As part of the takeaways at this month’s Leen Jean Caligraphy Workshop at TOOLRY in downtown Lynchburg, I decided to put together a simple DIY leather key chain for each of our students. Made from my favorite Moore & Giles Mont Blanc leather—leftovers from that thrifted chair that I had recovered once upon a time—and finished with Kathleen’s beautiful hand lettering, they were the perfect way to spoil our class attendees.
To make your own, start with colored leather. If you don’t happen to have your own scrap pile, you can purchase leather in small sheets at your local craft store. Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the leather into your shape of choice—I went with a beveled flag.
Next, I used eyelet pliers to add hardware to each of the cut leather flags. If you’ve never used these types of pliers before, just load an eyelet into the flat end of the pliers (one side will be flat and the other curved). Slip the leather tag into the pliers and squeeze the handles. The eyelet will bend around the leather, crimping it into place.
To Mont Blanc’s credit, the thickness of the leather was a bit tough for my particular eyelets to get through, so I used a drill and a bit to very carefully and slowly bore a hole through the leather. Happily, it worked like a charm. After that, I added a metal key ring to finish the key chain.
To finish, I passed the leather key chains along to Kathleen, who worked her magic with a silver marker. Her lovely calligraphy lettering made all the difference in transforming them into the perfect gifts for our students.
Stay tuned later this afternoon for a bonus post detailing the stenciled take away totes that Kathleen and I made together!