2019_Pincushion_new logo

Facebook Twitter Sew4Home RSS Feed Follow Me on Pinterest Instagram


Ribbon & Faux Suede Wrist Loop Key Fobs: Weekend Wonders Returns with Fabric.com

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

In our digital-everything world, one thing remains stubbornly analog: the key. Oh sure, you might have a fancy digital key pad on your car door or office building entry, but the majority of things you need to secure still use a lock and key. So we all still have keys to keep track of... lots of them. With the holidays coming up, today's project in our Weekend Wonders Returns series with Fabric.com focuses on a great gift idea: wrist loop key fobs. You can make a whole batch at a time while still personalizing each one. We even added a pretty monogrammed tag, using the free embroidery download that is part of this Fabric.com series. The back of our set of six is a beautiful, super soft faux suede. The fronts are customized with beautiful Jacquard ribbons by Renaissance Ribbons from Fabric.com. There are so many Renaissance Ribbons designs to pick from, and Fabric. com carries an amazing selection. You'll find something for everyone on your gift list, including options from many of your favorite designers, like Amy Butler, Dena Designs, Laura Foster and Anna Maria Horner. From whimsical Tiny Cakes to elegant Decorative Keys (appropriate for a key fob dontcha think?), each one you make is a mini work of art. Our instructions are sized for ⅞" ribbons, but it would be super easy to reduce or expand the width.

These wrist loops are fast and easy to make, especially when you have an assembly line process: make all the backing pieces, cut all the ribbons, attach all the ribbons... you get the idea. Set up your own little Santa's Workshop. We easily made six in an afternoon. The loops finish at 1" wide with a 5½" loop - a perfect size to slide over your wrist, even when wearing gloves.

Our thanks to Fabric.com for sponsoring Weekend Wonders Returns. Shopping with Fabric.com is addicting. Everything is well categorized so it's easy to hop from section to section. There are quick links to check out their latest Sales and Clearance fabrics, as well as browse what's Just Arrived in a number of areas, like Quilting Fabric and Home Décor solutions. Be prepared to lose yourself for a few hours.

Click here to download our featured monogram alphabet and brackets. This free download is sponsored by Fabric.com and is available in six major embroidery formats.

One thing we recommend, that not only makes the finished fobs look the best but also speeds up the assembly process, is to use an invisible thread in the top and bobbin on your machine. There's no need to change thread as you move from ribbon to ribbon and no worries about trying to match the vivid and varied colors on the Jacquard ribbons. The invisible thread is just that: invisible, leaving all the focus on the ribbons and fabric. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies


NOTE: Inventory shifts constantly, and some prints may not be in-stock when you first visit. However, there are other color options as well as re-stock dates listed for each fabric.

Supplies and instructions are for a set of SIX key fobs.

For the optional monogrammed tags:

Getting Started

  1. From the faux suede backing fabric (Vintage Suede in Silver in our samples), cut ONE 12½" long x 2½" wide strip for each fob. We cut SIX.
  2. Cut each ribbon down to a 12½" length.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Fold each faux suede strip in half lengthwise so it is now 12½" x 1¼". Pin along the long raw edges.
  2. Using a ¼" seam allowance (we used our Quarter Inch Seam foot), stitch the length of the strip.
  3. Turn right side out, roll the seam to the center and press flat. Use a pressing cloth to protect the faux suede.
    NOTE: Take a look at our handy tutorial on turning tubes, using a hemostat.
  4. Cut a 12½" length of fusible seam tape. Place the tape the length of the faux suede strip, centering it directly over the seam. 
  5. Place a length of ribbon on top, sandwiching the seam tape between the layers. The ribbon should be centered side to side within the width of the strip and the ends of the ribbon should be flush with the raw ends of the faux suede strip.
  6. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the layers together.
  7. Thread the machine with invisible thread in the top and bobbin or carefully select all-purpose thread to match each ribbon, re-threading as necessary as you move from ribbon to ribbon. 
  8. Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both 12½" sides.
  9. We prefer using invisible thread because it makes the stitching disappear, and it's faster to move between ribbons.
  10. Fold the strip in half, right side out, making sure the two ends are flush with one another.
  11. Slip the raw ends into the "open mouth" of the fob.
  12. Center the strip side to side within the hardware.
  13. Cover the hardware with a tea towel or a piece of fabric.
  14. Gently whack it once with a soft hammer. 
  15. Lift up the towel/fabric and check that the strip is still centered in the fob hardware. Adjust if necessary. Re-cover the hardware and whack a few more times to completely seal. 
    NOTE: Don't whack TOO hard. It's easy to dent the soft metal of the fob's clamp.

