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Keep all your keys contained with one of these versatile key fobs. One end has a traditional split key ring; the other end is a swivel hook. You’ll combine just a small piece of thin faux leather with a short length of gorgeous ribbon. Layer, stitch, clamp, and you’re done! Our Fast Fridays projects are all about whipping up something wonderful in no time at all (you don’t have to do them on a Friday!). 

Dive into your scrap stash for a faux leather, suede, or even a thin vinyl. You want something that doesn’t fray when cut, and don’t go too thick or the clamp won’t seal as tightly as it should. We used a garment weight faux leather, which was also very soft and smooth to handle.

The raw ends are clamped together at one end with the key fob, and the swivel hook is stitched in place on the other, leaving an open loop in the middle. This makes it easy to grab the fob and go.

Or, you can slip it over your wrist to keep things hands-free.

We used bright and bold jacquard ribbons from our personal stash of Renaissance Ribbons. You need just 12” for each fob. If your stash is running low on pretty ribbons, check out the affordable Ribbon Packs at Renaissance Ribbons. They’re a fantastic way to get a variety of lovely ribbons in shorter lengths.

These fobs would make great gifts! Especially if you need a little something for lots of people, such as a wedding party or as teacher gifts.

Do you have a suggestion for a Fast Fridays Project? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below or email us at info@sew4home.com.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: Quantities shown are for ONE key fob.

  • Scrap of lightweight faux leather, suede, vinyl or similar; we used a garment weight faux leather – you need a 1½” x 12” strip for each fob
  • ½ yard of ⅞” wide ribbon – you need just 12”, but we recommend starting with a bit more to allow you to be able to fussy cut the motif along the length of the strip; we used three jacquard ribbons from our Renaissance Ribbons stash – as mentioned above, they have a great selection of ribbon packs that give you an affordable way to sample a variety of their beautiful ribbons in shorter lengths
  • ONE 1” swivel hook; any style will work; you can often find these in bulk
  • ONE 1” key fob and split ring; we used a Dritz Key Fob Hardware Set
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric and ribbon or monofilament thread; we recommend clear monofilament for the best look
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Clips for working with faux leather and vinyl; we like Clover Wonder Clips
  • Straight pins
  • Seam sealant to seal the ends of the ribbon; we used Dritz Fray Check

Getting Started

NOTE: For the sharpest cuts, especially on faux leather and vinyl, we recommend a rotary cutter.

  1. From the faux leather or similar, cut ONE 1½” x 12” strip.
  2. From the ribbon, fussy cut ONE 12” length, centering the motif along the length of the ribbon.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Place the faux leather strip wrong side up and flat on your work surface.
  2. Fold back each 12” raw edge ¼” and clip in place. This reduces your strip to 1” in width.
  3. Center the ⅞” ribbon right side up on top of the faux leather strip, concealing both folded-back edges. The faux leather and ribbon are wrong sides together. There will be just a bit of the folded edge of the fabric showing along each side of the ribbon (about 1/16″ along each side). Take the time to make sure the ribbon is as perfectly centered as possible so these visible edges are even.
  4. Re-clip to secure both the ribbon and the folded edges. Don’t be afraid to use plenty of clips. You don’t want the ribbon to shift.
  5. Thread the machine with clear monofilament in the top and bobbin and slightly lengthen the stitch. If you prefer to not use the monofilament, use a thread to best match the faux leather in the bobbin, and a thread to best match the ribbon in the top.
    NOTE: If you are new to working with monofilament, for best results, you may need to loosen your upper tension slightly. It’s also a good idea to lengthen your stitch and sew at a slow and even pace. This type of thread does not stretch as well as regular thread and can break more easily under pressure, especially if it accidentally slides off the spool and wraps around the spool pin. Using a spool cap against the spool helps hold it in place on the pin, and again, going slowly and evenly helps the thread to feed correctly off the spool. Finally, always sew in the same direction along both sides of the ribbon. This will help prevent any shifting and puckering.
  6. Edgestitch along both both sides through all the layers. Stitch slowly and carefully removing the clips as you go.
  7. If you’d like, you can run a thin line of seam sealant over the raw ends of the sewn ribbon/fabric strip.
  8. Slip one end of the sewn strip through the swivel hook.
  9. Pull the strip all the way through and align the raw ends. You have formed a loop with the ribbon facing out and the faux leather facing in.
  10. Slip both raw ends into the fob.
  11. Center the strip side to side within the hardware.
  12. Cover the hardware with a piece of fabric.
  13. Gently crimp the hardware closed with a pair of pliers. If you don’t have pliers, you can also gently close the hardware with a soft hammer. In either case, make sure you cover with a cloth and don’t squeeze or hammer too hard. It’s easy to dent the soft metal.
  14. Pull to flatten the loop in order to make sure the swivel hook is centered at the opposite end. Pin in place.
  15. Stitch across the strip, running the seam as close to the base of the swivel hook as possible. This keeps the hook from sliding around the loop.


Project Design: Liz Johnson
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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Pris Fontenot
Pris Fontenot
1 year ago

Where can you purchase metal key fobes

Liz Johnson
Liz Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Pris Fontenot

We used the Drtiz fobs, which are widely available at Joann, Walmart, and from their own website: Handicraft: https://www.handicraft.com/products/bk138

7 years ago

Love these!  Willmake great

Love these!  Willmake great gifts & can be made up to have on hand since they take up little space.

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