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!



Garden · Uncategorized

Succulents are Having a Moment


Succulents are totally the It plant right now.  It doesn’t matter which social media platform you use, they’re everywhere — from wedding bouquets and boutonnieres to terrariums and wall art.  Seriously, everywhere.

A friend of mine recently gifted me some leaves that had broken off of her plants and urged me to propagate my own — and its incredibly easy.

If you don’t have a generous friend with unwanted succulent leaves, you’ll need to remove leaves from a healthy plant.  Gently wiggle it back and forth until the entire leaf breaks off.  (You need the entire leaf, or the magic won’t work.)

drying out


Next, leave the leaves out to dry for a couple of days so the end where it attached to the stalk can scab up.  I left mine on a paper towel well away from the determined paws of our curious kitty, Lillith.  (Probably should have unclumped them, but details, details.)


After a few days, take the leaves and lay them on a bed of soil.  Miracle Grow makes a cactus potting mix that’s also perfect for succulents.  You want soil that drains well.  Root rot is not fun.

I then mist the leaves with a spray bottle.  You’ll want to do this whenever the top of the soil dries out.  After about a week you’ll start to see tiny roots sprout from the end of the leaf that was attached to the plant.  In a couple more weeks you’ll notice tiny leaves spout up.

Then comes the waiting game.  Succulents grow slowly.  I started these guys about six months ago and they’re still tiny.  I have yet to experience it, but I heard that it could take up to a year (or more) for that leaf to reach full size.




I just started these guys this week, so it will likely be a while before anything major happens.  I am starting to see some minuscule roots, but I try not to disturb them too much.




Here are some I propagated about six months ago.  They are about an inch and a half tall.  They’re a bit stretchy, so it’s likely they need more sun.  (Still learning as I go.)






These plants actually started from the stump of a succulent I decapitated after it got too leggy.



You can re-pot them once they get bigger or just leave them as is.  I can’t decide quite yet what I’m going to do with them.  I do love the succulents in a tray thing.  I just want to find the right container for them.  I also want to try succulent kokedama since you can hang them.  That way they will be out of the reach of Lillith’s grabby paws.  (Maybe I should start calling her Jabberwocky — you know, “the jaws that bite, the claws that catch.”)


I’ll keep you guys posted on what happens with this new batch of leaves.


P.S. My florist friend has put her foot down on making boutonnieres with succulents.  Those juicy leaves break very easily.  You practically have to handle them with kid gloves.  Actually — even more gently than kid gloves.  What’s more gentle than kid gloves?  Baby gloves?  I digress.  Expect to pay a ton of money for that trendy boutonniere.  On the plus side, it’s a good excuse to avoid all those hugs from Aunt Mildred.