I love making little handmade gifts that just add an extra personal touch. This tutorial is for a personalized leather or faux leather keychain that you can make either by hand or with a cutting machine like the Cricut.
I remember back in the day when everyone used to carry photos of their loved ones in their wallets.
Ever since I had kids, I consolidated all of my essentials to this neoprene holder that sticks on the back of my phone. This means really minimized the essentials, I’ve got it down to a $20 bill, and ID and a couple of credit cards.
My wallet now sits in my purse which sits pretty much unused in our entry way. Between the school back packs, the extra diaper, wet wipes, grocery bag, I just can’t carry another item.
The keys on the other hand still has to accompany us everywhere we go so I thought it would be cute to make a little personalized photo keychain. It’s just like the old days without all the extras.
There’s a few ways to attached the photo to this keychain. I actually just printed it on a fabric iron on material but there are many other options. You can print on regular copy paper and laminate it. You can also decoupage on wood. You could also print on vinyl. I’m not going to cover the details on this part because I feel like its pretty straight forward.
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Materials for DIY Leather Photo Keychain
Leather or Faux Leather – I used faux leather sheets that I got from Amazon. I just like all of the different color and pattern options with faux leather. I’ve also used real leather before and it works great, it’s just a completely different aesthetic.
Snap Fastener Kit – I used a plastic snap fastener kit that comes complete with a clamping tool. If you prefer a metallic accent for your fasteners, they have those kits as well but they require a hammer to assemble.
Photo – See note above on the different material options for the photo.
Template – My template is available as SVG and printable formats for free in my resource library. I’ve included both the loop patterns for the leather and multiple options for the photo insert.
How to Make Personalized Leather Photo Keychain
Step 1: Cutting the leather from the template
I have a few notes on cutting this on a cutting machine like a Cricut. If you are using non-branded faux leather, most of them tend to be super soft. This makes it nearly impossible to cut with the Cricut because it snags a lot.
I have found the only way to cut this leather is to use the Rotary Blade with my Cricut Maker with the smooth side down on a standard mat on the “felt” setting.
If you only have a Cricut Explorer and a fine point blade, I would recommend getting the Cricut brand faux leather. It is much more reliable to cut with a fine point blade.
If you are using real leather, I would recommend at least the deep point blade if not the knife blade.
Step 2: Prepare you photo
Depending on the materials you have on hand, make the photo insert as appropriate for your materials.
Step 3: Add the snap fasteners
All fastener kits come with the needle to make a protrusion. I find just eyeballing where they should go works for me. Then check to see if they protrusions align.
If not, just make another hole, the rest of the snap button will cover any mistakes.
Make two snaps, one for the base photo tab and another for the keychain connector loop.
Step 4: Assemble and go
That’s it! Its a super simple just heartfelt gift to make.
If you want to go the extra step, you can stencil on or iron on a phrase or monogram on the back.