Handmade keychains

Category: Handmade ideas / Creative DIY and gifts

Handmade keychains

DIY keychains

difficultyDifficulty: ★★★★☆

timeTime: One day

ScrapFrom scrap: ██████████ 100%


Once in the Internet I saw a picture of a pair keychains with Derp and Derpina faces respectively for a guy and a girl. I did not find where to buy them, so I decided to make these keychains by myself. Guided by the next instructions you can make metal keychains with any shape or with any pattern on it. I also described the process of etching the pattern on the metal in details, this information can be used for etching patterns on knifes and other metal objects.


  • The sheet metal with thickness of 3-4 mm. I use an old steel hoe. Generally treating stainless steel has a worthy punishment ...
  • Key rings
  • Tape
  • Water
  • Salt

  • Angle grinder or hacksaw
  • Abrasive circle
  • Drill
  • Felt
  • Sandpaper
  • Polishing paste
  • I also use a small machine for quick processing of the surface, but this is not necessary
    Preparation for the etching
  • Pointy soldering iron
  • Pencil
  • Carbon paper
  • Needle
    Equipment for etching pattern
  • Power supply 12 volts or higher
  • Cotton
  • Wire
  • Black permanent marker

    Steel billets for homemade keychains

  • Step 1

    I thought that hoe is made of hardened steel and decided to anneal it (heat to dark red glowing and slowly cool it), but also understand that hoe is made of stainless steel and it will not be easy to make a handmade keychains of it, and it doesn't need in annealing.
    Handmade keychains

  • Step 2

    After annealing metal turns dark, so it was need to little polish. I made device like that for rapidly make my hoe a little shiny
    Handmade keychains

    So if you decide to make keychains of stainless steel, I think there is no need to anneal it. But you can make keychains of metal sheet, not stainless, it's easier for treating.

  • Step 3

    You should slightly polish your billet before the next step.
    My hoe in the right corner of next photo

    Handmade keychains

  • Step 4

    Now we have a material. So go to google and find pictures you want to see on your homemade keychains. You need to print them (or redraw) in required scale and then cut them. Don't forget to left a piece of metal for hole (for attaching a keyring)! Apart from making Derp and Derpina diy keychains I decided to make the Trollface
    Handmade keychains

  • Step 5

    Border your patterns on metal with marker or smth
    Handmade keychains

  • Step 6

    And now it's time for hardcore part: cut keychains billets from metal. Use grinder and files to make it. It took me few hours, because metal is overheating very fast while grinding
    Handmade keychains

  • Step 7

    Also make a hole for attaching keyring to homemade keychains.

  • Step 8

    After cutting, make a clean polish. Use a polish paste and felt, try to make them like mirror!
    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

    And now it's time to talk about etching patterns on diy keychains.

  • Preparings for etching

  • Step 9

    We will etch pictures by electrolysis. For that we need to protect surfaces that will not be etched. It's a neat work. Prepare your printed patterns

    Handmade keychains

  • Step 10

    Degrease surface of keychains and blow all dust from it

  • Step 11

    Copy patterns on keychains with carbon paper.
    Also you could use juicy marker or gel pen and try to make it through paper.

    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

  • Step 12

    Then carefully, without bubbles, stick a tape on keychain. You need to find best tape that you could. For example, original "Scotch". Also left extra of tape up to 20-30 mm.
    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

  • Step 13

    Heat your soldering iron. If you haven't this one, you can try incandescent awl, heat it with gas stove or diyalcohol stove. Attach handmade keychains to the flat surface with extra scotch.
    Purpose: draw the pattern by melting scotch with iron. It's not so hard to draw a straight lines, but if you want to fetch an area, circle it with soldering iron and then use a needle to pull a piece of tape inside the area. For example, eyes on faces are areas like that.
    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

  • How to etch a pattern on keychains

  • Step 14

    For etching you need all listed tools
    You should etch outside or near by the windowm because of producing chlorine gas

    Handmade keychains

  • Step 15

    Attach keychains to the flat surface with extra scotch. Near place a glass with salt water and power source.
    Connect "negative" wire to the keychain, I just shove that wire between keychain and table (keychain is still attached with tape).
    Wind "positive" wire round a cotton.

  • Step 16

    Turn on the power, dip cotton in salt water and start slowly draw pattern. Oh, so creepy...
    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

  • Step 17

    Stop when you can feel the depth of lines. Next step is draw again, but with permanent marker or gel pen.
    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

  • Step 18

    Insert a keyrings or strings into the hole in homemade keychains
    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains


You can watch a video if topic was too boring for you =) There is more actiond and music but less useful information

ResultsResults and tips

  • Handmade keychains turned out great, just as on the picture.
  • Few vords about reliability of homemade keychains, here is a clear example: a photo exactly after one year of wearing with keys
    Handmade keychains

    And after another year
    Handmade keychains

    Handmade keychains

  • Make keychains with your own hands is not so difficult, most difficult parts: cutting the workpiece and drawing on tape with iron.
  • Also, now you know how to make a pattern on the knife, keychain, but at least on your iPhone =)
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