Friday 20 June 2014

Feather and Tassel Keyring

Never-ending quest to try and stop loosing my keys.

I came up with the idea of a keyring / bag tag combo a little earlier this year when I walked home in the rain and wind and was left standing in it like a drowned rat whilst I attempted to find my keys in my bag.  I love a big bag - a Mary Poppins, can't find anything but everything, damage to your spine and posture big bowling bag - bag.  All I wanted to do was empty it all out on the pavement, so to try and stop it happening again, I decided that a bag tag-keyring combo was worth a shot.

The main idea is that my keys can be thrown anywhere in my bag, but that they are attached to a keyring that can be on show outside the bag [not in a crazy - 'here everyone, here are my keys, come grab them!' kind of way], in a bag-tag kind of way..........hopefully it will make sense by the end?

What I Used:
White Pleather PVC Fabric
Gold Fabric Paint
Embroidery Thread
Scissors / Needle

To create my feather templates, I decided on a simple freehand drawing, however; you could also use a google-images print-out or magazine cutting if there is a style and shape that you like:
Trace the outline on to the back your chosen material - I used more of the white pleather pvc fabric
used for this phone case DIY:
...and cut out:
I decided to add a little decoration to the feathers by using the same techniques of the phone case, colourblocking areas with gold fabric paint:
I added around 3|4 layers to create an opaque block:
...but you could also layer the paint with feather-like brush strokes, mix colours or use stamps
 to create any design you want.
I left the paint to dry completely between layers and then overnight once the final coat had been added.  The instructions also recommended applying some heat over the painted areas with a teatowel in between to seal the colour further:
The style of the keyring I was going for was inspired by dreamcatchers, so I wanted long threads to connect the feathers to my keychain, which would also mean the keys at the end could be right at the bottom of my bag, with plenty of length for the tags to rest on the outside.

I tested the required length by attaching to my keys and throwing them in to my bag,
measuring where I wanted the tags to rest outside the bag:
I used gold embroidery floss, looping through the ends of the feathers in one continuous thread,
making one feather hang slightly longer than the other.  Cut and tie the ends:
To neaten the finish, I created a small tie, cutting a short, thin length of the white pleather:
...creating a tie at one end...... I could hide the end sof the feather threads, gluing them in place at the opposite end
[I used Hi-Tac fabric glue] and rolling the fabric towards the tie:
Clamp in place to dry fully and leave the tie as we will use that to neaten the finish later:
...whilst that dried, I decided to create an additional charm tassel to finish the look:
...made in exactly the same way as this post, cut a rectangle of fabric, mark a hem of around
 1cm and then cut the fabric to this hemline.  Add a tie at one end of the hem:
...before covering the hem in a thin layer of fabric glue, rolling the fabric towards the tie end
 and then clamping to secure:
Keep the tie attached as we will use that to neaten the finish later and leave to dry.

Meanwhile, my feather tie had dried, so could now be finished by wrapping the thread around the leather to secure and neaten the finish.  Tie in a secure knot and then thread through the top of the tie: create a small loop at the top. 
Thread back through to the bottom of the tie, knot tightly to secure and cut the excess
[you can thread back into the fabric, pull very tightly to cut and therefore hide the thread]:
To attach to the keychain, I used jewellery pliers to add a finding to the loop, which could then be threaded on to the keychain:

Once the tassel tie had dried, I finished the look in the same way, wrapping the thread around the tie, securing with a knot and then threading through the top to create a loop:

...which could then be added to the finding and threaded on to the keychain:
I decided to add a little more detail by cutting into the feathers, in line with the colour blocks created:
....and now, my keys can be anywhere in my bag, but easier to fish out with the tags:
have a great weekend
see you next time x


  1. Oh this is lovely! Would acrylic paint work with pleather? Or does it have to be fabric paint?

    1. Thank you! I think it would depend on a couple of things: the finish of the material you were using and whether it was for use as a keyring|bag tag - acrylic would definitely work, but it's staying power may be limited if you were to use it as a keyring as opposed to painting a decorative item x

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