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ScrapBusters is one of our most popular series here at Sew4Home. The idea is to come up with quick and easy projects that use up some of those special little fabric and trim 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 tiny bits of fabric and notions, and they’re fast and fun. In fact they were so fun to make, we did FIVE samples.

Each of our samples features a different embellishment technique: decorative stitching, piping, embroidery, ribbon trim, and patchwork. We’re sure you can come up with even more options: a monogram, lace, rick rack, buttons, etc. Each fob finishes at approximately 3″ in length x 1¼” in width, excluding the D-ring.

We’d love to see pictures of your key fob creations! Share with us on social media so we can all be inspired. We are sew4home on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and sew4home_diy on Instagram.

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
  • Clear monofilament thread for ribbon stitching; optional, you can also use regular thread in a matching color
  • 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″ required 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 between the layers.
  7. Pin in place all around, leaving an approximate 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 2″ opening.
  9. Clip the corners and trim back the seam allowance to about ¼”.
  10. Turn right side out through the opening.
  11. Using a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner, gently push out the corners so they are as sharp as possible.
  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 hand stitch that fob in place along all sides.


Project Concept: Liz Johnson
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild

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B. E. Schneider
B. E. Schneider
9 months ago

I have given out a single house key to so many family/friends since I am older and live alone. Of course they lose them constantly and this project identifies what home the key goes to. Many times I walk and only take a house key. I like the idea of personalizing things and looking at this, maybe making it a bit longer so I can put elastic in the band so it could slip over to be kept on my wrist….

Liz Johnson
Liz Johnson
9 months ago

Sounds like a great idea! And we do have a wrist loop option if you want to take a look at that: https://sew4home.com/ribbon-faux-suede-wrist-loop-key-fobs/

2 years ago

Fabulous cheap project to help kids learn to sew. If you don’t have scraps, hit the thrift stores for cute, cheap items that can be cut up and recycled with a little creativity.

Liz Johnson
Liz Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jan

Yes! Great ideas, Jan.

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