Personalized Leather Key Strap Tutorial

Friday, December 22, 2017

I'm a do-it-yourself girl, through and through. When the holiday season rolled around and holiday cards (and gifts) were in order, I turned to the good ol' Internet for DIY ideas. In previous years, I used to make paper craft holiday cards, personalizing each design to the receiver's interests, but quite frankly, I don't have time for that anymore.

This year, I made friends (and family) personalized leather key straps as presents (friends, sorry for the early surprise!). I've been a fan of them since I always have to dig for my keys inside of my bag (doesn't that happen to everyone?) and I wanted to make them myself. After some quick research, I bought the appropriate supplies and went to work.

Google tells me leather is a second anniversary gift so if you're scrambling for a gift, this may be a good option. It's also a great gift for the holidays and other occasions. 

Personalized Leather Key Strap Tutorial 

Supplies You'll Need

  • 1/2in (1.27cm) wide leather piece that's 12 inches (30cm) long. 5-6oz thick vegetable tanned leather was used for this tutorial. If you're using a big piece of leather, use a ruler and a rotary cutter (an X-acto knife works fine too) to cut the leather down to size. 
  • Leather hole puncher 
  • Sponge
  • Hammer
  • Metal Stamps (I used letters that are 6mm high) 
  • Metal Lanyard Snap Hook (make sure the inner D-ring is 1/2" wide) 
  • 1/4" Chicago Screw (I bought these Tandy Leather screws on Amazon)
  • Screwdriver 
  • Beeswax (optional)
  • Leather Burnisher (optional)

1. Finish Your Edges (optional)

Rub beeswax on the edges of your leather strap and using the wood burnisher, rub the leather edges back and forth until the edges are smooth. With the heat, the beeswax will melt and create a smooth edge. 

2. Punch Some Holes

Fold the strap over with the bottom strap overlapping the top strap by 1.5 inches (3.8cm). Punch a hole that's big enough for the screw post to go through (size varies depending the size of your screw post).

3. Stamp Away
Use a damp sponge and wipe the leather surface where you want to stamp so that the leather is wet. This allows the stamping to go on more clearly. Use the metal stamps, holding the stamp with one hand and the hammer with another, to stamp your phrase/message. A trick is to use a piece of tape as an aid to keep your letters straight. Before stamping, make sure your stamp is oriented in the direction that you want. 

4. Assemble 
Fold the leather strap together again. Put the screw bottom through the bottom two layers. Slide the lanyard snap hook through the leather. Screw the top screw in with a screwdriver. 


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