The Hand Stitched Keychain

Why am I diving into keychains? Well, doesn't everyone like a keychain, of some sort?
I mean, we all have one. Whether it be actually for our keys or just as an accessory. 
So, mine as well make it cute, right? 
I have been dabbling around with key chains for a little while. Trying to figure out what I like best. Also, just looking to do something a little different than what we normally see in leather keychains (tassels). So, I thought of everything I wanted my keychains to have. 
I knew I had to used vegetable tanned leather. The reason is because vegetable tanned leather is actually more sustainable than chrome tanned, and even more sustainable than vinyl or "vegan leather." (More on that in another blog post). It's tanned with natural substances that do not affect our environment. This was the obvious choice, since J. Christine is looking to be as sustainable as possible, in every part of the creative process. 

Vegetable tanned leather in red and rose color to make the Africa Hand Smithed Keychain

 

What else could I do to set this keychain apart? Well, there are a few things. The next thing I knew I had to do was a color block, to make it pop. J. Christine is about being fun and expressing that fun personality. I couldn't make that work with this design if I didn't have some color blocking in there. 


Vegetable tanned leather in rose color for front of Africa Hand Stitched Keychain.

Vegetable tanned embossed leather in red color for back of Africa Hand Stitched Keychain.

 

After, adding some color to this small piece, I decided to make it stand out a little more by hand stitching, with pink thread, instead of machine stitching. Hand stitching gives leather pieces a different touch, with a slanted stitch, and a thread material that can withstand it all; while giving this fun piece a little bit of an elegant touch. 

 

Hand stitching on the Africa Key Chain.

 

One of the most important steps of leather crafting, in my opinion, is cleaning up the edges. Some makers, like the raw edge of the leather, but not this one. Using a bright rose colored edge paint and adding a gloss top coat allows this design to really shine. People love to say, "wow, this looks like a designer brands work!" Well, guess what, just because J. Christine is a small business, doesn't mean it’s not designer. 

 

Edge painted in rose color with gloss top coat on the Africa Hand Stitched Keychain.

 

Last, but not least, to pull the whole design together, the beautiful continent of Africa is heat transferred onto the leather. Using the Cricut Maker and Cricut design software, I was able to precisely cut out the design I wanted, for the HTV, as well as cut the actual leather pieces, used in this design. The HTV sheet I choose gives the keychain a real glow. The simple and clean white color along with glitter texture really brings the whole design together. 

 

The complete Africa Hand Stitch Keychain completed.

 

Thanks for reading. 
You can shop the Africa Leather Keychain here. 
- J. Christine 

 


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