How to Make A Wristlet Key Fob

DIY Key Fob Tutorial
These little key fobs are such a fun way to use bits of pretty trim to make easy and VERY inexpensive stocking stuffers! Let’s learn how to make a key fob – it’s so easy and fun.
How to Make a Key Fob
You just need a few supplies and a few minutes and you’ll have little custom homemade gifts for all your favorite ladies. And also, totally an appropriate handmade man-gift if you choose the right styles for you homemade key fob.
How to Make a Key Fob
I love pretty ribbons. It’s so nice to get to use ’em and share ’em.
How to Make a Key Fob
Learn How to Make A Key Fob Wristlet after the jump…

How to Make A Key Fob

-First you’ll need key fob hardware. I picked mine up at Amazon – 50 sets for $19 – so that’s 38 cents each.
-You’ll also need some cotton webbing. Since I bought 1″ key fob hardware, I picked up a few yards of 1″ cotton webbing at my local fabric store in a bunch of sweet colors. You can get 3 or 4 out of a yard, and a yard was 40 cents. So that’s an additional 10 cents per key fob. So we’re up to 48 cents each.
-Then you’ll need some pretty ribbon. Make sure it is thinner than your cotton webbing, so 3/4″ or less for me. Ribbon ranges in price but let’s say it was super fancy ribbon at $2 a yard, so that’s an additional 50 cents per keychain.
Total cost? 98 cents each. For a totally adorable homemade gift. Yay!

So assemble your supplies:
How to Make A Key Fob Hardware and Supplies

Now cut your cotton webbing and your ribbon into sections. About 10 inches is a good length for a wristlet, but I did some longer and some shorter and they’re all just fine:

Now cut lengths of fusible tape (I used stitch witchery). You can skip this step, but it does make it a lot easier to sew the ribbon on if you do this first, especially with fancy embroidered ribbons. So iron the ribbon to the cotton webbing with the fusible tape in the middle:

So there you have your ribbons all fused to your webbing:

Now you’re going to sew them on. You can use an edging foot if you have it, but I just used my regular foot and went slowly so I didn’t mess up. Was quite easy. You’ll also want to use a heavy duty needle (actually your regular needle will work fine, but it will become dull from sewing through the thick cotton webbing so you’ll want to change it after):

So then sew one side of the ribbon down, then the other:

Consider your thread color choices. Most of my ribbons had white edging, so i used white in my spool, then switched out my bobbin for thread that matched the cotton webbing (or as close to a match as I had in my stash) so you can’t see the stitching from the other side:

Quick note. I wanted to make one for Carleton Curtis but I did not have any ribbon I felt was sufficiently manly enough. I decided to use some fabric and ironed it into single fold bias tape, then attached as per above. Worked just as well as ribbon!

So there you have your ribbons all sewn to your webbing:

Trim the edges so they are nice and even:

Then grab your hardware. There is a clamp piece that looks like this:

It has two little pokey things that will grab your webbing.

So fold your piece of webbing in half with the ribbon on the outside:

You’ll notice my pliers have ridges. These left scuff marks on my fob hardware, so…

I wrapped them in duct tape (dearest duct tape, is there anything you cannot do?):

Problem solved!

So insert the ends of your cotton webbing into the clamp. Use your pliers to mash the clamp together, starting with a big squeeze in the middle:

Then a big squeeze on each side:

Repeat on all your key fobs:

Now the annoying part: Trying not to break your fingernail while slipping the key rings on the fobs. But carry on, I only lost one nail. Attach all your key rings:

Here is the man-version made with fabric (do you think he will like it?  would your man use one?):

Done!

What do you think? Not bad for 98 cents right??
How to Make a Key Fob

So, now that you’ve learned How to Make a Key Fob, why not try some other super simple and fun DIY Projects? How about making a Wristlet Pyramid Purse, Adorable DIY Ear Warmers, 5-Minute Crowns, Wood Stump Coasters, or if you’re feeling especially crafty, this gorgeous DIY Faux Leather Bucket Bag to go with your new DIY key fob.

