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Picture of Making a Swivel Key Ring / Key Fob for Less Than $5

A swivel key ring has the keys piviot on a post at one end in much in the same way as a Swiss Army Knife. This has the advantage that you don't have keys jangling about in your pocket.

I made these key rings from a small leather off-cut I bought from eBay for a couple of pounds / dollars.

Bill of Materials

  • 6-7oz leather (about 3mm) thick (ish) 1 inch x 8 inches ( 25x200 mm) I used natural veg tan but you can use pre-dyed ( or even an old belt). Firm leather works best but softer leather will be fine, it will just have a different aesthetic. I purchased mine as an off cut from eBay, the piece I have was just a few pounds / dollars and was enough for a few key rings.
  • 1 Chicago Screw ( binding post) 3/4 to 1 inch tall (15 - 25mm) Aim for one where the post is 3mm wide or less so your keys go on OK.
  • Optional blank keying or "D" ring - chunky car keys wouldn't be practical inside ( see photo).
  • Dye / Leather finishes of your choice, across the 3 keyrings pictureed I used :-
    • Feibings Red Dye
    • Gum Tragacanth - To aid burnishing the edges
    • Carnauba Cream - protective wax finish
  • Washers to act as spacers between keys.

Step 1: Step 1: Measure and Cut the Leather

Picture of Step 1: Measure and Cut the Leather

Cut a piece of leather that's about 1 inch x 8 inches (you could make it slightly shorter if you want a more compact key fob.

Use a coin or washer as a template to round off the edges.