Friday, March 4, 2011

Five-Minute Keychain Upgrade

I've been on a quest lately to beautify the everyday objects in my life, inspired in no small part by this post on a blog I enjoy reading.

For some reason this post makes me sad, even re-reading it now. Everybody should have a little beauty in their life. Beauty isn't expensive, so it's not dependent on how much money you can spend or how much money you make.

I have often thought since reading that post that if I knew that blogger in real life, I would make her a "pretty" broom and send it to her. I'd take a regular broom, wrap the handle in pretty ribbon, and top it off with a scrappy fabric flower. Or an interesting button. Or I'd wrap the handle in twine and tie the top with a red bandana, if her decorating style were so inclined. It would hide the duct-tape and make the sweeper's job a little bit special.

And I would tell her to go ahead, pour the honey into the "special" jar and let your heart sing. :)
Since I don't know her in real life, I'm gonna keep working on my own everyday objects. Like my keychain.

I have had the same keychain for seven years. It's an orange carabiner. It's my favorite color - except that I keep forgetting that's why I chose it because most of the color has worn off now. And I have a TON of keys, knickknacks, memento keychains, etc, tacked on to it:

I don't know why, but lately I've just been feeling the urge to switch it up and pare it down, so last night when Maggie, Anna, and I were in JoAnn Fabrics, I bought 12" each of silver canvas strap and some very dignified ribbon.

They keyring was salvaged from my old keychain. :)
I serged the ends of the strap and the ribbon, but you can use a match to finish the ends. You have to do something, though, otherwise they fray dreadfully!
Using my sewing machine and some black thread, I sewed lengthwise as close to the edge as I could get.
Then, just to make it a little sturdier and make the ribbon lay a bit flatter, I sewed two lines up the center, too.

I folded the ribbon right-sides-together (in this case, the ribbon being the right side, but you could reverse it), slipped the keyring on it, and sewed the ends together.

Then I turned it out and wiggled the keyring as close to the seam as it would go.
I sewed across about 1/2" below the ring (which was as close as my machine could go without endangering the needle).

Voila! An elegant keychain!

I did pare down my keys to my housekeys, my truck keys, and the keys to Abby's house, the little keyring with all my "preferred shopper" cards, because they're such an easy way to save money, my garage-door opener gizmo, and my thrift store preferred shopper punchcard. Yes, folks, that's right - my thrift store has a preferred shopper program. Isn't that awesome? :)

This project literally took about five minutes from start to finish, and the result is so worth it. I also estimate that, not counting the thread (which we already had on hand), I paid less $1.32 for this little upgrade. I'm not sure how much less because the cashier swiped a 40% off coupon at the register for me. :)
Anyway, moving on...
Did anyone notice that I passed the 200 posts mark this week? Yay me! :) I have an amazing post I'm working on this weekend, all about homemade/natural shampoos and conditioner (which I've fallen in love with recently!).

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