Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Baseball Keychain Tutorial


Our babies aren't old enough for little league yet, but as a former softball player, I do still love the game. How awesome are these? They are baseball key chains. The same principle can be applied to a softball if you wish.These are a pretty easy project. I embroider on them for personalization, but you could easily use vinyl, or even paint. 
What you will need:
A baseball
100% acetone and a cotton ball
Embroidery/Vinyl/Paint Materials
A keyring
90" (give or take a little) of Embroidery Floss (This is to stitch your key chain up)
Tapestry Needle
Wax
Seam Ripper
Baseball template

Here we go! 

To start off you want to purchase synthetic baseballs. These are the easiest to embroider on, and they are the easiest to remove all of the stamps. 

1. To remove the stamps and logo that comes on the baseballs, you want to use 100% acetone and a cotton ball. Gently rub the ink, and it will disappear. Please note: if you do not use 100% acetone, the ink may just smear.  *You can skip this step if you want to. 

2. Use the Seam ripper to rip the stitches around the ball. *Hint, if you insert the little red ball under the stitches, with the sharp pointy edge up, it makes the ripper work easier*

3. Remove all of the little red stitches from each piece of the baseball. 

4. Personalize the baseball pieces however you wish. *I use heavy weight tear away, and wss on top* There is a template for the baseballs available in this Facebook group.
5. Fold the Key chain in half, and cut the leather to the top holes. This will allow the 1" key ring to fit better. Just cut from the outside to the top hole and no further. 
6. Insert the key ring on the key chain, by bending the leather flap to allow the ring to slip over. 
7. Gather your re-threading supplies. You will need your tapestry needle, wax, and embroidery floss in your choice of colors. Bare with me, as I couldn't take pictures while prepping the thread. You should measure out about 90" of thread. This more than you will need, but I prefer to have a tail left at the end. Thread one end of the thread through the needle and then tie the two ends in a knot. You will then have 2 strands of thread. 
8. Waxing your thread. There is several types of wax that you can use. I personally like beeswax. The purpose of the wax is to keep the thread from knotting up as you are threading the key chain. This also allows the thread to glide better on the leather, causing less friction. I hold my thumb on the tin of wax starting at the needle and pull the thread under my thumb until I reach the knot. You can see the paths in the wax: 
9. You are ALMOST done! Take your key chain and look at the pattern of the thread. (The indents in the leather from when the baseball was threaded). One side goes towards the key ring from the holes and the other side faces away from the key ring. 
10. You will start on the side that faces away from the key ring. In this example it is the right side of the key chain. Push your needle through the top hole starting from the inside of the key chain. This will hide the knot in the thread. Tuck the knot and tail in between the two flaps.  
11. Go around the side of the leather and push your needle through the back hole and out the front.
12. Check to make sure the new thread is lining up right with the old thread marks. The thread should follow the indents in the leather. Continue all the way around the key chain.
13. To finish your threading off, I usually push the needle through the last set of holes once more, but before pulling it tight, I will take my needle through the loop and then pull tight. This creates a bit of a knot. 
14. Trim the tail close to the knot. I like to use fray check on the knot to be sure that the thread won't come loose. Fray check is kind of like super glue for fabric. If you don't have fray check use super glue. 
15. That is it! Your baseball/softball key chain is complete! 

This Facebook group has a ton of ideas and helpful tips. Plus you can access the baseball margins in the file section, and there is a link to purchase the template.

Here are some of my other keychains: 
Baseball Mom Keychain

Anniversary date across the middle and daughter DOBs on each side

Name and Number

Baseball Coach gifts
Are you interested in purchasing a key chain? Email me or visit my business website: www.jchildsdesigns.com

Do you plan on making a key chain? I would love to see it. Comment below if you have any questions or comments! 

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