The Key Fob Tutorial For Beginners

The Key Fob is a simple and minimalistic key fob which you can now make for yourself! You can use any hardware you want. So grab yourself some leather and let's do it!


What you need ( in order ):

  • Veg-tan Leather ( preferably 1,4mm/3 oz. )
  • Pattern
  • Scratch awl or Something pointy
  • Ruler
  • Sharp Knife
  • Sanding papers ( different grits )
  • *Edge beveler
  • Wood slicker or piece of fabric
  • Burnishing gum or water
  • Hole punch or rotary punch
  • Hardware - Keyring, Screws

*Not necessary

STEP 1 - Marking the pattern

What you need: Veg-tan leather, Pattern, Scratch awl or Something pointy

Get your leather and put it on your working space. Take your template and use the scratch awl to carefully mark the template onto your leather. Now it's time to cut!


STEP 2 - Cutting pieces

What you need: Marked leather, Ruler, Sharp knife

Grab your ruler preferably metal one ) and knife that is as sharp as you can get it and let's go cutting! If you have some experience with cutting leather against a ruler, you will have no problem. If not, you should test your cutting skills on some scrap leather pieces, so you can be sure where to place the ruler and how much it will cut. Let's cut as straight as possible. If you have trouble making curves by your hand, no worry, we will use sanding papers to remove any imperfections you make during your cutting.

STEP 3 - Sanding

What you need: Leather, Sandpapers, *Edge beveler

Now that we have perfect edges, we can go for sanding the rest. Take the sanding paper, preferably with the grit of 180 and up, and start sanding. If you think your edges are perfectly aligned, you can switch to a higher grit of sanding paper to get it even smoother. The higher the grit, the smoother edges and more professional look you will get. If your sides are already perfectly flat, you can start with 600 grit sandpaper and work your way up to a point that you are happy with. Most leathercrafters go up to 2000 grits, so you get that shiny look on your edges. If you have an edge beveler, you can bevel all the edges. If you don't have edge beveler, you can trim the edges by your hand and sandpapers, but it's not that easy.

STEP 4 - Burnishing

What you need: Sanded leather, Wood slicker or Piece of fabric, Water or Burnishing gum

Now that we have all edges perfectly sanded, we can move to burnishing. Burnishing is basically polishing and sealing the rough edges of the leather with friction and heat. Take some water or your burnishing gum and put a little on the edge and smear it all over the sanded side. Grab your piece of fabric or wood slicker and start . Remember that it's not about power but friction. Then run the burnisher fast back and forth across the edge. Be sure to not put too much pressure on the edge itself. All you are trying to do is create heat through friction, not mushroom your edges. Do this until you hear a tacky sound. It's hard to describe, but you will know it when you hear it. Once you hear it, you know your edges have been burnished well.


STEP 5 - Hardware

What you need: Rotary punch or hole punch, Key ring, Screws

So you have perfectly burnished and clean edges. Now it's time for the final step, and that's hardware. Grab your punch and make a hole exactly on your marked points. When you are done with it, grab your hardware and put it all together. At the end, it should look like on the images below.

Congratulations! You did it.

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