You don’t need a specific holiday to express how much you care about the special friend(s) in your life, right? These handmade leather keychains are an easy-to-make craft that you can customize for the guy(s) or gal(s) that you grab coffee with the most, call when you need a ride home, or plan that cross-country road trip with. You can make one in under 10 minutes for yourself or a sweetheart, and then make a handful more for your squad!
You can go the short and sweet route by getting your hands on a cut of scrap cowhide from your local hobby store or Tandy leather outlet if you’re wanting something a little more masculine, or you can paint your own undyed cowhide with leather paint, available in a variety of colors. The leather paint won’t crack or wear off, so it’s a great option if you’d like something a little more exciting.
A great option for a sturdy keychain is to purchase a 1/2″ lightweight cowhide leather strip. This will yield five or more keychains depending on your desired length. Above you’ll see I’ve painted two and left the center keychain in its natural state. The leather paint was incredibly easy to work with, went on smoothly, and only needed two thin coats. Easy! What else can we paint?
Supplies for Painted Leather Keychain:
–1/2″ lightweight leather cowhide strip
–leather hole punch or awl
-leather paint in assorted colors
–screw post for 2-3 keys or flat key post for 6-8 keys
Cut your scrap leather strip to measure about 9″ x 1/2″ or 9″ x 3/4″ depending on what thickness you prefer. If you have especially wide keys, you’ll want a wider strip of leather.
Fold your leather strip in half and punch through both ends about 1/2″ from the bottom so that it’s centered. Use the narrowest hole punch. You can also punch a hole through both ends using an awl. In all crafting ventures with sharp tools, use caution so you are only punching holes through your leather!
Unscrew your post, insert one end through one hole, attach your keys, and insert the other end of your screw post through the other hole so that it screws into the post. If you’ve only got a few keys to carry around, you’ll want the narrower screw post option for the best fit. If you have lots of keys, go for the wider flat key post.
If you’re making your keychain using a 1/2″ lightweight cowhide strip, cut off 9″ for each keychain with a pair of sharp scissors or your rotary cutter. Shake up your paint and apply two thin coats to any side of your keychain you’d like painted. Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s directions, and then punch your hole and add your screw post.
It’s officially time to ditch the gas station keychain from last year’s road trip and make one of these lovelies for yourself and a friend. Cute accessories are the gifts that keeps on giving! –Rachel