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Lip Balm Key Ring Mini Cases
Whether it’s the dry heat of summer or the whipping wind of winer, any time of year can be difficult to keep your lips moist and protected from the elements. Your best defense is a good offense: constant swipes from your trusty tube of lip balm. I don’t know about you, but I have tons of tubes of lip balm, however, there’s never one nearby when I need it! So I end up buying another!! Our mini key ring pouches are a Sew4Home Classic, and they make a perfect fast and easy gift for yourself as well as all your chap-lipped friends. They’re also an awesome ScrapBusters project. Make several of these adorable key ring lip balm holders so you always have your favorite tubes on hand… and can stop buying more than you need.
Slip this little fob-with-a-pocket onto your key chain or add a swivel clip and hook it onto a purse buckle, gym bag or anywhere you need a handy holder for your emergency tube of lip balm.
These cutie-pies make a great gift. Do you know someone whose lips should be kissably smooth?!
There’s a free pattern download below so you are be sure to get the proper curved shape at the top to fit though a standard D-ring.
A true Fast Fridays projects, these are super quick and fun, and they need just tiny bits of fabric. You could make dozens from the faves already in your stash. One thing to remember is that the motif will be upside down on one side if you choose a directional fabric, such as we did with our typewriter keys motif. This is because the front and back panels are each a single piece, so the fold creates the direction change. It’s not a life-altering problem, just a heads-up when picking your scraps.
Each fob finishes at approximately 1¾” wide (at the base) x 3¾” high, excluding the D-ring.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper foot
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Scraps or Layer Cake Squares (10″ x 10″) – each mini case uses two coordinating fabrics and a small piece of interfacing; we dug into our own scrap stash for layer cake squares from Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics, scraps from the Soho Bandana collection by Amy Barickman, and a single scrap from Just My Type by Michael Miller Fabrics
- Scraps or ⅛ yard of lightweight fusible interfacing; we used 950F ShirTailor® by Pellon
- ONE 1″ D-ring for each
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Hand sewing needle
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print out our one pattern sheet: Lip Balm Key Ring Mini Case
IMPORTANT: This PDF includes ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
- Using the pattern, cut ONE from EACH of the TWO coordinating fabrics.
- Using the pattern, cut TWO from the lightweight fusible interfacing.
NOTE: We stacked all four layers and cut them all at once. In addition, we trimmed our interfacing pieces ¼” all around (ie. cutting on the seam line rather along the outer edge). This is not mandatory if you are using standard quilting cotton. However, if you choose a heavier-weight fabric, we recommend this step in order to keep the interfacing out of the seam allowance for as smooth a turned seam as possible.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Center an interfacing piece on the wrong side of each fabric piece. If you chose the trimmed interfacing option described above, there should be ¼” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing all around. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Pin the two fabric pieces right sides together, running your pins down the center.
- Place the pattern piece over the top and transfer the two “side dots” from the pattern to the fabric. You can simply use pins (as we did) or mark with a fabric pen or pencil. These dots are the start and end points for your outer seam. This creates the opening that will be left for turning.
- Using a ¼” seam (we attached our Quarter Inch Seam foot), sew around the entire perimeter, pivoting at the corners, going slowly around each curve, and locking your seam at each marked dot to either side of the opening.
NOTE: The stitching method listed above is perfectly acceptable. However, with such a small item, you may want to try the alternative method listed below to maintain sharper corners.
Alternate seam method
- Using ¼” seams throughout, first stitch straight across the top and then straight across the bottom.
- Next, stitch from the bottom edge up to the bottom of the curve.
- Then, stitch from the top of the curve to the top edge of fabric, but do not stitch the curve.
- When both sides are done (remembering to leave the opening on the one side with the dots), stitch each curve. Your curved seams will cross over the straight seams.
Turning and folding to finish
- Press the seam open. Trim the corners and clip the curves.
- Turn right side out through the side opening. Use a long, blunt end tool, such as a long knitting needle, chopstick or point turner to gently push out the corners until they are nice and square. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges along the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Thread a hand sewing needle and hand stitch the opening closed.
