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. 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. There are so many Renaissance Ribbons designs to pick from, 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.
Click here to download our featured monogram alphabet and brackets. This free download 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
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft 9900)
- Quarter Inch Seam foot (optional)
- Satin Stitch foot (optional)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies and instructions are for a set of SIX key fobs.
- ¼ yard of 44″+ wide for suede for the key fob backing; we originally used 58″ wide, 100% polyester Vintage Suede in Silver
- ½ yard each of six ⅞” Jacquard ribbons for the front of the key fobs; we originally used the following SIX ⅞” Renaissance Ribbons. The exact ribbons may no longer be in inventory, but there are always plenty of options from which to choose.
⅞” Guinea Flower in Green/Brown by Kaffe Fassett
⅞” Tan & Black Tiger Stripes
⅞” Pink Shells by Tula Pink
⅞” Feathers in Aqua/Brown by Anna Maria Horner
⅞” Ombre Leopard in Aqua/Purple by Anna Maria Horner
⅞” Blue Giza by Parson Gray
- One package of ⅜” fusible seam tape; we used Heat ‘n’ Bond iron on adhesive hem tape
- SIX 1″ key fob clamps with split rings
- Soft hammer
- All purpose thread to match both fabric and ribbons and/or invisible thread; we used Dritz® Invisible Thread in Clear
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
For the optional monogrammed tags:
- ¼ yard of medium weight twill for the lining and the accent band; we originally used 60″ Organic Cotton Twill in Winter White
- ONE sheet of Phoomph™ for Fabric by Coats or similar stiffener; we originally used white Phoomph™ in the stiff texture
- SIX 5/32″ eyelets; we used a 5/32″ Dritz® Eyelet Kit with Tool in Nickel
- SIX small beaded chains
- Stabilizer for embroidery as recommended for your embroidery machine
- Embroidery thread to match the suede for optional monogrammed tag; we used a silvery taupe
- 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.
- Cut each ribbon down to a 12½” length.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Fold each faux suede strip in half lengthwise so it is now 12½” x 1¼”. Pin along the long raw edges.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance (we used our Quarter Inch Seam foot), stitch the length of the strip.
- 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.
- Cut a 12½” length of fusible seam tape. Place the tape the length of the faux suede strip, centering it directly over the seam.
- 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.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the layers together.
- 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.
- Edgestitch the ribbon in place along both 12½” sides.
- We prefer using invisible thread because it makes the stitching disappear, and it’s faster to move between ribbons.
- Fold the strip in half, right side out, making sure the two ends are flush with one another.
- Slip the raw ends into the “open mouth” of the fob.
- Center the strip side to side within the hardware.
- Cover the hardware with a tea towel or a piece of fabric.
- Gently whack it once with a soft hammer.
- 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.
- Click here to download our monogram alphabet and brackets. This free download is available in all major embroidery formats.
- 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.
- Sandwich a small piece of Phoomph™ between a plain twill layer and the monogrammed twill layer. You could use any type of thin foam.
- 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.
- Add an eyelet and chain to attach the tag to the fob.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild