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Key Fobs With Secret Pocket & Lanyard

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This handy little fella is modeled after the lanyards you often get at conferences or other events, in fact, you could certainly use it for that or to hold travel documents and ID. But it's also a perfect size to hold credit cards, cash, even your keys... all on a removable lanyard. The secret back pocket is held together with Velcro so nothing will tumble out. This is a great ScrapBusters project; you can mix and match the three fabrics needed to create just the right look. Choose a fabric combo that highlights the recipient's hobby or just his/her favorite colors. If you have an embroidery machine, add a special design or a monogram on the outside. Quick, easy and fun!

If you love this project, we bet you'd also like our Grocery List Lanyard.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • Scraps or THREE coordinating ¼ yard cuts of cotton fabric: we dove into our scrap stash and picked out three pieces from the Woodland Delight collection by Paula Prass for Michael Miller Fabrics: Bloom in Brown (inside), Pebble Stone in Brown (Exterior) and Brick Path in Brown (lanyard)
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of medium weight fusible interfacing
  • ⅓ yard of ½" or wider ribbon to coordinate with exterior fabric; we used hot pink bias tape because we had some on hand, but would recommend you choose a thinner ribbon to make the final stitching easier; a satin ribbon would be good.
  • One large eyelet; we used chrome
  • One ½" swivel hook to match eyelet; we used chrome
  • Scrap of sew-in Velcro
  • All purpose thread to coordinate with fabric and ribbon; we used a chocolate brown and hot pink
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric glue or fusible seam tape to hold Velcro (optional)

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Lanyard Template. Print TWO copies.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page
  2. Butt together each pair of pattern pieces to make one pattern piece. Do NOT overlap. Tape in place.
  3. Cut out one pattern along the solid line; this will be the pattern for your fabric.
  4. Cut out the second pattern along the dotted line; this will be the pattern for your interfacing.
  5. From the exterior and lining fabric (Brown Pebble and Brown Bloom in our sample), use the assembled full pattern to cut one exterior piece and one lining piece.
  6. From the fabric for the lanyard (Brick Path in our sample), cut ONE 2" x 44" strip
  7. From the interfacing, use the assembled trimmed pattered to cut one piece. In addition from the lining, cut ONE 2" x 44" strip.
    NOTE: In can be hard to find such a long narrow strip of interfacing. If you need to cut this piece as two pieces that is okay.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board


  1. Following manufacturer's directions, fuse the interfacing strip to the wrong side of the lanyard fabric strip, making sure all the edges are flush.
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    NOTE: If you had to cut your interfacing as two pieces, make sure you butt them together along the fabric, do not overlap as that will create a bump.
  2. Fold the lanyard in half, wrong sides together, and press to form a center crease.
  3. Fold in each raw edge ½" so they meet in the middle along the crease. Press well.
  4. Fold in half again, encasing the raw edges within this final fold. Your lanyard is now ½"wide. Press well.
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  5. Edgestitch along both sides approximately ⅛" from each edge.
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    NOTE: With it's seven-piece fed dog system, my Janome is super good at edgestitching, and going along each edge of this narrow lanyard was no problem. If your machine has trouble with edgestitching, you can get away with just one seam, up to ¼" from the edge. That is enough to close and secure the lanyard as one piece.
  6. Slip the swivel hook onto the finished lanyard. Let it slide to the middle, then align both the raw ends.
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the raw ends together. Go back and forth over the seam several times to strengthen. Trim back the seam allowance as close to the stitching as possible.
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  8. Flip strap right side out. The little seam you just made should now be pointing inwards.
  9. Slide the swivel clip from the folded side to the seam side - so the clip's ring is sitting right against the seam
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  10. Make a seam across the strap, getting as close to the clip as you can. You are 'locking' the swivel clip into place at the seam end. Again, go back and forth along the seam line several times to make sure the seam is secure.
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    NOTE: You could attach your Zipper foot to get in super close. I just used my regular foot and was able to get within ½".
  11. Trim your thread tails right up against the seam and set the finished lanyard aside.


