So it’s Back-to-School already – and for some it was last week, and others during the next couple weeks (my Fall semester starts Sept. 25).  Now is a time when most of us – kids, teens, the collegiate crowd, and parents all – just don’t have a lot of time and are scrambling to try and get all the much-needed school supplies, textbooks, and other items all lined up and ready to go.  (Plus it’s always hard to get back into the rhythm of things after a long Summer off.)  Once you have a spare moment, though, this initial keychain charm is super-quick to pull together…and utterly adorable for your child’s (or your own!) bag or keyring.  One part prep and the other part minimalist, this is also easy enough for even a DIY novice to accomplish.  Here’s how to move your bag’s style straight to the head of the class:

You Need:

leather scrap (or vinyl)  /  velour-flocked iron-on letter decal (both of my letters are courtesy of Fashion Art Projects)  /  regular iron-on letter  /  ball-chain keyring  /  jumpring  /  metal charm (optional – I pulled apart another keyring I had for the charm, but you can just use something from the jewelry supply store, or even a metal blank from Michael’s metal stamping section)

Tools:  scissors (for leather)  /  awl  /  iron & ironing board  /  press cloth  /  pliers + jumpring tool (or 2 sets of pliers)  /  Jewel-It! embellishing glue (optional)

How To:

1. Cut your velour flocked letters out of the sheet.  (I’m using the L to decorate my round charm; if you don’t want to make the charm part, you can omit the extra letter.)

2. Iron your leather or vinyl scrap piece flat.  (Vinyl will melt if you leave the iron on too long, so be careful!)

3. Peel the backing of your regular iron-on letter off, place onto the leather with about 1/4″ space around it.

4. Cover with a pressing cloth and iron per instructions.

5. Place the flocked letter (plastic side up) on top of the first letter, lining them up.  I found that the two don’t actually align perfectly…which bothered me…so if this will bother you too instead of using a regular letter underneath the flocked one you should use a layer of white felt, cut slightly larger than the flocked letter, glued on to the leather piece using Felt Glue.  Just an FYI!

6. Use the iron to apply the flocked letter on top, per the instructions.

7. Use your scissors to cut out around your letter, leaving about 1/8″ – 3/16″ all around.

8. Use the awl to poke a hole at the top of your letter piece.

9. Use the pliers (and jumpring tool, if you are doing it that way) to attach the jumpring and attach the letter to the keyring chain.

10. For the charm piece, chop apart the flocked L so you get two usable strips of flocking.

11. Peel off the strips from their backing and use Jewel-It! to attach to the charm on both sides.

12. Trim the excess, and attach to the keychain as well.

And you’re done!  Pretty and preppy, this looks great hanging off a bag with a distinct shape or lively pattern.  Add charms as you go!

Happy DIY’ing!


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