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How to make your own keychains in 6 easy steps

By Admin User on November 4, 2019

If you’re obsessed with keychains like me, you probably have a few too many on your lanyard. You’ve also probably noticed that they’re not always the cheapest. So, I’m going to show you a fun and cheap way to make them yourself!

It’s simple, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Permanent markers (sharpies work best)
  • Single hole puncher
  • Plastic (Sheets or empty food containers)
  • Keyrings or split rings
  • Oven
  • Scissors or an exacto knife

Step 1: prepping your design

If you’re like me and lack artistic skill, there’s an easy fix. Print off a photo of whatever you want your keychain to be, but make sure to print it 3x bigger than how you want the keychain to actually be. The reason for this is because we will be putting the plastic in the oven and they will shrink down 3x the size.

One you’ve printed your photo, tape it down to prevent it from moving when you’re tracing.

I am tracing a photo of a doughnut I got from google. But, if you rather, you can also freehand draw your design as well.

I am using sheets of ‘Shrinky Dinks’ that I picked up at my local craft store, Michaels. It was very inexpensive and with the coupon on their app, I got a package of six sheets for as little as $5.

If you don’t feel like buying a package of Shrinky Dinks, you can use the plastic from any leftover food containers you have laying around the house (just make sure it has the little “6” with arrows forming a triangle on it).

Step 2: drawing/tracing your design

With any permanent markers, draw and colour in your design. I suggest using Sharpies, they work best.

I also suggest outlining in the colour that you’re going to fill the area with, and then outline it in black. If you trace the picture in black as an outline and then try to colour it in, sometimes the colours mix together and leaves behind a mucky smudge.

Keep in mind that after they’ve been shrunk in the oven, the colours change slightly. You might find that your colours are more saturated and bold.

Step 3: cut out your design

With scissors or an exacto knife, cut out your keychain.

You can either cut it out along the edge of your design, or you can cut further away from it, leaving some of the white plastic visible – this will give it a border look.

Step 4: punching a hole

With a single hole-puncher, punch a hole about a few centimeters away from the top of your design. If you punch it too low, you won’t be able to fit a keyring on it.

It’s important you punch your hole before we put it in the oven, because the hole will shrink with the keychain and be the perfect size.

Step 5: bake your keychain

This is the fun part!

Set your oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Place some parchment paper on a pan and lay your design upright.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Place the pan in the oven, and leave it for 1-3 minutes and watch your plastic design curl and shrink up. When it lays flat, take it out of the oven.

If the edges are still a little curled, you can take a glass cup and lay it on the design to help flatten it out like so:

Step 6: attach a keyring

The final step is putting a keyring onto your design so you can attach it to your keys!

You can use keyrings or split rings, whichever you have handy – I used split rings.

Once you push it through the hole we made in step four, it should look something like this:

Once you’ve attached a keychain, there’s only one thing left to do… hook them onto your keys!

And that’s it! Swing your keys around proudly and show off your personalized keychains!



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