You can make your own beautiful beaded keychains and bag charms in just minutes. They make wonderful personalised gifts, are cost effective and are very easy to make.
Being an occasional ‘beader’ myself, I find it’s a great way to use up all those left over beads and beading materials from my jewelry making. Let’s face it we’ve all ordered beads and pendants online only to find they’re not as they looked in the picture and end up storing them at the back of the beading drawer. Thankfully here’s where they come in handy!
If you’re a beginner, making your own keychains is a great place to start as you can pick up a pack of mixed beads and charms at very little cost, and the good news is that it’s actually quite difficult to mess these keychains up, not much can go wrong!
The first thing to think about when making keychains is the key clip and ring. These can be bought in packs of around 2 to 100 and they are fairly inexpensive (average cost around 20 cents for both clip and ring) as you would expect the more you buy the cheaper each clip will be. I always seem to need a little thank you or birthday gift for someone, and my children are constantly taking them for their own fun projects such as pencil case and zip charms. I find big a pack never goes to waste in our house.
So, let’s get started on how to make keychains!
How To Make A Beaded Keychain
This is by far one the of the easiest keychain to make. Very simple yet very effective. There’s a vast and wonderful range of large pendants available on Amazon today and although most are inexpensive, you may want to be a little savvy by looking to see if you have any old or broken necklaces that may hold a salvageable pendant.
All of the key chain pendants below have been made from necklaces that I created a few years back that have since broken or I just got a little bored with them.
The local thrift or charity stores are a great place to find unwanted necklaces that often hold pretty reusable beads and pendants. I’ve used pendants that are around 40mm (1 ½ inches) which is a good size for either a DIY keychain or bag charm. If you are thinking jacket or pencil case zip ect. I’d recommend looking for something a bit smaller, so it doesn’t look like your pendant had a pencil case as a charm 😉
What You Need To Make Your Own Keychain
- Any Large pendant
- Chain key clip and ring or bag charm cord (often described as phone cords)
- Jewry pliers (depending on key-clip and pendant)
- Strong Jump rings
- Selection of beads and charms (any size will do)
- Bead caps (optional)
Before you begin this tutorial on how to make keychains take a moment to open the basics of making a necklace or pendant as a guide in another window, you will need instructions for some of the basic methods used here.
Step 1 Depending on the pendant and key chain clip you intend to use, there are a couple of ways to attach the pendant to the clip. Let’s have a look at three examples.
The key clip that I used for the skeleton skull already has a key ring attach to it, and the skull itself came with its own link. This was a simple case of clipping the pendant to the ring. So simple!
To attach the Purple Heart, a jumping ring has been threaded through the pendent and keychain link, then closed with jewellery pliers. (See notes on how to close a jump ring)
Any pendant with a large hole in the middle can be attached with a charm cord. Once it’s been looped through the middle, it can be linked on to a bag handle or attached to a key chain clip or ring. A Pendant keychain on its own can be very effective so you can choose to stop here if you like. Otherwise continue on to step 2 of how to make keychains where we add some charms and beads.
Step 2 once you have attached your pendant to the keychain, set it aside.
Next, pick out the beads and charms you like. I find it best to use more beads than charms, so that you don’t overload with charms and they look much more special.
Step 3 Threading Your beads: Take a head pin and thread through one of your beads. Some beads, particularly large ones, sometimes have holes that are too big for the pin. To fix this, use a bead cap or small bead to stop the pin from falling through. Although this may seem like a quick fix, it actually looks quite nice!
Step 4 Make sure you trim the excess from your head and/or eye pins using pliers so that you have no more than ½ inch left.
Step 5 Now, make the loop of your head pin so we can attach it as part of a cluster (see notes on making a loop for a beaded headpin here)
Step 6 You may find that you will need to attach a jump ring to the charms, once threaded close it up. (see notes on attaching a jump ring)
Step 7 Once all of your beads have been looped, separate them into groups of assorted 3 beads/charms. Try 2 beads and a charm, I always find that looks nice.
Step 8 Working with each batch of three, thread them onto one of your jump rings. Repeat until all the rings have been threaded, and then close the jump ring. You can continue to add more jump rings to make your cluster longer, of courses this is down to personal choice. Play around with it and see what you like best.
Step 9 Then thread these onto another jump ring so that you have one large cluster that consists of smaller clusters.
Step 10 Lastly, attach the clusters to a pendant with a final jump ring.
You don’t need a large pendant to make a beautiful beaded keychain. A cluster of beads and charms on their own is still very effective.
Making An Angel Beaded DIY Keychain
Here’s how to make your own Angel beaded keychains, they are so cute and easy to make, and only cost around $2 each! Which is just as well as the first thing people ask when they see it is “can you make one for me please”?
What you will need
- 1 Large heart shaped pendant
- 1 Gem in a similar color to the heart stone
- 1 Large Angel wings (HYBEADS 20 Piece 53x11mm Large Angel Wings Pewter Beads Charm on Amazon)
- Chain key clip and ring
- 1 Silver Crystal Rondelle
- 1 Head pin
- 1 Jump ring
Step 1 Thread the heart stone, Crystal Rondelle, Angel wings and Gem on to a head pin. If the hole in the heart is too large for the head pin, resulting in the head pin slipping through it, use a bead cap or small bead to secure it.
Step 2 Make sure you trim the excess from your head and/or eye pins using pliers so that you have no more than ½ inch left.
Step 3 Now, make the loop with the remaining length of your head with the round nosed pliers (see notes on making a loop for a beaded headpin here LINK)
Step 4 Attach the angle to the to the key chain with a strong jump ring to (see notes)
And there you have it! A gorgeous angel beaded key chain to impress or delight your friends with!
Now take a look at how to make keychains that are more personalized.Using shrink plastic or photos is great fun and something to get the kids involved with. If you’ve never used shrink plastic before, it’s pretty amazing stuff. You can hand draw or trace a picture on to the shrink plastic, bake it in the oven for around 3 minutes and watch it shrink!