  1. Following manufacturer's directions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining piece, centering the interfacing. There should be ¼" between the edge of the interfacing and the raw edge of the fabric all the way around.
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  2. Place the exterior and the interfaced lining right sides together. Pin in place. Leave a 3" opening along one side.
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  3. If necessary, re-thread your machine with thread to match your fabric. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch the exterior and lining together, remembering to leave that opening. Trim the corners at a diagonal and clip the top curves, being careful in both cases to not cut into the seam.
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  4. Turn the pocket right side out. Gently push out the bottom corners and the top curves with your finger or a long tool with a blunt end, like a large knitting needle or chop stick.
  5. Press flat, making sure the raw edges of the opening are pressed flush with the sewn seam.
  6. Find the scrap of Velcro. You need just a tiny piece. We cut ours from packaged 1" Velcro squares, cutting one square in half.
  7. Refer to your template for placement HELP, but be sure to fold and test prior to stitching the Velcro in place. The Velcro should be positioned on the lining side of the pocket. The top Velcro piece should be centered side-to-side; the top of this Velcro piece should be 1⅜" down from the top of the pocket, the bottom 3¾" up from the fold. The bottom piece should also be centered side-to-side; the bottom of this Velcro piece should be ⅜" up from the bottom of the pocket, the top 3¾" down from the fold. When folded, the pocket depth is 4⅝" measured from the fold to the top of the pocket, leaving a 1" 'tab' at the top where the grommet will go.
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    NOTE: The marks on the template and my measurements should be used for placement HELP only. You still need to fold and test your piece to be 100% sure everything will line up just right. This is because your seam might be slightly larger or smaller, and your combined fabric and batting might be a slightly different thickness than ours. Also, I've found when working with little pieces of Velcro like these, it's best to adhere them with a drop of fabric glue or a piece of fusible seam tape to hold them in position to test that they match, as well as to hold them in place while you stitch.
  8. Stitch each piece of Velcro in place with a box stitch.
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  9. Flip the pocket over to the exterior side. You can see the little box of stitching holding each Velcro piece in place. You will cover this stitching with your ribbon.
    NOTE: Why didn't we stitch the Velcro to just the lining prior to sewing the lining and the exterior together thus hiding the stitching? Because we wanted the strength of all three layers sewn together at the Velcro points. If you only stitched the Velcro to the lining, then every time you opened and closed the pocket, you would be likely to pull the layers apart and could eventually rip out the Velcro.
  10. Cut the ribbon into TWO 4½" lengths. Place one length of ribbon over each box of stitching so it covers up the stitching evenly. The ribbon should extend beyond the pocket by about ½" on each side and be nice and straight across the pocket. Lightly pin in place.
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  11. Re-thread your machine with thread in the top and bobbin to match the ribbon.
  12. Topstitch the ribbon along both sides, staying as close as possible to the edge of the ribbon.
    NOTE: You'll find it easier to start and stop if you do not lock your stitch and you begin and end your stitching at the end of the ribbon rather than the edge of pocket. This way, you run up and over the pocket with a nice, clean seam across the front. The ends of the ribbon get tucked in, so no worries about the seam coming un-sewn.
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  13. Fold the pocket along the fold line.
  14. Tuck the ends of the ribbon to the inside. Carefully align the sides of the pocket. Pin in place.
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  15. Be especially careful that your ribbon ends match front to back.
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  16. Edgestitch through all the layers, from the bottom fold up to what is now the top edge of the pocket. This closes the original opening you'd made for turning as well as creates the actual pocket.
    NOTE: At the point of the ribbon, you are sewing through a lot of layers. As usual, my Janome powered through. But if your machine stutters, stop with your needle in the down position at the bottom of the ribbon and, using the handwheel, handcrank across the ribbon. Stop on the opposite side of the ribbon, and engage the foot pedal to finish the seam.
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  17. Mark the placement for the grommet at the center of the top curved 'tab' . The open center of the grommet should be approximately ⅜" from the top finished edge.
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  18. Following manufacturer's directions, insert the grommet. We consider the official 'front' of our lanyard to be the plain side and the pocket opening to be the 'back' Therefore, we inserted the long part of the grommet from the front to the back, popped on the top, and hammered it in place.
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  19. Clip the swivel hook in place.

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    Project Design: Alicia Thommas     
    Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

    Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 3210 Jeans and the Baby Lock Molly.


