This ScrapBusters project is not only really fun to make, it is an awesome low-cost gift idea. We found the key fob hardware at Ribbon Retreat, one of our Shopping Directory vendors, for just 50 cents each... 40 cents if you buy a bunch. If you have fabric and trim scraps on hand (and who doesn't???), you can make a super cool little gift for under $1.00! We made a version for Mom and one for Dad as well as a trendy Teen version and one as the perfect Teacher gift. Fast, fun and inexpensive... it's a triple treat.
Even if you end up buying a package of piping or a few yards of rick rack, you are still going to have trouble spending even $5.00 - and you should have enough supplies for several key fobs. Check out the cool two-piece fobs from Ribbon Retreat - heavy duty!
My fabric scraps were:
Dad's - Lily & Will by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda Fabrics in Brown Plaid and Brown Tiny Dot
Mom's - Simply Sweet by Barbara Jones for Henry Glass & Co. Fabric in Jumbo Pink Dot on Yellow and Floral Diamonds
Teen's - Loulouthi by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics in Hugs & Kisses Ocean and Hugs & Kisses Candy
Teacher's - Alphabeto Italiano Collezione by Michael Miller Fabrics in Black Numeri Piccolo and... I actually have no idea where I got that red dot fabric for the inside; I've had it for too long!
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Scraps of various cotton fabrics or ¼ yard cuts - each fob requires two coordinating strips approximately 2" x 15"
- Scraps or purchased maxi piping - each fob you wish to trim with piping requires approximately ⅔ yard or two 12-13" lengths
- Scraps of purchased ½" wide rick rack - each fob you wish to trim with rick rack requires approximately ⅔ yard or two 12-13" lengths
- Key fob hardware; we found ours at Ribbon Retreat
- All purpose thread to match both coordinating fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Fray check or similar seam sealant
- Soft hammer and a tea towel or scrap of fabric - to cover the key fob, then whack it to close the hinge
NOTE: My ingredients shot above also shows strips of lightweight fusible interfacing, which I originally thought I'd need, but decided in the end to leave out. If you feel your fabrics are particularly lightweight or see-though, you may want to interface one strip. With the sides folded in and then either rick rick or piping in between, you actually have five layers, which created quite a bit of stability. Your choice.
- For each key fob:
Cut TWO 2" x 15" strips; one each from two coordinating fabrics. Since this is a small project, your best choices are fabrics with a small design motif.
Cut either TWO lengths of rick rack or TWO lengths of piping 12-13".
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Fold in both long raw edges of both fabric strips ½" and press into place.
- I "cheated" and used my spiffy Simplicity Automatic Bias Tape Maker. It comes with a 1" bias tip, which takes a 2" strip and neatly, sweetly folds both sides into a perfect 1" width.
- If you are using PIPING, the lengths of piping should be about the same as the fabric lengths; you'll trim the whole piece flush when sewn. Press all your pieces nice and flat.
- If you are using RICK RACK, the lengths of rick rack should be ½" shorter on each end or 1" shorter over all.
- Pin the piping or rick rack to the wrong side of the strip that will be the back or inside piece. Pin one side, stitch it and then pin and stitch the second side.
- If using PIPING, attach a zipper foot and stitch the piping in place with the right side up.
- If using RICK RACK, use a regular foot and stitch the rick rack in place with the wrong side up.
- Also if using rick rack, it is very important that the "waves" of the rick rack exactly match one another along each side and the trim is set and centered so only the top of waves show beyond the folded edges.
- Place the front or outside piece wrong sides together with the back/trimmed piece.
- Pin in place
- Topstitch the two layers together, staying as close to the edge as you can. I used a zipper foot or both the piping and rick rack versions for this step. Here's how it looked stitching the Teacher version in place.
- And, here's a close up of the Teen version going together.
NOTE: A thought about thread color. When stitching the trim to the back piece, use thread to match the fabric in both the top and bobbin. When topstitching the two layers together, I switched to a thread in the top that matched the front or outside fabric and kept the thread that matched the back or inside in the bobbin. This kept the look of my seam pretty on both sides.
- Trim the ends of your finished strip. Coat the raw edges with Fray Check or a similar seam sealant.
- If you are using PIPING, the fabric and the piping are flush.
- If you are using RICK RACK, the first wave of the rack rack should be ½" from the end. Trim the ends of the fabric flush, but don't trim all the way back to the rick rack. You can also test the depth with your actual fob; you may need to trim off a bit more in order to make sure the top edge of the fob hardware hits just under the wave of the rick rack.
- Fold the strip in half, right side out, and make sure the two ends are flush with one another.
- Slip the fob onto the end of the folded strip.
- Center the strip side to side within the hardware.
- Cover the hardware with a tea towel or a piece of fabric.
- Gently whack it once with a soft hammer.
- Lift up the towel/fabric and check that the strip is still centered in the fob hardware. Adjust if necessary. Re-cover the hardware and whack a few more times to completely seal.
NOTE: Don't whack TOO hard. I got a little carried away with the first one and made a little dent. Don't know my own strength!!
Hints and Tips
If you are much better than I am at keeping multiple layers from shifting, you can skip the steps to pre-attach the trim to the back piece. Instead layer everything and just make one seam along both sides. The good part is that you then only have one line of stitching on the inside instead of two. The bad part is that it's hard to keep the trim from shifting... at least it's hard for me. And, honestly, if you are careful with your thread color choices, you really don't notice the two seam lines on the inside. Again... your choice.
Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna Sew Fun and the Kenmore #19110.