Image © alinabuphoto, under a Creative Commons license.
Hands up - who owns a set of house keys held together by one of those uninspiring, plastic tag keyrings?
Considering we use keys pretty much every day, often little thought is given to keyring designs. Kids, in particular, want their accessories to reflect their personalities, so here are some ideas for making cute keychains and children's keyrings.
Age: 11 and over (with parental supervision, especially when using the glue gun).
1. Remove the tassel fringes from the box, and cut 1/4 of an inch off one of the end tassels on one of the pieces.
2. Slide the cut piece of fringe through the loop in your key chain. Carefully add some glue to the bottom of that tassel, and stick to the bottom of the top section of your fringe so you've created a loop.
3. Add glue to that bit of top section, so you can secure more of the loop to the top section of the fringe. Hold down until it's glued.
4. Cover a good amount of glue to the rest of the top section.
5. Begin rolling the loop across the top section.
6. When you get near to the end of that section, get the other piece of tassel fringe and stick it to that end, aligning them carefully, and stick together.
7. Add glue to the top section of the other tassel piece.
8. Continue to roll until the entire piece of fringe has been glued - and presto! Just make sure the glue is completely dry before you add the key chain to your keys. Why not make several tassel key rings in different colours?
Age: Seven and over (with parental supervision, ensuring the beads don't go anywhere near their mouths!).
1. Cut off some elastic cord, at least double the length that you want your keychain to be. Here you can really design your own keyring, so it depends on how long you or your child wants it to be!
2. Fold the cord in half, then pinch the folded end to make a loop.
3. Put the loop through the keychain, then pinch the loop again before sliding the two loose ends through it. This should make a knot around the keychain.
4. Then, simply thread the beads through both ends at a time. Kids can get really creative here and design their own personalised keychains using the beads - they could get lettered beads and spell out their names or favourite slogan, adding their choice of colours and shapes. This is also a great way to make friendship keyrings.
5. When you've finished, simply tie a tight knot at the end of the cord to keep the beads in place.
Clay Beads Keyring
Age: Seven and over (again, just make sure they don't put the beads in their mouths!).
1. You can make cool keychains using clay by adapting the method above. To start, roll the clay into the shapes you'd like - you can make them round or square or any other shape you wish.
2. Use a cocktail stick or skewer to pierce holes in the middle of the 'beads' you've made.
3. Leave in a cool, dry space to let them dry completely. This will take two to three days, depending on the thickness of the beads. Turn them over occasionally if needed.
4. Now it's time to decorate the beads. You could use the acrylic paint on some and use the porcelain pens on others to make your own patterns.
5. Thread the beads onto the ribbon.
6. At one end of the ribbon, tie a secure knot.
7. Pull the other end through the keyring and fold back, before sewing together so your ribbon is secured to the keyring.
Clay Heart Keyring
Age: Seven and above (you will need to help put it in the oven).
1. Condition the polymer clay by hand, mixing and squishing it with your fingers.
2. Flatten it.
3. Gently squish one half of the clay into a point to make the bottom part of the heart.
4. Use the cocktail stick to cut the shape of the upper part of the heart out of the clay.
5. Use the toothpick to make a hole in the top of the heart, going right through the clay.
6. Put on the baking paper and baking tray, and bake in the oven according to the instructions provided with the clay.
7. Let it cool down.
8. Open up the blank keyring (pliers can be handy for this) and put the wire through the hole that you made in the heart and the base of the keychain cord.
9. Close the keyring and it's ready! This is really one of the simplest kids keyrings to make and makes an ideal gift for Valentine's Day or someone you love's birthday.
Animal Key Chains
Age: Seven and over (please supervise children while using spray paint and sharp items).
1. Use the pushpin to make a hole in the back of the toy animal. This is where it will attach to the keyring.
2. Add super glue to the threads of the screw-in loops.
3. Screw it into the hole you made in the toy animal.
4. If you want to spray paint the animal, it's best to do it while dangling it with string. Ensure any nearby surfaces are covered!
5. Once dry, simply add to your blank keyring. Why not make it into a family theme and make animal handmade keyrings for each person?
Pom Pom Keychain
Age: Seven and over.
1. Make the attachment by tying some of the yarn to the keychain. You could make some pretty keyrings by plaiting the yarn and tying the ends once you've reached the desired length. Make sure there's plenty of yarn at the end to secure the pom pom later.
2. Make the pom pom either using the pom pom maker or an online tutorial.
3. Tie the loose bits of yarn around the middle of the pom pom. This both creates and secures your pom pom.
4. Tidy up and cut off any loose ends and you instantly have a cool keyring! Keyring crafts have never been so simple and your child will love making these cute keyrings by choosing their own colours.
Hama Bead Key Ring
Age: 10 and over (be extra careful when using the iron and fusing the design).
1. It's best to start by choosing a Hama design before you make your own keyrings. There are plenty of these online, just make sure you have a pegboard of the right size and shape.
2. Then arrange your beads according to the design on the pegboard. Tweezers can help with this.
3. Put the ironing paper on your finished design. Press down with the iron (don't use steam) for a few seconds, using smooth movements until the pegs start to fuse.
4. Set aside the iron and put the heavy book on the paper. Leave the design to cool before removing from the pegboard.
5. Turn the design over and put it on a heatproof surface.
6. Use the paper to iron the other side so that both sides are fused together.
7. To make the keychain, make a hole in one of the beads on the edge and prize open the keychain before threading it through.
8. You should now have a unique key ring! These have a really cool 'Lego' effect and can work as boys' keyrings as much as girly keyrings.
Age: Seven and above.
1. Use the crochet hook to loosen one of the yarns in your amigurumi.
2. Pull the middle of the short yarn through using the crochet hook, then pull through one end so the whole short yarn has gone through.
3. Pull the short yarn into the small keychain loop and tie two knots, making sure it's secure.
4. Cut away the excess and make sure the knot is tight.
5. You can hide the knot by pushing it back inside.
Despite living in London for more than 10 years, Becky is a countryside lover at heart. After growing up in the Yorkshire Dales, she relocated to the capital to continue her journalism career before finally settling in West Sussex in 2019. Mum to a chatty toddler (and a middle-aged cat), if she's not being forced to sing nursery rhymes she can be found watching live sport with a nice cup of tea.