Follow Pretty Prudent on Pinterest for more DIY tutorial goodness!

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148 Comments

Line

Wonderful tutorial! However, I'm in France and it's so difficult to find colored webbing & key fob hardware… (Most American shops/stores don't ship to Europe, or with rates that are nearly as high as the cost of the material!)
Thanks for sharing!
linedupuy(at)hotmail(dot)fr

Reply
Lianne

Great tutorial! I love all the embellishments! The ones I have made in the past have just been wrapped in in fabric. Perhaps I will try these this weekend…

Reply
Shannon

Your Blog,
Your Blog,
Your Blog,
Is my Drug
I said. . .
I look forward to your posts every day. Love this tutorial. You would think Duct Tape would be contacting you for projects, tips and tricks. Lovely creative ladies!!! Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Reply
Catherine

I just picked up some of this hardware, so awesome timing on your tutorial! Yay!

And as for if a guy would use one, my husband groans every time I hand him the keys on the fob. I mentioned I was making some for Christmas and asked if he wanted me to do a plain navy one for him. His reply? "Yeah, if you think I'll wake up as a chick on Christmas morning."

So maybe some guys will, but mine won't…or rather, he'll use one, but I'll hear all about it. 😉

Reply
Emily

Love the duct tape idea. 🙂 I think I might've been dwelling in a cave when these fobs became popular. What does "fob" mean?

Reply
brittany susan

my hubby and i always exchange something handmade for christmas (his usually comes from etsy, i always make his!) and this year i had NO idea what to sew him with my limited sewing skills, but this…THIS he would totally dig, i know it! thanks for making a dude-worthy one i can model his after! thanks!

Reply
Angela

hahaha! I had to laugh at Catherine's comment about her husband. 🙂 My husband doesn't like them either (and I even got him a manly DMB one!). I love them though! I just don't know 50 people to make them for.

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CollegeSAHM

Thank you so much for this tutorial because I bought one from etsy but I really wanted more but wanted to know if I can make my own so this was perfect!!

And for those of you who can't use 50 sets there are smaller sets like 20 and 10 on Amazon as well 🙂

Reply
Vitty's mom

I love this! i have been looking for a cute idea do do for the family! woohoo this is it! oh and by the way, thank y'all so very much! i read your blog?emails everyday and go back to them often! y'all have relit a fire in me and i am starting my own business! so i owe it all to yall oh and my hubby getting me a sewing machine! 🙂

Reply
Tanya

Just when I thought I already had a plan for Christmas gifts for all the girls at my office you give me something that's even easier and cuter. Stink! (I guess having to choose between 2 cute and easy ideas isn't the worst). Another option is using invisible thread for your top thread…it's a little squirrelly at first, but once you make some minor adjustments (loosen upper tension and increase stitch length a bit) you'd be good to go for all your trims no matter the color.

Reply
LivMor

For men, I'd think that they may want it a bit shorter? BTW, there's a key chain "clapper" at my local Target – just fyi for the moms that lose keys or have kids that like to carry them and drop them into the sofa before Mommy finds them – oops, is that just me? Anyway, the keychain beeps when one whistles for it. It's definitely on my list. 🙂

Reply
ti_jean_54

They work good in large purse you can find
them easy.I like that if I am just running in
and out it hangs on my wrist so I can get to
it for Door locks.
They hold up well I have had this one for over a year.We had a recycle Christmas theme one year 2008.

Reply
dawn

love it! i'm going to alter this idea (plus your D ring belts tute) into some belts for my little gal!

Reply
Nicole

I just bought all of the stuff to make some of these. I am excited! The only bummer was that the cheapest I could find webbing was $1.99/yard, but that still makes them a pretty inexpensive gift. Thank you for the tutorial.

Reply
Swedie

Those are really nice – great idea for gifts! Do I think a man would like it? Yes, if you remove the ribbon on top. Possibly if you used camouflage ribbon or fabric instead. No, not the way it is now – but what do I know?

