- Inner Tube Length
- Corresponding D Ring
- Inner Tube Lace
- Popper Set (made of four parts)
- Key Ring
- Needle & thread^
- Cloth & hand sanitizer^
- Hole Punch*
- Binder Clips*
- Pen or Chalk
* may be shared with your table buddy
^ shared at front of room
Decide how you want your keychain to look.
Mimicking the final design of the keychain, check the size against your hand (or estimate that of your recipient if a gift). The lower fold of the keychain, where the D ring is, will be about 2.5-3 cm long.
I’ve intentionally given you inner tube lengths that are longer than you should need.
Top Tips for Designing Your Keychain
Show off that character, writing and wear – it will make your final keychain one-of-a-kind.
If you want to feature a stripe, it’s best not to put it directly in the middle of the keychain.
An inner tube is round in two directions which means it may not lie completely straight when open. It’s not a big deal and hardly noticeable once finished. Don’t let it stop you from showing off the bits you want!
It’s hard to create a clean edge with multiple cuts so trim excess using scissors in one motion. Make sure both ends are straight. Keep the offcut for use later.
Secure your tube along both long edges using binder clips so it’s showing off the elements you want.
Working from the end that will be the upper flap, measure in 2cm from the cut edge of the tube and make a mark like a minus sign – on what will be the INSIDE of the keychain, parallel to the cut edge.
Continue making dashes every 1.5 cm from that first mark, moving the binder clips as necessary. Leave at least 2 cm unmarked at the end, though the exact amount will depend on the length of your tube.
1.5 / 3 / 4.5 / 6 / 7.5 / 9 / 10.5 / 12 / 13.5 / 15 / 16.5 / 18 / 19.5 / 21 / 22.5 / 24 / 25.5 / 27 / 28.5 / 30
Repeat the previous step on the other side, using your first marks as reference.
At each mark, and pressing firmly with the ruler, measure in .5cm from the long edge of the tube and make a second, vertical mark like |, creating a crosshair/plus sign +. Be careful not to twist the tube.
Check the size hole punch you’ll use on your scrap of inner tube. I recommend the 2nd or 3rd smallest (aka 5th or 4th largest). Test threading the inner tube lace through the holes to make sure you’ll be happy with the final look.
With the help of your buddy, punch the holes. With one of you holding close to where you’re punching to avoid the inner tube slipping out of place, the other will punch holes at each crosshair. Move the binder clips as you need. Put the bits you punch out in your table’s waste valet. You may need to pull them out of the lower layer and shake them out from the inside of the tube.
Optional: Once you’ve both punched all your holes, you can clean off excess ink using hand sanitizer sparingly as it can remove any stamped writing on the tube.
Thread your inner tube lace through the top layer of the first two holes on what will be the upper flap of your keychain. Do not go through both layers of inner tube.
Make sure both lace tails are the same length and secure the centre with a binder clip so it doesn’t move as you work.
Sew in through that back of that first hole again and then continue with a whip stitch through each hole along that side.
Top Tips for a Neat Finish
Inner tube is very grippy and stretchy. Don’t just pull at the needle end of the lace, give the lace a little tug near each hole with your fingers as you go to make sure it’s all been pulled through. You’ll be surprised how much can get stuck.
Make sure the inner tube is snug but not too tight as this can warp the shape of your keychain.
Keep an eye out for twists! The tube lace is flat and can twist as you work, untwist as you go for a neater look.
Once you’ve reached the final hole, sew though it as normal. Then partially sew through that same hole again, entering through the back ONLY and exiting through the cut end of the inner tube. Then clip the loose tail in place.
Starting from the top, repeat the previous two steps along the other side. Double check that you’re stitching in the same direction as the first side.
Once you’ve reached the end, roll down the end of the tube like you’re folding down a cuff on a sock. Securely knot the two loose ends together and hide the knot by unfolding the end of the tube.
For extra security you can pull the long tails of the laces into the tube, pulling the needle through the 2nd or 3rd hole further up the tube and trimming off the excess.
Customise the ends of your tube. Using your scrap tube, practice trimming the ends to your preferred shape. Round ends can be hard to achieve neatly without a template, so I’d recommend just trimming off the corners \__/. You can also just leave it square.
Decide on popper placement. Mark holes with pen.
Top Tips for Popper Placement
Don’t punch through the knot or middle of the lace! Feel the tube and move it out of the way if you need to.
For wider tubes, use a ruler to make sure your holes are centred.
For the upper half, don’t place it too close to the edge – it’s best to have a flap to pull the popper open.
The lower half of the popper holds the D ring in place, don’t forget to leave room! The fold should be 2.5-3cm from the end.
Set your hole punch to the smallest setting.
Once you’re sure – ask if you need any advice – punch the holes with the help of your buddy. It can be tough to get through all layers four layers for the bottom popper at once. Make a hole through two layers, then make another mark through the first hole to punch the second separately.
Use hand presses in the front of the room to attach each piece. Remember the D ring!
Trim as needed. In bulky areas you can try trimming off the back of any flap.
Optional: You can use a sharp needle and black thread to tack down the lower flap at the sides.
Sit back with a hot drink and celebrate – you’ve just helped save some useful material from going to landfill!