trimmed down excess card around the hole. As always, clean up your work space, dispose of your trash properly and return your tools to their respective locations. And that's it! Your all done. GREAT JOB! You now have an EDC Key Chain Tape Carrier.To use the tape, simply unwrap the length you need and tear it off or cut it.Never again will you be without the power of TAPE!
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable and find it useful. This is my first attempt at an Instructable and I really enjoyed making both the EDC Key Chain Tape Carrier and the Instructable for you all to follow. This is a really simple project that even children can do with the supervision of an adult, and with a little adult prep (do the cutting and hole punching first, let the kids wrap the tape)even a very young child can make one of these. Best of all. Its cheap and actually useful. oh and your not limited to duct tape either. Electrical tape, painters tape, masking tape and others also work very well.
You can also use these as zipper pulls for you backpacks and bug out bags. etc etc. Literally any place that you can attach a split ring or key clip/carabiner you can add one of these. They weight next to nothing and can really save the day.
Please note: In the initial steps I mentioned using a 2 liter bottle as an alternative material source. This will definitely work and I had every intention of showing that process as well but i did not realize that today was recycling day and my supply of 2-liter bottles had just been collected for recycling as i sat down to put this together. I recommend Cutting the top and bottom off of the bottle leaving you with a smooth cylinder of plastic. Cut the cylinder length wise and you now have a sheet of plastic. IF you flatten it out with some heavy books for a day or two you will have more than enough material to make several of these.
If you find that your plastic card is to flexible you can add some rigidity to it by using 2 identical strips sandwiched together with some glue or by adding an appropriate size nail to the first wrapping of tape on the card. The nail will stiffen the card, and allow the tape to pull off easier when you use it because you can get a better grip on it. If you use the nail, be sure to file down the pointed end to avoid injury. I did not include images of this extra step as it came to me after the fact and I did not have a properly sized nail on hand. Also the nail will add weight and bulk.
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