DIY · Tutorial

DIY Leather Key Fob

The past month has been crazy busy as I prepare for my first solo craft show.  I’ll be selling my wares at Handmade Harvest in Lincoln, NE on November 17 and 18.  A good friend of mine is one of the organizers and asked me to participate earlier this summer, but life got away from me.  When she asked again a month ago, I said yes, despite having little product.  Sure, I had left over merchandise from when another friend and I did a craft show in April.  That time I had someone to share a booth with.  This time around, it’s just me.

So like I said, I’ve been crazy busy making things to sell.  My craft room has taken over the living room.  At least my dear husband has been wonderful and not given me grief over the mess.  One of his many great attributes.

Along with baby bibs, zippered pouches and felt needle books, I’ll be selling leather key fobs.  They are super handy and super easy to make.


I inherited a ton of leather samples from a friend who works at an interior design house.  I’m talking super soft — you might even say supple — leather from Hancock & Moore, Baker and Coach.  And the colors.  Oh the colors.  Deep reds, dark blues, and luxurious browns.


I’m a huge fan of upcycling, so I knew I had to make something out of all this leather.  For this project at least, it had to be efficient and that’s how the idea of making leather key fobs was born.



I ordered 1-inch swivel clasps and double cap rivets from Amazon and got to work.  I chose double cap rivets because they look great from either side of the fob.



Using my rotary cutter and mat, I cut a strip of leather 12 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide.  (Please ignore the black paint on my cutting mat.  It’s the residue from a previous project.) I initially cut the strip of leather an inch wide, but I didn’t like how it looked when I threaded it through the D-ring.


You can fold the leather any way you want through the D-ring.  I chose to overlap the ends just below the D-ring so there was a nice loop that you can put around your wrist.


Using the hole punch tool that came with the rivets and a hammer, I made a hole through the three layers of leather.

Then I grabbed the post and threaded it through the holes I just made.  Once this is done, put the cap on the post.


You will feel it click in place, however, you’re not quite done yet.

Place the rivet on the concave side of the anvil.  Then put the curved part of the setting tool straight up on the top cap.  If it’s at an angle, your rivet could end up crooked.  Next, gently tap the top of the setting tool and gently tap the tool with a hammer.  (You don’t want to hit it too hard because — again — your rivet could end up crooked.)

And that’s it.  You’re done. Easy peasy, right?  I was able to whip up 50 of these babies in a few hours.  My next project is to make cord tacos and they are harder than they sound.  Despite practicing for an hour today, I have yet to master metal snaps.  It’s proving to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.  Wish me luck!