I discovered a fun craft that is great for all levels of crafters. This post is how to decorate acrylic key chains for beginners. They are fun to make and even more fun to give as gifts. This post will focus on beginner level designs, but I will post more showing how to make more advanced designs. All the keychain blanks have been purchased through Zindee.com
Necessary Supplies to Decorate Acrylic Keychains
As I said, this post will focus on beginner level designs anyone can make. My daughter even made her own.
Must-haves for this project:
*vinyl (love this brand)
You are benefiting from my hours of research and trial and error not to mention all the money I spent trying different products. The owner of Zindee has tutorials showing you how to decorate the keychains. She recommends three different products for sealing them: Triple Thick, Diamond Glaze, or Dimensional Magic. I tried all three, and my favorite is Diamond Glaze.
If you do a search on this you will find serious crafters that sell these keychains use UV resin or epoxy and UV dryers. UV resin smells awful and gives me a headache. It is also frustrating to work with, as bubbles appear in it during the curing process. So you put your keychain into the dryer looking perfect, and it often comes out full of bubbles. My main concern was the fumes. I read you should use a respirator when using it, this made me think I should not be filling my house with these fumes. So unless you are going to be selling these, I would stick with Diamond Glaze.
Cutting Your Image
Zindee gives you a digital download of an SVG file for each acrylic blank you purchase. Zindee has download instructions on their Facebook page explaining how to download and upload into Cricut Design Space. The circle file comes with two circle images one for the front of the circle and a larger one for the back. I only used the smaller in my design.
I chose two images from Cricut Design Space. Mirror your image, as you will apply the design to the “back” side of the circle and decorate over the image.
Applying small images such as this is fairly easy to do without getting any air bubbles. My favorite tool for getting the bubbles out is a squeegee that came with a cell phone screen protector.
You can see the brown paper covering the “front” of the circle. The blanks come with brown stickers covering both sides to keep them from getting scratched. Carefully, use a straight pin to make a small tear in the paper and pull it back. Always leave the paper on the side of the blank you are not currently working with. This will keep that side from getting adhesive on it during the decorating process.
For the Dance Mom keychain, I applied glitter vinyl over the mirrored design to make the backing of the keychain. This vinyl is from Zindee and is amazing. Both sides of the vinyl are colored. It’s important to use the smaller circle in the cut file so that you don’t get overhang of the vinyl.
Sealing Your Keychain
Because I mirrored my design, I do not have to worry about sealing the front of the keychain. I used Diamond Glaze to seal the back. With much practice, I discovered the trick to applying the Diamond Glaze is to hold the bottle sideways when applying it. Don’t hold the bottle upside down, as this results in a lot of bubbles. Use a straight pin to pop any bubbles that form. Sometimes they are hard to pop, so just pull them to the edge of the blank and scrape them off.
You can purchase silicone plugs to put in the holes while you are sealing the keychain. I just bought a silicone basting brush at the Dollar Tree and cut the pieces off and use them to plug the holes. It works great! If your vinyl covers the holes, just use a weeding tool to poke through it. The Zindee SVGs have holes in them, but it is super hard to line up the vinyl and the hole. I find it easier to get rid of the hole in Design Space and just poke through with the weeding tool.
Glitter is a Must
Another option for adding color and sparkle is glitter. For my Soccer Mom design, I used the same method of mirroring the design. Instead of using glitter vinyl, I used Mod Podge and glitter to cover the design. Apply three coats of Mod Podge and glitter (allowing 15 minutes between coats to dry.) Let the Mod Podge dry overnight before sealing it with the Diamond Glaze.
Zindee sells keychains. They are nice quality and a good value. They include a jump ring for attaching the keychain, however, I have found larger keychains require larger more substantial jump rings. I bought these, and they work great. The colorful sued tassel is the icing on the cake.
The circle blank comes in a variety of sizes and is the most versatile by far. You can easily make a gift for anyone on your list using the circle blank.
The possibilities are endless, and I hope you try your hand and creating some.