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DIY Keychain Tutorial +12 Free & Easy Keychain Projects

Keychains come in so many different shapes and sizes. Some people like to add just one meaningful chain to their keys, and I’ve seen others who have so many keychains attached to their keys that it makes it impossible to lose them!

Whichever category of people you fall into, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect DIY project here for you to follow along with, there is something for everyone.

From simple ten minute makes, to more durable and creative resin keyrings.

I’ve made a simple DIY keychain tutorial for you to follow along here, with children, or as a gift for your family members.

I’ve also rounded up 12 of my favorite keychain tutorials in case you’re looking for something that gives you more of a challenge!

Supply List for Your DIY Keychain

  • Macrame Thread
  • Wooden Beads
  • Scissors
Supplies to make a keychain
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

How To Make a DIY Keychain

I like to make sure that my tutorials suit everyone’s learning styles, so below, you’ll find photos of all the different steps and written instructions to go with them.

You can use this tutorial to follow along step-by-step but don’t forget you can make it completely your own by switching up the color of the beads, using a different thread, and making it shorter or longer.

Step One – Cut The Macrame Thread

Cut thread
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

The first step is to cut your macrame to double the length you’d like for your keyring. My final keyring is 10cm long, so I cut a 20cm piece of thread.

If you’re looking for other craft ideas for your macrame thread, why not have a go at making one of my DIY macrame headbands?

Step Two: Unravel Thread

Unravel Thread
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

The next step is to unravel your thread to make it thin enough to thread your beads onto.

If you use beads with a large enough hole in the middle, you can skip this step! Alternatively, you can use a different type of thread, which is slightly thinner, such as DK yarn.

Personally, I love how versatile macrame is; there are so many projects you can make with it!

Step Three: Tie a Loop and Knot

Tie a knot in thread
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Fold your thread in half so you have two strands, and tie a knot at the top, leaving a small loop to attach your keyring.

Step Four: Thread the Beads

Threading beads onto cord
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Next up, start threading your beads onto the macrame.

You can get creative here and use perler beads, beads all in one color, complimentary colors, or even beads with letters on to spell out a word.

This would be a great personalized gift if you chose to write someone’s name!

Step Five: Secure The Beads

Tie knot in keychain
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

When all your beads are threaded on, tie a knot at the bottom. Make sure the knot is large enough so that the hole of the bottom bead can’t pass over it.

You might need to tie a few knots to make sure this doesn’t happen.

At this point, I then unraveled all the strands of the two threads to give the keychain a tassel-look at the bottom, which I love!

Step Six: Attach to Keyring

Attach to Keyring
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

The last step is to attach the top loop of the keychain to a ring to which you can attach your keys.

There are loads of different sizes, shapes, and colors available, so choose one that most suits the style you’ve made your keychain in, or just opt for a plain silver one like I did.

Finished DIY Keychain

Here is the finished keychain. It’s super simple, but I know I won’t be losing this set of keys anytime soon!

If you have young children, this is a great craft for them to do to practice their fine motor skills! Why not make this craft with them so they have their own personal gifts to hand out at Christmas or other celebrations?

DIY Keychain
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff
DIY Keychain
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

12 More DIY Keychains For You to Make

I loved sifting through the hundreds of different tutorials available to make your own DIY keychain, and I’ve rounded up twelve of my favorites!

I chose keyrings that I’d personally love to have a go at making, so I hope you’ll love them, too.

If you particularly enjoy following along with my tutorials, why not turn something like my Easy Scrap Fabric Flowers into a keychain by adding a simple ring to the top of one of the petals?

Mini Quilt-as-you-go Keychain

If you like the thought of quilting but don’t want to take on a huge project and would rather give an easy project a go, the good news is, this one is perfect for you!

These cute keyrings are simple to make and will give you a great introduction to the world of quilting. The written tutorial is over on my sister Scrap Fabric Love, and if you’re more of a visual learner, I also have a YouTube video you can watch!

Resin Candy Sprinkles Keychain DIY

How adorable are these sweet candy sprinkle keychains?! I think they’d make great gifts for the new school year to attach to the zipper of a school bag.

They can be customized with different names, different types of candy, or even your own polymer clay creations. If you’ve never used resin before, this is an easy first-time project which can’t go wrong!

I think these would make cute necklaces, too; you can check out another necklace idea here!

DIY Chapstick Key Chain Holder

This little DIY fabric chapstick holder is both practical and cute, it doesn’t get better than that! It’s super simple to make and features as part of a bunch of other sewing projects that take less than ten minutes.

All you need is some fabric, thread, and your metal keyring. You could make a whole bunch of these as little favors for a teen girls’ party, or to give out to your best friends at Christmas.

I made a similar chapstick holder as part of my experiment to make as many things as I could with my husband’s old shirts.

