Just for the record this giftie doesn't HAVE to be mustache shaped (if you're suffering Movember burnout or you aren't into awesomeness). Essentially all you're doing is sewing two pieces of leather together and adding a taggy to hold a keyring. And voila, nice tactile keyring in the shape of your choice.
It could be pretty much anything.
I just like 'taches.
And I've given these as Man Gifts with some success before...
Ready to get started?
The first thing you'll need is some leather. Mine started life like this:
Well OK, I guess technically it started life as a cow, but at some point it became a handbag that I found at Goodwill for $4.99 (but It was half off day so I paid $2.50). There is enough leather here for a few projects.
So I hacked it up.
Now bearing in mind that all my leather working experience is "huh, I wonder if that'll work?" And it sometimes ends up with "OH CRAP! IT'S ON FIRE!" these are a few things that I found useful when prepping my leather to work with.
- Clean is good. And it's way easier to clean a whole handbag with leather cleaner (or a damp cloth) than it is an itty bitty keychain.
- Don't quote me on this BUT I found that ironing the rough side of the leather made it a bit easier to handle when sewing. But test a patch first.
- I kind of don't love specific leather needles. In fact I had better luck with a ball point/knits needle than with the leather specific one.
- You know the extra strong thread? Gutterman does some? You don't need that. In fact my leather and machine both HATED it.
Next you'll need to mark your design onto your leather. Pencil/pen works fine for this.
The next step is optional. But I like to sew the two piece of leather together, so I don't have to worry about them slipping. Like this see:
Now the next step is to sew your design. Sew through both pieces of leather along your template lines (if you want sewn details do them on each single piece of leather separately first).
This is the point where you should decide where you want your loop bit to go (the bit that you'll attach the metal circle too). All you do to make the loop is fold over a piece of leather (this is WAY easier if you iron it a bit first). Then sammich it between the two main parts of the keychain, where it well be caught up in your stitching.
Now it' time to sew! (you've set up your stitch and tension already on two layers of scrap leather haven't you? OK. Awesome.)
You should go slowly. Really slowly. Fast won't win you anything but howls of rage and wasted bit of leather. Ask me how I know (and notice that the next picture is of a different piece of leather... and that it's scraggly because I apparently don't learn) SLOW IS GOOD! Also, you don't have to use a contrasting colour here, I did for tute purposes (this keychain is going on my keys, not under the tree) a shade that matches is more forgiving.
Right! Now you've sewn 'round your design and caught your loop; it's time to cut your shape out. Best to use sharp scissors and to give yourself some wiggle room. Also, cut through the layers that the loop is sammiched between separately.
The last step is optional, but I like to finish off the raw edges of the leather with my trusty brown acrylic paint pen, applied really carefully. I bet a Sharpie (maybe even in a contrasting colour) would work really well too.
And voila! One keychain/super useful portable disguise.