Posted in Tutorials

Keychains make a great gift for any occasion!  Slip one in a greeting card or add it to a gift basket.  They are also best sellers at craft shows!  Would you like to learn how to make an embroidered vinyl keychain?  In this tutorial you will learn how to embroider, add a snap or a rivet, and then prepare your finished keychain for gifting or for sale.  Let’s make two fun keychain designs!   Photos of both will be included throughout the entire tutorial!


2 Vinyl pieces- 3” x 5”

1 Split Keyring

1 Rivet Set


1 Snap Set



Cropadile or Rivet hole punch

Rivet Setter


Snap Setter

A note about thread colors:  Though the design file may have multiple unusual colors, you may use any thread colors that you’d like to match your project.  The variety of thread colors is used to separate out design steps only. 

Be sure to read all instructions before beginning

STEP 1:  Hoop Tearaway Stabilizer.  Sew the first color on the stabilizer only.  This step shows you where to place the vinyl.  It is an optional step that you may choose to skip.

Expert Tip:  For light stitch designs I recommend using Tearaway Stabilizer.  For more dense designs, I recommend a Cutaway Stabilizer.


STEP 2:  Place a piece of vinyl right side up over the stitching and tape it to keep it from shifting.

Expert Tip:  If your vinyl is soft, or if the design is extra dense, it can be helpful to add a piece of washaway stabilizer over the top of your vinyl.  This gives the stitches something extra to grab on to, and you can always rinse away the excess when your design finishes stitching.


STEP 3:  Sew all of the design elements but do not sew the last two colors.  Remove the hoop from the machine and turn it over so you can see the back of the hoop.


Place a second piece of vinyl right side up over the entire back of the design and tape into place.  Make sure your bobbin color is what you want to show on the back of your keychain.  For these designs I want black thread, but if my outline were white, I’d want white bobbin thread.

Expert Tip:  Before putting your hoop back on the machine, push the “start” button, so your machine will adjust to the position it will need to be in BEFORE sewing the final outline.  Remember to push the button again right before it is actually ready to begin sewing so you can replace your hoop on the machine. This tip is helpful as it minimizes the chance of the bottom piece of vinyl shifting before sewing the final color.

**  For those machines that require the hoop to be attached before allowing the start button to be activated, I recommend you do this step right after finishing sewing the design elements and before adding the bottom vinyl piece. 

STEP 4:  Sew the last color, which is the outline around the entire design.



STEP 5:  Remove design from hoop and tear away all excess stabilizer.


Cut around the edge of the entire keychain.



Use the Cropadile or the Rivet hole punch to cut holes in the vinyl where the guidemarks are.





Push the top part of the rivet through the top vinyl layer, loop the split ring on to the keychain, then push the back vinyl piece onto the rivet.  Finally, add the small back piece of the rivet and it will slightly snap into place.


Get your rivet setter materials ready.  Find the end that is slightly concave.  This will be the end that you center over the top of the rivet.


Place the rivet in the rivet setter base.  Center the long piece in the top part of the rivet, and give it 4-5 hits with the hammer.  This will secure the rivet.


If you are doing a snap closure, follow snap instructions and use the snap setter to apply the snaps.  You do not need to punch a large hole like this to apply the snaps.  Simply using an awl to poke a hole is sufficient.




Your keychains are all done!  Let’s get them ready to gift or sell!

For gifting, you can just tuck the keychain in a greeting card, or simply tie it on to a gift with a piece of ribbon.  You can also prepare your keychains for sale using a more professional finishing touch.  Purchase some 3″ x 4″ (7.6 cm x 10.2 cm) reclosable bags at your favorite craft store.  Most keychains will fit in these little bags.  The packaging typically looks like this:

Print and cut out a topper file, fold it in half, and staple it to the top of your ziploc bag.  If you will be using a pegboard to display your keychains, use a hole punch to poke a hole near the top fold.



Do you need a topper for your keychains?  These are excellent both for displaying your products as well as eliciting customer confidence in your hand crafted product!   I have designed a FREE topper for you to use right now!

If you’d like more options for font choices, take a look at the Custom Keychain Topper Bundle which includes TWENTY topper files ready for you to instantly print and use!




Did this Semicolon Butterfly or Sea Turtle keychains catch your eye?



Looking for more keychain inspiration?

I can’t wait to see your professional and creative finished Keychains!  Come post a photo in our Facebook Group!

Would you like a copy of this tutorial in PDF form?

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