Optional embroidery

  1. Click here to download our monogram alphabet and brackets. This free download is sponsored by Fabric.com and is available in all major embroidery formats.
  2. Hoop the twill fabric and stabilizer. Manipulate the size of the letter so it will finish at approximately 1" square. Monogram the letter of your choice surrounded by the brackets.
  3. Sandwich a small piece of Phoomph™ between a plain twill layer and the monogrammed twill layer.
  4. Using a die-cutter, cut out the tag through all the layers. We used the Big Shot Pro die-cutter by Sizzix, and a Sizzix die set. Make sure you select dies that are made to cut fabric not just paper. 
    NOTE: You could cut a shape with scissors, but with the thickness of the twill in addition to the Phoomph™, it might be tough to cut an intricate shape by hand. But you could certainly cut a simple geometric shape.
  5. Add an eyelet and chain to attach the tag to the fob.
    NOTE: For more information on the Phoomph™ product, take a look at our article: Fun with Phoomph™ for Fabric by Coats


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild



Comments (14)

AllisonE said:
AllisonE's picture

My husband and I made several of these.  We found that it was much easier to simply sew the suede wrong sides together, press the seam open and apply the ribbon over the seam. This allowed us to skip the time-consuming step of turning the suede tubes.

Thank you for all of your wonderful sewing projects!

roses54 said:
roses54's picture

Wow !!!
I use the pointed ends of ties to make simple credit card holders...now I know what to do with rest of tie length...just found your site and LOVE IT !!!

2debbie said:
2debbie's picture

I wish these were in a PDF format to just download for later, would be soo much easier than having to copy paste or bookmarking. I love this project. thank you 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ 2debbie - all our articles have a pdf option. You can find the bottom at the top across from the article's title.

sferrell said:
sferrell's picture

As I read the material listing, I see the ribbons needed are 18 inches long ( 1/2  yard).  But when cut for the key fobs the ribbons are only 12.5 long.  Why are 5.5 inches lost here?  

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ sferrell - When we list yardages, we consider two things: 1) What is the closest standard cut size to the length of ribbon specified? 2) Does the item require fussy cutting?  For this project, a 1/2 yard cut is the best/closest standard option, and 2) we like to get a bit extra with ribbons so their motifs can be nicely centered. We also always suggest people read through the entire project as you have done. This way, you can compare recommended yardages and actual cuts, and you can decide for yourself if you want to try to conserve or go for more. 

Chris48 said:
Chris48's picture

I've tried downloading the designs, but can't open the files. I tried two different formats, the .hus and .vip3, when I opened both in Embird I got the message that the file was corrupted. Would love to have this design, please try correcting the problem.  

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Chris48 - we re-tested all the files and cannot find any that are corrupted. Did you upzip the folder prior to extracting the individual files? There are instructions on the downoad page for Windows, MAC and Linux. Please contact us directly via email if problems persist. 

Chris48 said:
Chris48's picture

I tried it again and it worked! I have never had to unzip with Embird before so I assumed there was a problem. Have learned something new today!!!!

Jana said:
Jana's picture

These projects are all so wonderful--of course, I would love to make these for myself, but Ialso  look at each of these as possible gift items and think of various friends/family members who would enjoy having them.  This monogrammed series is particularly beautiful; unfortunately, I don't have a sewing machine that can do that kind of embroidery, so I'd either hand embroider the monogram or simply do without by, in this case, omitting the monogrammed piece or, in previous tutorials, perhaps substituting a contrasting fabric for the monogrammed twill portion.  Thanks as always for the excellent work you do--your fresh and practical ideas and well-executed tutorials are a delight and form a large portion of my sewing wish list (for when time allows)!