Shrinky-Dink Wedding Photo Keychains

You will need to be slightly tech-savvy to make this darling keychain because you need to print it at 50% opacity. There are plenty of tutorials to show you how to do that, so if you love the look of these shrinky dink ideas but don’t know how to change the opacity of your photo before printing, don’t despair!

Whilst this tutorial is aimed towards creating a wedding photo keychain, you don’t have to limit yourself to only wedding photos; you could use this technique to turn your favorite photo into a sweet keepsake for your keys!

DIY Tassel Keychains


This easy DIY keychain is so quick to make; in fact, you can have one finished and ready to gift within ten minutes! You can’t go wrong with handmade gifts!

You don’t have to limit yourself to making these as keychains; they are so pretty that you can use them as earrings, a necklace, on sandals, or zippers. The options are endless!

If you love making jewelry, here are 16 upcycled jewelry ideas for you to try out.

DIY Clay Tassel Keychain

Another DIY tassl keyring, but with a little bit of a twist! This one uses clay to give the illusion of a tassel rather than thread or yarn.

Using polymer clay is a great way to design a unique and one-of-a-kind keychain that suits your style and personality.

DIY Shrinky Dink Key Chain

If you love the other photo shrinky dink key chain I featured above, but don’t have access to a printer or aren’t very tech-savvy, this is a great alternative.

You can use your own design to make a picture, initial, or pattern onto your shrink plastic and use this as a keychain. This is a great option if you’re looking for a keychain to make with a group of kids. Remember, these patterns will shrink from their original size though, so make it bigger than you want it!

Easy Valentine Heart Key Chain

If you’re forever losing your keys, you’re going to want a really large keychain like this one to make sure you can spot it when you’re in a rush!

It’s quite simple to make, using faux leather and embroidery floss, but if you have a different fabric you’d like to use, you can quite easily swap the fabric out and still use the template.

I have a pile of faux leather fabric samples that would be great to upcycle for this project. You could also use the faux leather from an old jacket or skirt if you have one that doesn’t get worn anymore.

Quilted Key Fob Tutorial

I absolutely love these simple wristlet keyrings! They’re great for using up fabric scraps and really easy craft to make.

This is another tutorial from my sister site, Scrap Fabric Love, and you’ll find detailed step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow, even for beginners! I also have a video tutorial you can watch, too.

If you’re looking for other things you can do with your scrap fabric, check out my 65 brilliant ideas for using up scrap fabric.

No Stress Fabric Keychains

If you’re looking for another quick, easy way to make a stress-free fabric keychain in under an hour, this tutorial might be for you!

It comes with a free printable template for the shape and an easy tutorial to follow. The little snap you can see at the top of the keyring is optional, but adding it does make it look quite professional!

Hand Lettered Wood Slice DIY Keychains

These rustic keychains make the perfect gift for people with the travel bug. They’re made using driftwood, hand lettering, and a layer of resin.

You can make these sweet keyrings double-sided and add arrows or other symbols to the back, too. The resin gives them a professional-looking finish and a protective covering!

If your older kids are looking for a fun project, why not let them burn the words into the wood using a pyrography pen?

How to Make a Cool Map Rock Keychain

This keychain is made from very smooth rocks or pebbles, maps, and a thin layer of mod podge. They’d make a simple gift for someone moving to a new area, as you can print a map of their new location and cover the pebble with it.

This tutorial would be really easy to adapt to make rock keyrings of absolutely anything you like. You could print Christmas-themed images to make cute little Christmas keychains or scrapbook paper and photos of children to make a sweet Mother’s Day gift.

I hope you loved this tutorial and round-up of homemade keychain ideas. I’d love to hear from you if you decide to make any of them! Drop me a comment!

You can read my top tips for designing your DIY keychains below as well as read my answers to some frequently asked questions. Happy crafting!

Top Tips for Your DIY Keychain

  • If you’re giving a key chain as a gift, think about all the things your recipient loves and try to design something around that. If they particularly love cats, why not make them a cat-related keychain?
  • If you want to make something unique but aren’t very creative, follow one of the above tutorials but just make a few tweaks to make sure your keychain is one of a kind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials can you use to make keychains?

You can use any craft material you like to make keychains. A few examples include; resin, beads, fabric, polymer clay, wood, metal, and rocks! The list is endless; if you have it in your craft supply, you could probably use it to make a creative keychain.

Of course, it is always best to use materials you already have around the house. Even the tutorials above that use new craft materials can easily be adapted to use upcycled materials – so get creative and use what you have!

How do you make a friendship keychain?

Photos make really sweet friendship keychain gifts, you could make a photo keychain either by using a wooden slice, your photo and mod podge, shrinky dink, or simply by inserting your favorite picture into a pre-bought plastic photo holder.

Is keychain a good business?

If you want to start your own craft business, designing and creating your own keychains can be really profitable. You can either choose to design and bulk manufacture a few different designs, or you could make personalize keychains that you can charge more per individual design.

Other DIY Gifts You Might Like:

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