Intro: Hip Ladies' Leather Folding Keychain
I love all the swiss army keychains out there with all their variations. However, they are all made with men in mind, and I wanted to make one that was more feminine and fashionable. Whether it turned out fashionable or hip is for you to decide, but it was definitely made with the girls in mind.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
nuts and bolts (I used size #8-32)
dremel with grinding and cutting bits
glue (I used a scotch glue that is like E-6000)
InstaMorph moldable plastic
metal bead toppers
T-nut (same size as bolts)
elastic (thin, round)
Step 2: Leather
* Plan out your heart shape by drawing around your largest keys.
* Use the paper as a pattern to cut two hearts from leather.
* Place the keys on one of the hearts and mark where the holes need to be.
* Punch the holes with a leather punch.
* Flip the heart with holes onto the heart with no holes and mark the holes on the second heart with a pen. (Make sure the hearts are sandwiched with both front sides out so the holes will line up properly during final assembly)
* Punch the holes on the second heart
* See picture for third hole to be punched in front piece
* Use the lighter to burn the edges and holes on the back side of each heart. This reduces the fuzzys and makes it stronger. Do this in a well ventilated area. Leathers are treated with chemicals and they can be pretty nasty.
Step 3: Hardware
* Glue the bead toppers onto the tops of three bolts
* Use the dremel to grind down two nuts and glue bead toppers to them
* Use the dremel to cut the spikes off of one of the T-nuts
* hammer a bead topper flat (do this slowly and carefully while hammering in slightly different directions/places so that it splits evenly as it flattens)
* Glue the flat bead topper onto the T-nut
Note: be careful not to get glue down the center of any of the nuts
Step 4: Moldable Plastic
InstaMorph moldable plastic is a great material that can be melted, molded, and re-melted. Instructions are on the jar, but I just ran water through my coffee maker to melt the plastic. It comes in small pellets, but I had a piece left from a past project that I ended up not needing. I also have used a heat gun to target specific spots on other projects.
* Use the InstaMorph to create a ring around the base of the T-nut
* I also used the InstaMorph to keep my car key from sliding around on the bolt
Step 5: Decoration
* Decide on your design and draw it/print it the actual size you need
* Place it on top of the leather and burn holes in strategic places. I put holes in the corners.
* Connect the dots.
Note: I took lots of pictures of my work in this step and my camera ate them. Therefore, these steps are illustrated on the back of a scrap piece.
Step 6: Assembly
* Put the bolts in through the back on the two top holes and add your keys with washers between each
* Be sure to add your key ring
* Put the top heart on and check the length of the bolts
* If your bolts are too long, as mine were, trim them with a jewelers saw
* When your bolts are a proper length, screw the nuts on
* Trim the third bolt short to fit inside the T-nut
* Screw the T-nut/bolt into the third hole on the front heart with the T-nut on front.
* Cut a piece of elastic, about what will fit around your wrist. (You can always shorten if needed)
* Tie a knot and put it through a bead topper.
* See picture for third hole to be punched in back heart piece.
* Thread the elastic through this hole.
Step 7: Enjoy
I put a flash drive in mine. You could also put loyalty cards in it if the barcode is far enough away from the hole.
How amazing would it be to use a laser cutter to cut personally designed metal decorative elements and intricately carved leather details?!