Monday, June 7, 2010

The Key to Being a Hands-On Mom

I am a happy mom to 4 children. My oldest is 8 years old and my baby is 7 months. Ya, it's busy. I've always joked that when we had one child, I played one on one defense in public. When I had my second child, I moved into zone defense in public. Once you hit 3+ children and you need to run errands, you can only throw your hands in the air and pray.

When we're running around in the car, my hands can get used up quickly between holding a baby, strapping a diaper bag on one shoulder, and herding the other three around. It can be tough as we're getting closer to the car and I need to dig through the bag or dive into my pocket to get the keys out to unlock the door.

I've never been a real fan of the telephone cord keychain wrapped around my arm, however I did like the concept. Last week, I was browsing one of my favorite quilting websites. I was looking through some of the ideas that had been posted since the last time I checked. I was reading through the instructions for this clutch. I quickly thought it was way beyond my skill of straight stitches. But when I saw the handle for the clutch, it hit me. That day, I went to work and made myself the quilted keychain below. It literally took 10 minutes from start to finish. And I had requests that same day to make more to share.

So my idea to pass along today are the instructions to make your own keychain strap. Now, just like the great Jane Fonda Aerobic Workouts of the 80's, I'm going to provide you with the original instructions and then some easier options.

Instructions for Quilted Keychain:

Materials Needed: fabric, scissors/rotary cutter, thread, batting, ruler, iron, key ring

There are two different sizes that I have here.

The original keychain that I made is 5 inches by 12 inches. The batting will need to be 2.5 inches by 12 inches).

The narrower keychain that I made is 3 inches by 12 inches. The batting is cut to 1.5 inches by 12 inches).

** The 12 inches fits my wrist comfortably. You may need to make it shorter or longer depending on the size of your wrist. **

1. Fold material in half length wise and iron.

2. Open material back up. Fold one side to the middle (to the pressed line). Iron.

3. Fold the other side to the middle. Iron.

4. Insert batting.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise. (You can press it at this point). Pin it.

Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew a straight line down the open edge side.

Do the same thing to the other side.

Continuing with the 1/4" seam allowance, sew down the middle using the first line of stitching as your guide.

Do the same thing to the other side.

Now it's time to add the key ring. Put the strap through the key ring. Match up the edges. Sew across the strap. (I went back and forth twice to ensure that it would hold tight).

Now bring your key ring back down to the seam you just made. Turn your strap inside/out (or I guess technically outside/in). Leaving enough room to move the key ring freely, sew across the strap to finish (again I went back and forth a couple times on my stitching).

Now add your rings and you will be ready to run errands with both of your hands.

Instructions For the Slimmer Strap:

When I sewed/quilted the slimmer band, I only sewed two lines at a 1/4" seam allowance down the two outer sides (instead of 4 with the wider strap). If you click on the picture above, the strap on the left is the slimmer strap. Instead of using the safety pins, it was easier to sew using straight pins.

Instructions For Ribbon Strap:

This way is super easy and quick. The materials that are needed for this are scissors, thread, key ring, and grosgrain ribbon and a flame (from a candle or lighter).

Cut the ribbon into a 12 inch strip. (Again, you may need to go longer or shorter depending on your personal preference). Before sewing, I ran each end of the ribbon through a flame to prevent the ribbon from fraying in the future.

I placed the ribbon through the key ring and match the ribbon end to end, wrong side facing out. Then sew the ribbon at a 1/4" seam allowance.

Next, turn the ribbon right side out. Move the key ring down to the seam that was just sewn. Leaving enough room for the key ring to move, sew the strap closed. (Again, I went back and forth a few times to ensure that it would hold tight).

And as simple as a few stitches, you now have a much cuter wrist strap than that telephone wire the office supplies. I made a bunch of these for the women that I work with at church:

And just another look at a ribbon strap. This was the first one I attempted to make sure it would work:




  1. Boy do I need one of these. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday - would love if you added the party button to your blog:)

  2. I love this idea. I am always fumbling with my keys in one hand and a kid in the other while keeping track of the three year old.

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