I’ve thought about this for some time and I think I’m finally ready to give this out… My process in creating The Montrose Leather Works Small Leather Key Chain.
I’ve seen this replicated in the past. And it was shocking to me at first. Then I realized “Duh, it’s so easy to build”… although I did do some researching on how long and short to make it and where to get some really great hardware. So, if you haven’t already HERE IT IS.
First, you’ll need a few things:
Ruler (preferrably metal)
Knife or blade
You’ll need at least one or the other of either the Awl or the Hand Punch. Sorry, kids. There’s just no other way… well, there probably is. But, having one or the other of these tools will make it easier. Using the Hand Punch will give you a little bit of a cleaner hole.
Split RIng (1 inch)
5/8″ Square Trigger Snap
I purchased both of the hardware at a leather supply shop. I like using the 1″ Split Rings but you can substitute for whatever size you like (but probably nothing smaller than 1″). I usually have these in production all of the time so I purchase them in bulk.
I like the Square 5/8″ Trigger Snap. You may substitute for the rounded corners. But, I just prefer this look. IMPORTANT: If you go with a different size Trigger Snap, you will have to cut your leather at a different width.
I typically use this dark brown leather. But, you can substitute for any other leather you like (or any other material for that matter). But, I would stress that you use a weight at about no more than 5oz leather.
TAKE NOTE: I’ve indicated where holes should be punch with RED CIRCLES.
Let’s get started…
Get your leather material, whatever it may be, and cut a 6″ long strip that is JUST A HAIR under 5/8″ wide. Once you’ve got that, create two marks for holes at 1/4 of an inch from one end. Now, make two more marks for holes 1/5 inch FROM THE TWO PREVIOUS MARKS. Try to get these holes somewhere near centered on the leather. It should look something like the following image.
Now that you’ve gotten one end done, do exactly the same on the other end. Once you’re done with that end you should have a total of 8 holes (4 on each end). These will be your stitching holes.
At this point you’ll want to get your hardware. Slip your piece of leather through both the Split Ring and the Trigger Snap. IMPORTANT: Make certain that the Trigger Snap is set on the SMOOTH side of the leather. Otherwise, once you start to stitch, your Trigger Snap will be laying on the inside of the keychain. And, that’s not where you want it.
Now you’ll want each of the end of your leather to meet. If you measured propperly, your stitching holes should line up perfectly as well. If you have a small clip handy, I would suggest using that to hold the ends in place. I makes stitching much easier.
With everything lined up, bring the hardware DOWN so that they aren’t in your way when you start stitching. You’ll want to start with the holes CLOSEST TO THE EDGE of the leather first.
Now, bring UP the Trigger Snap as far as possible. It should be close to the stitched threads but past the next set of stitching holes. And, leave the Split Ring down on the other end.
Finally, stitch through the last set of stitching holes.
And, there you have it. You’ve just completed your own Montrse Leather Works Small Key Chain!
Other things you can do:
You could use rivets instead of stitching this piece together. However, I would suggest against this. It might not seem like it, but stitching is much stronger and will last longer than the rivets will hold this piece together. If used frequently, there will be a lot of stress and wear. And, rivets will just not stand up as well as good stitching work.
If you decide to go with veg tan leather, you can decorate it with some tooling. This may give it a little bit more of a decorative feel. Or maybe, if you can find small enough letter, monogram it with initials.
You can go with whatever color thread you want. I would, however, recommend something that’s very heavy duty. You don’t want to really go with anything light weight. If used frequently, the thread may wear or break quite easily.
It’s also possible to use other hardware. Brass is readily available. However, brass Split Rings are a little bit more difficult to come by and may be a little bit more expensive. You wouldn’t really want to mix-n-match brass with nickle.
There are probably a ton of other things that you can do. But, these are just a few suggestions. Go ahead and go nuts if you want.
Now, if for some reason you can’t get a hold of any of the tools or materials email us and we’ll see if we can put a kit together for you with hardware and pre-punched and pre-cut material for a small fee. All you’d need to do is stitch it up with a needle and thread yourself.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. I hope this was helpful and an enjoyable read on the process. Please leave a comment and share this post. Thanks and good luck!