The Better Leather Tassel Keychain Guide #DIY

Leather Tassel Keychains with Bottle Opener | DIY @ itsaLisa.comLike what you see? buy your own on Etsy now! *keep reading for a coupon code*

I love these. They embody Form, Fashion, and Function. Leather Tassel Keychains are the latest look, as made popular by couture leather designers like Coach. But this design of mine, unlike the others, has a bottle opener! Say goodbye to your old crusty bottle opener keychain, and say hello to this fabulous new accessory that looks good, feels good, and will give that bottle cap a lift when you need it most. 😉

Make Your Own

To make one you will need:

  • A Cutting Board
  • Durable Scissors or An Exacto Blade
  • A Ruler
  • A Glue Gun
  • Keychains with Lobster Clip
  • Bottle Opener rings (available on amazon)
  • Leather Scraps – contact your local leathersmith!

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

Begin by cutting the leather into sections 4.5″ wide by however long you can get, mine were about 5″ in length.

Once you have the shape of the leather you will want to create the tassels. Cut 1/4″ inch strips into each piece, leaving a remainder of 3/4″ uncut at the top for the ring. You will also want to cut many small 3/4″ wide strips, these will aid you in rolling the leather to fit snug in the ring to slide on.

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

To start your keychain cut off one of the 1/4″ tassels. Put one end through the bottom of your lobster clip and glue the raw sides together with your glue gun. Now lay out one of your 3/4″ strips and fuze the leather attached to the keychain into the piece with hot glue. Begin rolling once or twice around, and continue to roll into the tassels. While you’re rolling, be sure each new rotations is flush with the edge so you have a flat roll for perfect form.

Our next step requires patience, and trial and error. All of my different leather scraps had different weights so I could never find “the perfect” length to roll. Instead, continue to add the 3/4″ strip over the wider tassel strips as you roll, until you have enough bulk to fit the bottle opener ring around.

The bottle opener ring should be difficult to get on and fit snugly just over where the tassel marks start on the leather. You will know you have enough leather in the roll when the ring stays in place. If it slides around add more leather, if you can not fit it over the leather you have too much. Add or cut out some of the 3/4″ strips until the fit is just right.

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

To make this project your own, have fun with the colors, not all tassels have to be from the same type of leather! Play with your rings, maybe you would rather slide on a fancy cocktail ring for extra flair (the catch – you won’t be able to use it to open a beer). Or you could always ditch the ring and finish the roll  with hot glue to hold it in place.

I would love to hear about your own efforts! Post your photos and thoughts below!

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

A little something extra, just for you!!

Maybe this is all good and fun, but you just don’t have time? Be sure to check out my Etsy Shop before you go! 😉 As a thank you for reading my blog, I would love to offer you this coupon code! Enter TASSLEME at checkout to save %15 off your order.

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Designspiration! How to show character in your space for FREE

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This is Slotholomew.  I adopted him at the San Diego Zoo a few years ago and he has followed me around ever since.

Call me lame for having a stuffed toy sloth that I tote around, but don’t we all have that special novelty that makes us happy despite how ridiculous it might be?

Dig up that cherished toy and display it in plain sight for everyone to enjoy!  I paired mine with an old silver bowl that was hiding in storage.  Now they can both be admired! This also brings forth a fresh, FREE, and very simple conversation starter to your space, as well as a happy reminder to BE YOURSELF. Don’t hide who you are to appeal to others, any room in your home or workspace can afford personal flair, when performed subtly.  Flaunt your style in these small ways and make your space your own.

These elements are what take a space from ordinary to extraordinary.

Slotholomew is thankful for the special treatment, and I know my friends appreciate the notion as well.  They recognize that I take my interior design practice very seriously, but am also not afraid to have fun by personalizing a space with simple pleasures.

Other ideas include

  • Perching 1, 2, or 10 of your favorite beanie babies next to a favorite book on the bookshelf
  • Tie handkerchiefs together end to end and drape them over your headboard or use them as a window valance.
  • Toss your plentiful sunglass collection into a nice bowl on the end table
  • Perhaps you have tons of empty lipstick tubes? Shove them into an empty wine bottle and treat it like art on a dresser or shelf in your bedroom.

If you happen to be more manly you can always

  • Shove your old army men into an empty handle of Jack (à la the lipstick tubes)
  • Hang up that Superman cape on your towel rack in place of the hand towel you will never use.
  • Stick the light saber in the umbrella stand next to your umbrellas and oddly shaped walking sticks
  • Place the baseball your dad caught for you at your first big league game inside the same bowl you put all your change or keys in.  There is nothing wrong with some weathered leather sitting pretty on your fine dimes and drives. Anything is better than where it was before: collecting dust in the shoe box under your bed.

