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Scrap-It: Mini Key Fobs

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Scrap-It and ScrapBusters are two ongoing series we have here at Sew4Home. The idea is to come up with quick and easy projects that use up some of those special little fabric leftovers in your stash bag. Today's mini key fobs are a perfect example: they're something useful for yourself or great as a gift; they use just a tiny bit of fabric and notions; and they're fast and fun. In fact they were so fun to make, we did FIVE samples. Each features a different embellishment technique: decorative stitching, piping, embroidery, ribbon trim, and patchwork. I'm sure you can come up with even more options: a monogram, lace, rick rack, buttons. 

Make one, make two, make a dozen, because we all have those keys we find and then wonder what the heck they open. Keep a few of these cute mini key fobs on hand to separate out special keys for a storage unit, beach cabin, backyard shed, and more. It would certainly lighten the load on your everyday keychain. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: Our ingredients shot above shows everything we used to create our five key fob samples. As you can see, we used a mixture of regular cottons, flannel, even silk dupioni. And, we plunged into our stash for some pretty ribbon and piping.

  • Scraps of various coordinating fabrics or ¼ yard cuts - each fob requires two coordinating strips 2¼" x 7"
  • Scraps or purchased maxi piping and/or ribbon - 7" lengths of trim are required 
  • ONE 1¼" D-ring for each fob
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • Decorative/contrasting thread for embroidery and/or decorative stitching options
  • Scraps of medium-weight fusible interfacing
  • See-through ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Cut ONE 2¼" x 7" strip for the FRONT of the fob 
  2. Cut ONE 2¼" x 7" strip for the BACK of the fob  
  3. Cut TWO 2¼" x 7" strips from the interfacing
  4. If using piping, cut TWO 7" lengths
  5. If using ribbon, cut ONE 7" length
  6. If you want to do the patchwork option, you can cut your pieces in any sizes you'd like that, when sewn together with a ¼" seam allowance, will equal the 7" length. We used the following:
    ONE center block 2¼" x 2" (main green and white floral)
    TWO inside blocks 2¼" x 1" (green dot)
    TWO inside blocks 2¼" x 1½" (yellow floral)
    TWO outside blocks 2¼" x 1½" (green dot)

    Option not shown:
    If you have a particularly cute fabric with a great vertical motif, simply fussy cut the front strip - no additional embellishment is needed.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse an interfacing strip to the wrong side of both your front and back fabric strips. 
    NOTE: If doing the patchwork option, see below, you'll need to stitch together all your blocks and press first prior to fusing the interfacing in place.
  2. If using PIPING, pin one length of piping along each side of the fused back strip. The piping should be placed on the right side of the fabric with the raw edges of the trim and the fabric flush. Attach a Zipper foot and machine baste each length in place.
  3. If using RIBBON, center the length of ribbon on the fused front strip. Edgestitch in place along both sides of the ribbon.
  4. If doing PATCHWORK, use a ¼" seam allowance to stitch together all your blocks.
  5. If doing EMBROIDERY OR DECORATIVE STITCHING, center your lines of stitching or embroidery motif(s) on the front strip. The interfacing should act as stabilizer, but add more tear-away stabilizer if your fabric is particularly lightweight. 
  6. Place the front and back strips right sides together, sandwiching whatever embellishment you've added in between the layers.
  7. Pin in place all around, leaving a 1½" - 2" opening along one long side for turning.
  8. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all four sides. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock your seam on either side of of the 1½" - 2" opening. 
  9. Clip the corners and trim back the seam allowances. 
  10. Turn right side out through the opening. 
  11. Using a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle or chopstick, gently push out the corners. 
  12. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  13. Hand stitch the opening closed. 
  14. Slip the finished strip through the D-ring.
  15. Fold over the strip. You can keep all the edges flush, as we did on our embroidered sample. Or you can expose an inch or so of the back fabric as an extra blast of color, which is the option we chose on our other four samples. Pin in place.
  16. Attach a Zipper foot. Edgestitch up one side, getting as close to the D-ring as the foot will allow. Pivot and stitch across the top of the fob, staying just below the D-ring. 
  17. Pivot at the opposite corner and edgestitch down the other side. Pivot at the bottom corner and stitch across to end where you began. Lock your stitch.
  18. On the decorative-stitched fob, we didn't want to interrupt our stitching lines with the edgestitching, so we opted to handstitch that fob in place along all sides.


Project Concept: Liz Johnson
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild



Comments (13)

mwlipari said:
mwlipari's picture

These little guys are addictive. I just made one out of material with fireworks on it. What a fun way to use bits of my favorite materials.

Cindy C. said:
Cindy C.'s picture

You're so right - make many of these and they could be gifted to attendees at a house party.  It's definitely something that would get used.  What I like most about them?  You could make them BRIGHT colors to be able to be seen in the bottom of your purse.

MelissaK1933 said:
MelissaK1933's picture

I love this idea!  Always looking for little gifts for the people at work.  This is a great idea for using the scraps I can't seem to throw away.  Thank you for all your great ideas!

mira kanti patel said:
mira kanti patel's picture

yes i like it. i will try to make it. good job done


Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

Where would you find the key ring that is put on the D ring?  any suggestions where I'd look?


nansews said:
nansews's picture

Now I know what to do with my smaller embroidery test stitch-outs!  Also, I have several boater friends that might like these with the boat name on them......

Great gift idea that can be made ahead and stored easily until needed.

mwlipari said:
mwlipari's picture

Just made one of these. It was a fun easy project to start my creative sewing juices for the week.  I used ups some scraps of material and rescued D rings from an old belt

. I found a simple fabric belt that came with an outfit I no longer own. I cut off the D rings to use to make key fobs and threw the fabric part in my scrap bin for a future project. I will definately be making more of these.

My new keyless car entry system is great until I have to give the key to the guy at the car wash or the valet parking attendant. I then have to dig and dig to find it since it usually never sees the light of day. With my new key fob I will be able to find it much easier in my purse.

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

Great idea for our guild's boutique when we have our show. For my daughter and friends with babies I have made door mufflers. They surround the door latch/lock and silence the sounds of opening and closing. Probably use as much fabric as the fob.

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