Reply
ann

Great party favor idea. Could be used to hold a gift tag on the top of a package. So many fun uses for these inexpensive goodies.

Reply
Gabi Cooper

It's perfect! I'd been wanting to make one of these but didn't know I was going to; now I do! Thanks!!

Reply
Megan E

Thank you for the instructions!

I’m having a hard time finding fabric ribbon. Where did you get yours?

Thanks! 🙂

Reply
Jennifer

I’m thinking this may be a craft I could do with my MMOPS (mothers of preschoolers – military) group. Do you think we could do it without the sewing? Would the stitch witchery hold the ribbon over time? I know it would be a hit!

Reply
Loretta

Beacons Fabric-Tac is the best glue for bonding cloth of any kind. I had the material tear once when i wanted to undo it.

Reply
Tagati

What a great gift! And wonderful that you added a masculine one to the line up!

Reply
Karra Clymer

This is an awesome post. Can’t wait to make them for my daughters teachers!

Reply
Sara

Super cute & easy, thanks for instructions. I saw a pin about using a staple remover (the pinch kind) to open key rings…..brilliant No more broken fingernails.

Reply
Amy

Love this tutorial! Thanks so much for posting~ GREAT, EASY directions even for crafty beginners 🙂

Reply
Kat

Love the ease of the directions and yes, makes great gifts for anyone…will be making a bunch for teachers and family. This will make it so easy to get out of your purse or diaper bag, especially when your hands are full with the baby and other things…
Thanks so much for a fun new idea for easy and the cost of supplies meet my budget.

Reply
Rhoni T

I made these last fall as a fund raiser for our Mom’s club that works with the high school football team, we sold them for $5 each. We totaly sold out by the 3rd week, our 2nd home game. They were a big hit and we have request for more this fall.

Reply
Ginney

This is an awesome idea, thanks for sharing it. Oh and to avoid the broken nails, use a staple remover to open the key ring. Saves a lot of nails.

Reply
Irene

I found, on Pinterest, that you can use staple removers to hold open your key ring so you don’t break your nails!

Reply
Bobbie

I saw another pinterest post suggesting using a staple puller to open up the ring and hold it while you place keys on it, so should work for this too. Just an idea for you.

Reply
Keek

This is so awesome and looks so professional. Love your very straight stiching. I’m so anal about stiching. You did a fantastic job. I saw on Pinterest yesterday that you can use the jaws of a staple puller to spred the keyring. No more jacked up fingernails.

Reply
Carol

Made a couple of these this morning! So easy and super cute! Will definitely make more for people at work!

Reply
Cynthia

Super cute, makes a great favor or giveaway for a party or event too. May be making these for next years Women’s Retreat at my church. I was going to give the Pinterest tip of using a staple remover for the rings, but someone beat me to it. 🙂 Thanks again…

Reply
Jennifer

A staple puller will save your fingernails when putting the rings on. If you make them longer then they can be lanyards.

Reply
Ash

An easy way to not break a nail is to use a staple remover to pry it open til you get the ring in the hole. :]

Reply
Carol Sherman

I love this idea. We are having an annual meeting and these would make wonderful favors
Thanks

Reply
Barbara

Awesome idea and great directions. Is it possible for you to provide a link to the amazon page you ordered the hardware from?
Ha ing a difficult time finding you clamps and rings.

Reply
Pamela Thompson

Maybe you have already seen this but thought I would add how to get the key ring on the key fob without breaking your nails…use a claw type of staple remover to open those tight little rings. It will dig right in and save your nails! I saw this hint on Pinterest!

Reply
snb

If you wrapped the webbing in paracord, or still used a camo ribbon, then added things like a compass, led light, etc. you could tell hubby it is a survival key chain!

Reply
nicole

Hey I know that you can use a staple puller to hold open the key ring so you don’t have to break any nails. God Bless Pinterest for telling me that one.

Great job and I can’t wait to start making them. So simple.

Reply
Rochelle

Thanks for this great tutorial! PS you can use a staple puller to open the key rings to save your nails.