- Using the top fold line on the pattern piece as a guide, fold the top down. You are folding the front down over the back. Press in place.
- Slip the D-ring into place against the fold and pin.
- Attach a Zipper foot.
- Run one seam straight across as close to the D-ring as possible.
- Run a second seam straight across as close as possible to the bottom edge of the folded over tab.
- Again using the fold line on the pattern piece as a guide (the bottom line this time), fold the bottom up into place. You are folding the back up over the front. The bottom of the panel will end up just below the seam line of the top tab (but, of course, on the opposite side of the fob).
- Press in place, then pin in place.
NOTE: This is a good time to slip an actual tube of lip balm into the pocket to insure it fits as you’d like. You can adjust your seam allowance smaller or larger if need be.
- Using a ¼” or smaller seam allowance, stitch each side to secure the lip balm pocket.
NOTE: If possible, use a lock stitch to secure your seam at the bottom and top of the pocket. This will give you a cleaner finish to your seam. If your machine does not have this feature, you can leave the thread tails long and hand knot.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild
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Writing from the UK. I had to add 1/4 inch all round to the pattern to fit a standard lip salve in. I used light interfacing and standard cotton fabric, but even making the seams really narrow it was way too tight. But its a nice idea for a gift, and worked the second time! Thanks for the pattern etc.
Hi Janice – Glad you were able to make the pattern work for you. This fun little project has literally been made 100s of times, so I’m surprised the size didn’t work for you! But, I’m glad you found a solution that worked for what you needed. Enjoy!
Hi I had to check to be sure my printer was set to Actual size or at the 100% if not it prints it wrong so check it again the template is to measure 8″ in length
Yes! Thanks for emphasizing, Patricia. It’s why this is always the first note under our download links: “You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.” 🙂
If you add an inch to the top of the pattern you can fold it forward and put a snap on it. I have made lots this way and they turn out great.
Sounds like a cool option!
Hello!! How do I download the pattern. Don’t see where 2 go 2 download 🤔🤔🤔
Hi Karina – Look at the Getting Started and Pattern Download section – just under the Supply List. The first item contains the link for the pattern. Click on that link and it will open the PDF for you.
Thank you very much. I just made it for and with my key chain loving daughter (apparently key chains are a thing for her and her friends). The pattern worked out well and it was a nice beginner project for her.
Hi Greg – That I great news. This is a super popular little project and I’m so happy to hear your daughter loved making it. Thanks for letting us know.
Apparently I need lessons on
Apparently I need lessons on how to turn things right-side out. I made the opening in the side exactly the same as the pattern and I did eventually get the bottom half turned out, but I’ve been fighting with the top half using a chopstick for 30 minutes and I still can’t get it turned out.
@JCoop – So sorry to hear you
@JCoop – So sorry to hear you’re struggling. This isn’t a problem we’ve encountered before with this project. Did you use a heavier fabric or interfacing? You could try a point turner or a hemostat to grab the seam allowance on the inside and pull it through. Below is a link to our tutorial on turning thin straps that describes the hemostat technique; a point turner works in a similar fashion. Let us know if you have success. On future tries, you could certainly leave a slightly larger opening.
This is exactly what I need!
This is exactly what I need! Just downloaded the template. Thanks so much.
@roseytheriveter – Excellent!
@roseytheriveter – Excellent! Let us know how it turns out for you. Your lips will love you for it!
I Just Made A couple of these
I Just Made A couple of these. I have a group of friends that get together for sewing and I call it tiny tuesday. This will be a great project.
@Bmw328i6 – Tiny Tuesdays…
@Bmw328i6 – Tiny Tuesdays… love it. The cousin of Fast Fridays. We’d love to see a pic of all of you with your finished pouches. If you follow us on social media, post a little something so we can all be inspired. We are sew4home on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and sew4home_diy on Instagram.
I would be happy to post.
I would be happy to post. thanks for the invite