The humble keychain ... it serves a very handy purpose in keeping all our keys together. On it's own though, they're not generally very pretty. They do also have lots of other potential uses. Read on to find out more!
We set out to see how many different ways we could create different styles of pretty, crafty keychains. All of them are do-able by kids of all ages, but some are perhaps more suited to older groups, or younger kids with adult supervision. However, they are all great, fun ideas, whether you are crafting with one child or a whole classroom of children!
Obviously, they all start with the keyrings with link chains and jump rings and/or split rings, which you can find here.
1. FUSIBLE BEADS
You'll need Fusible Beads, Pegboards and an iron to melt your design.
You don't have to be constrained by the shape of the pegboard you have, you just have to be creative within the board itself! You can buy enormous tubs of beads or small quantities in kits depending on your needs. Then all you do is follow the instructions with the beads to fuse them together, let them cool and take them off the board.
The keychains can easily be attached with the jump-ring or split ring through one of the holes in the beads! How convenient and simple is that?
2. SHRINK ART
You'll need shrink art film which you can draw and colour in any design of your choice. Make sure you punch a hole before you shrink your designs, so you have somewhere to attach your keychains.
If you're looking for ideas of what to draw, have a look at these templates which you can just download, print and trace! Your designs can be as simple or complex as you like. Just remember that if you're using letters ... draw them backwards so you can read them the right way on the shiny side when you're done.
Once you've completed your designs, follow the shrinking instructions to get your shrunken creations! Pro Tip: be patient with your Shrink Art and try shrinking one piece to start with, to make sure you're doing it right, rather than sticking them ALL in the oven at once and ruining the whole lot ... trust us ... we speak from experience!
You'll need wool or embroidery thread of any colour. You can find tutorials all over the internet on how to create tassels of all shapes and sizes. We found this site to be useful in our creations.
You can use beads of any description - wooden ones (more ideas with them later too), letter ones, glass ones or plastic ones and cord of any description, as long as it is thin enough to go through the bead. You could use leather, twine, embroidery thread, wool, string or sewing cotton. Basically whatever you might have stashed away in the cupboard or drawer.
We created a wooden beaded dangle with a short tassel made of wool and one with the word DREAM in letter beads and a tassel made with multiple colours of embroidery thread.
5. PAINTED WOODEN BEADS
You'll need wooden beads of any shape and size, some cord, twine or wool to thread the beads, paint in the colour of your choice (in this case pink and silver) and a paint brush.
Paint your beads with a couple of coats of paint to get a good coverage, waiting for them to dry properly between coats. We added a little extra onto the big centre bead. When the beads are finished and dry, thread your cord through, and make sure there's a good knot at the end to stop the beads falling off!
6. CROCHET TASSEL
You'll need wool - you only really need scraps as all you need to do is create lots of short lengths of chain stitches and knot or wrap them together at the top and then attach to your keychain. Trim the ends to tidy them up if you like too.
7. HOME-MADE POM POMS
You'll need wool to make your pom poms and a wool needle to finish off. You can use the traditional pom pom creation method with a round circle of cardboard, or the POM POM MAGIC gadget that we found in the cupboard (who knew?!), or even the fork method ... ever heard of that one?
Once you've completed your pom poms, make sure you leave a long length of wool when knotting your creation. You can use this at the end to thread through another pom pom to join them together. Once you've got a loop and a knot at the top, thread the length back through all your pom poms and trim it off.
8. SHOP BOUGHT POM POMS
If you don't have the supplies, the inclination or the know how, shop-bought pom poms are just as cute and effective! You'll just need some cotton or embroidery thread and a needle to thread through and join them together, making sure you leave a loop at one end and knot the other end.
You'll need some stiffer cord such as leather or twine, and optional beads. Again, there are LOADS of different ideas and patterns on the internet, but we found this cute pattern here which was simple to follow and create. Beads can be added on as extra if you like. I think we may have gone a little over the top with the beads!!
So, what do you do with so many keychains, you might ask??
We've got you covered, here some great ideas, but we're sure there are loads of other ones too:
1. Use them on your own keys (being the most obvious)
2. Attach them to your school bag / handbag
3. Attach them to the zip on a pencil case
4. Use them as a decoration on gift wrapping
5. Gift them for Christmas / Mothers Day / Fathers Day / Thank you / Teacher appreciation presents
6. Make them into gift tags
With so many different ways to make the keychains, there are bound to be just as many ways to use them ... let your imagination run wild!