    Comments (25)

    Cathy Lucas said:
    Cathy Lucas's picture

    This may be a REALLY dumb question...I am a beginner sewer sooo here goes...why the velcro, whats the purpose? Thanks!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Cathy Lucas - No worries - they aren't any dumb question. The Velcro holds the back pocket closed. It could be optional, but it's nice to have a way for that pocket to close so things don't accidentally drop out when you're moving the little pouch around. 

    marchalmom said:
    marchalmom's picture

    I sew bags for older gals to carry items when they go for walks, such as their cell phones and keys.  These are the perfect size and with the lanyard attached it is awesome.  Starting sewing these after my friend's Mom at 85 tripped and lost her cell phone and had to wait for someone to "find her" on the walking trail.  Took two hours and when I heard it broke my heart.  So now all the gals that live in her complex have something similiar to this but this one is much nicer.  THANK YOU.


    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Kitty Karr - Sew4Home does not do any contract sewing. We are all about teaching people to make these great projects themselves.

    Cherylamb said:
    Cherylamb's picture
    I collect leather clothing for repurpose and I'm going to make these in colored leather for giftssmilies/kiss.gif
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
    @ TCinTX - We are all on MACs here in the S4H studios and are not experience any problems with the site graphics. We also haven't heard of any other visitors having troubles. Have you experienced this problem before when visiting the site? Perhaps try closing and then quitting your browser and then re-opening and coming back in.

    Maybe there is some odd code hanging on based on where you came in from. Try pasting this directly into your url window:

    So sorry you are having issues, but everything checks out on this end.

    TCinTX said:
    TCinTX's picture
    I can't view any of the graphics/pictures on your site. Using a Mac.
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
    @ mary7 - the buttons are there. Perhaps try re-loading the page.
    mary7 said:
    mary7's picture
    hi - would love to print off pdf of these instructions. The buttons at the top for pdf, print are not showing up. would it be possible to add the buttons to this article? thanks so very much.
    Earlene said:
    Earlene's picture
    Can I ask where I would purchase the swivel hooks?
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
    @ TrinaQ - Thanks for posting the vinyl idea. We made ours more for a carrying option rather than a true "badge holder" - even though I mentioned that was one of the inspirations. You might also take a look at our Grocery List Lanyard, which we did make with a vinyl window. This tutorial could be reduced in size very easily to fit a badge. smilies/cheesy.gif
    TrinaQ said:
    TrinaQ's picture
    For those of us who have to work in secure areas, this would be even better with a clear window on one side for the badge. Love the idea!
    wegeswings said:
    wegeswings's picture
    Loved this idea am making one fr each of my daughters...they all work in areas that require badges. So this would be great for each one.. Thanks a bunch!smilies/kiss.gifsmilies/smiley.gif
    athee said:
    I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. I am making me one for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo.
    mianmom said:
    gonna have to make a bunch of these!! I know my nieces would love them!!
    Gloria3133 said:
    Gloria3133's picture
    such a cute idea. I can think of several people that could use this. thank you
    AngelicaSews said:
    AngelicaSews's picture
    I think I would shorten the lanyard a bit and use this to carry my cell phone when I have no pocekts in my clothes. The back pocket would be great for holding headphones!
    TheAlchemist said:
    TheAlchemist's picture
    These would be great to attach to the kids' library bags (when I finally make them) to hold their cards. I'd leave off the lanyard, and just have eyelets on the key fob and the bag. I'm guessing I could still attach them together with the swivel hook. Will have to think about this one.
    Daisy Dog said:
    Daisy Dog's picture
    Fantastic! Great for taking to places you don't want to lug a purse. Hands free poking around at sales and craft shows and such!
    edenelston said:
    edenelston's picture
    Um, this is just about the most awesome thing ever!
    Stacy H. said:
    Stacy H.'s picture
    My Great Aunt lives in an assisted living facility and is in a wheelchair and can't easily carry a purse so I made her a small bag for around her neck and it worked really well. This is a similar version of my bag with a twist and I love it. I am going to try this out for her. Thank you! smilies/grin.gif
    Nanacakes said:
    Nanacakes's picture
    I love this idea! I'll have to make one before my next vacation! smilies/cool.gif
    crescentcity1 said:
    crescentcity1's picture
    Love the fabric!..Thanks for the tutorial, really neat with the pocketsmilies/cool.gif

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