You see how simple this is?!  Breathe life into your space with these subtle touches that will make you smile and let your character shine through in style.

(( On the contrary, if you have an old something that you will never use again or do not wear and cannot think of a creative solution, trash it or give it away! Enough with the clutter! ))

How to turn an Old Book into a New Journal!

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Being able to make something useful out of something forgotten is one of many joys in my life.  Such as this new trend of turning old books into new journals.  It is a terrific idea, however I am not a fan of these spindly spines people are using.  The spirals fit awkwardly on shelves, in bags, and generally look tacky. A perk of having an old book is also having its old spine to really enhance the character and give it an element of mystique, which brings us to why I have taken this book converting craze one step further:

HOW TO TURN AN OLD BOOK INTO A JOURNAL THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE A BOOK WITH A REAL SPINE AND REAL PAGES INSIDE!

The process is really quite simple, and a great learning experience.  I created this at-home version of book binding by looking over some books to see how they were bound.  I have broken down the process into 3 basic steps, and included pictures and texts to help you along the way.  Best of luck, have fun! Or skip the hard part, and buy a custom book from me on Etsy!

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BEFORE YOU BEGIN gather the following supplies.  Attainable around the house or any office supply store ever.

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 STEP ONE is making your new pages. Gather the 50 pages of blank paper (more or less is very acceptable) They will soon become 200 pages, because you are folding them in half, and can write front and back. Separate the 50 into groups of 10.  You will be working with 10 pages at a time.
Fold the group in half “portrait” style if you are an adult, “hamburger” style if you’re a child, and get out your ruler and push-pin.
Align the ruler next to the crease you have just formed and make 6 holes down the center of your bunch.  I started at the 1/2” and poked at 1,1/2” intervals until I reached the end.Note:  Be sure your pages are the right height for your book, you may need to cut off an inch or so, do this carefully or with a paper-cutter to get good crisp lines.  I had to take my pages to Staples where, for a small fee, they will cut paper for you using a machine.
You want to repeat the folding, the creasing, and the hole-poking for the other groups of paper.  Keep the space between holes consistent among each group for a clean finish.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.38.28 PMSTEP TWO  Cut two new spines out of the thin cardboard to match the same height and width of the book’s spine. Set aside one cardboard spine for now, this will be the backbone.

Take the second piece and use your ruler and push-pin to create the holes where you are going to sew your pages to the cardboard with needle and thread.  As you can see the book spine looks like the neck of a guitar.

Sew your pages into the spine, this will make a very sturdy book.  Start in one hole and work your way up and down the spine, closing every gap, and tie off on the outside.  Start with the first group of pages and work your way right to left until all 5 group are secured to the cardboard.  The tighter the better.

Now that you have a cardboard spine and 200 lovely pages to write on, you can attach this spine into the old book.

Carefully remove the old pages from the book.  Use sharp scissors or an exacto knife. Take extra caution when removing the spine from the back as not to tear the cover where the layers are very thin.  I made this mistake and tried taping it back in place.  Lesson learned.

Once you have the old pages out, recycle them, throw them in the air, burn them, fold them into 500 paper cranes, you do not need them anymore.

Now use your permanent double-sided tape, I used 3M squares. You can also use a glue gun. Tape the single cardboard strip to the spine, press it down. Do the same thing with the spine that you sewed your pages too, press it down.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.38.44 PMSTEP 3 involves glue and precision.

You have a book, but you want to seal it. Use some paper with a heavier weight, decorative scrapbook paper, wrapping paper…  anything that fits your desired look.  I used my favorite silver resume paper. You can find some fun styles on papers-papers.com, or any local office supply or craft store.

First use your glue stick to glue down the very first page of your book to the inside of the front cover. Use lots of glue and seal it with your hand.  Do the same thing with the last page and the inside of the back cover.

Second, use your “fancy” paper to cover the inside of the front cover and the second page.  This decorative page should lie flat between the two pages beneath it.  Glue it down, press, and crease it. Repeat on the back side.  Cut back any paper that extends past the edges.

You did it! Congratulations.  You have created your very own book.

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I personalized the journal even more by glueing an open envelope to the back page for my friend to keep mementos in.  I also wrote  a note on the front, since it is a gift.

Be as creative as you want with your pages and content!  This is your creation, be proud that no one else has a book like yours.

For more helpful how-tos and musings, subscribe to my blog or follow my accounts @itsa_Lisa on Twitter Pinterest and Instagram!  I’m here to help you, my fellow creative friends!

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