Reply
Valsma

I have one of these that was a gift from a friend in a quilt group I attend retreats with. I love this key fob. I haven’t misplaced my keys since I was given it. A bonus is she personalized it with our name and the date of that quilt retreat.

Reply
Mary Kay

So cute. I wish I had more time to do this before this holiday season!! Definitely on the list for next year.

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Carol

Besides ordering the clamp online from ebay or Amazon, where could I find them at the stores. I have checked Hobby Lobby, Joannes and local hardware store. Any suggestions? I would like to just purchase a few at first before I order large quantity. Thanks for your time and love your blog.

Reply
Melanie

If you don’t mind me asking 2.5 years later… what store did you purchase your cotton webbing? We are trying to make a large quantity of these on the cheap for our local church group, and we’re finding the webbing to be a little more than 40 cents a yard… like $2.50/yard. Did you just do coupons, or what is your secret? Thanks in advance!

Reply
Brenda Gallaher

I love these key ring fobs. I plan on making several for Christmas gifts this year. I am sure they will be a hit.

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Kristina

Do you think I can use nylon webbing instead of cotton webbing? I have a lot left over from other projects, so I hate buying new stuff.

Reply
Vikki

Love doing these,except after the first 3 I made for the granddaughter because the fabric kept coming loose from the hardware and I did crimp in 3 spots, center and then both ends. So now when I make them I use E6000 glue in between the fabric and then on both sides that touch the hardware. So far, this is working.

Reply
Arlene

I bought one of these at a craft sale ay the Jersey shore where I lived and my husband did not mind it at all. It had navy webbing with white ribbon and blue and red sail boats on it. My family of mostly men are football nuts and I will be making them in team colors if they ever stop losing!!!

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Paula

Perhaps you meant that your cotton webbing was .40 for each individual key fob and not each yard of it. There are no craft stores selling it for that cheap. The cheapest I’ve seen it was $2.49

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Jenna

Where do you buy webbing that’s 40 cents a yard? The cheapest I found was Joann’s at 2.99 a yard!

Reply
Nene

Awesome!I especially love the ‘manly’ one as I may not have access to the fusible tape. Secondly, I work with African fabrics alot, so I see this looking really *muuahh*!

Reply
Allison

Having trouble getting the metal clasp to attach to my fabric. I didn’t use cotton webbing rather a blended webbing/trim that I think might be lighter-weight? Regardless do you just clamp really hard or have you had any problems with your material staying in the metal clasp? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am going to be selling these at a craft show very soon and I want to have quality merchandise!! Very nice tutorial though 🙂 Thanks,
Allison

Reply
Jaime

I have never had a problem with a cotton or poly webbing staying in the clasp. It should be fine unless you are using a thin material. It’s hard to say without seeing it.

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cheryl

These are adorable! I’ve been making mine from scratch! 🙁 Cutting out material, adding the interfacing, “then” adding ruffles, etc. THIS is much easier and quicker!! THANKS FOR THE TIP!!!

Reply
Gina

A great tutorial! I make these often! To solve the issue with clamping the hardware to the belting, search for “metal turning tongs” My husband had these in his metal fab shop and they are a LIFESAVER and make this task much easier!

Reply
Stephanie

Use a staple remover to slide the rings onto the clasp. The staple remover will open the rings wide enough for you to attach the fobs. Save your nails!

Reply
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Reply
Amy Cascioli

I have tried several times to keep these from pulling out but had no luck. I use Poly Pro and Nylon with ribbon overlay and do exactly as mentioned but I can pull the webbing out of 1 side with a bit of tugging which is not a good thing as a new craft business owner and can use some other suggestions? I realize these key fobs are not designed for much other than keys but with a little tug you should have these falling apart..Please Let me know what is wrong or if they sell fey fob ends with 4 prongs which I havent came across anywhere on the web. Thanks Amy

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Easy way to avoid breaking a nail: Use a staple remover that you can get at any office supply store. Pinch it between the 2 coils of the ring & it will open up easily

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