How To Make A Leather Keychain With HK Clip

How To Make A Leather Keychain With HK Clip

Skill Level: Beginner

Project Description:

This project is a sleekly designed easy-to-build keychain for beginning leather craftsman who want a fun project. It is named for clip used on the project from the HK gun company that is used on their rifle slings. It is a durable piece of hardware that is easy to use. This project requires little by way of materials and is designed to reduce movement, noise, and create a way to easily access your keys in your pocket. This is one of the best leather projects for beginners that you can build and will be easy to learn as you follow the included instructions and watch the video from our YouTube channel, the Rugged Material Workshop.

Skills You Will Learn:

By following this leather-craft tutorial you will learn some great beginner tips. We will teach you how to finish the edges of a leather project so that it looks like a professionally built piece. You will also learn in this build-a-long how to use Chicago screws in a way that they will not come apart easily.

Materials Needed


  • 5 oz. Harness Leather (.08-.10 inches thick)
  • HK Clip
  • 2 Chicago Screws
  • 1-inch Keyring
  • Dye
  • Beeswax
  • Loctite Threadlocker


  • Wax – Can be used to substitute the Loctite Threadlocker if you prefer

Tools Needed



  • Q-tips – Can be used instead of a dauber to dye the edges, although they tend to fall apart quickly.


  • Acrylic Rugged Material Workshop Template
  • Strap cutter – Best when making a large amount of keychains
  • XACTO knife

Project Instructions:

  1. Pattern Purchase and Download

To begin this project, you will need to find and download the HK Clip Keychain pattern from For a set of more detailed instructions you can follow the step-by-step guide from our website on purchasing and downloading Rugged Material Workshop Project Designs and Patterns by clicking here.

  1. Cutting Out the Pattern

We recommend that you print out your pattern on stiff card stock paper. This will allow you to trace the pattern easier and use it more than once if desired. Cut out your printed pattern according to the printed instructions. We cut out our patterns by using a straightedge and a rotary or utility knife. You can also use a pair of scissors if you are more comfortable doing so. Punch any holes in the pattern, you may use your leather hole punch if you wish; we do not find that it causes a significant change in our leather tool performance by using them to cut our paper patterns.

  1. Cutting the Project Pieces

Before you cut out the pieces for your project, we encourage you to decide on where you would like to cut your pieces from your leather. Once you have decided on the pattern placement it is advisable that you turn the leather over―so that the backside is facing up―before you trace the pattern. This way you will not have any markings showing on the finished product. Inspect the leather well before cutting to ensure you are using the best piece for your project. Once you have chosen the correct placement, you can trace your pattern on the backside, or flesh side, of the leather. Using a straightedge and a knife, cut along the lines. For the harder to reach corners and finer cuts, we definitely recommend you use an XACTO knife.

  1. Customization

If you want to add your own brand, monogram, logo, or anything else to your project, this is the moment where you would want to do so. After this point, customization becomes much harder because things start becoming more three-dimensional. Depending on your tools, or what it is that you want to do with your project, you may or may not want to skip this step. For us, this is when we will use our pressure stamp, for example, on a belt, or laser-engrave our logo on a bag, or burn our brand in a knife case. You can use a wood burner, a pressure stamp, a laser, or a variety of other tools to customize your own project. We will leave that up to you.

  1. Dyeing and Burnishing

To dye the edges of your project, we will use a dauber and black leather dye. Load the dauber with dye and remember to remove as much excess dye as possible before applying it to the edges to avoid any accidental staining. Carefully apply the dauber to the edge of your keychain with light pressure. Run it along the edge until you have covered all raw faces. Once the edges have been dyed, you may move on to burnishing. First you will want to apply beeswax to all of the dyed areas. You will then take your piece of canvas and rub the beeswax in with enough pressure that it works into a smooth surface and the coloring looks even. Burnishing should seal all of the raw edges.

  1. Hardware

Once you are done with burnishing you can move on to the last step of adding the hardware to your HK Clip Keychain. This step will require your HK Clip, 1-inch keyring, Chicago screws, and Loctite Threadlocker. With your keychain laying down with your customized side on the left, place your HK Clip on the opposite or right side. You may then fold over the leather and place the keyring on the left side and fold that side over. Make sure that if you have added any customization that it remains on the outside of your folds. You now need to make sure that you have your holes lined up. To ensure that your holes are wide enough to fit the Chicago screws you may want to place an awl inside to allow them to stretch for a few minutes. Before connecting the screws, place a small amount of Loctite Threadlocker on the post or inside the threads to make sure that they do not come apart over time; when doing so, be careful not to get the Loctite on the leather as it can stain. Place your Chicago screws through the hole with the flat face on the opposite side of the folds, and make sure that the slots on the screws are facing the same direction for a clean and finished look.


You now have a completed HK Clip Leather Keychain!


We hope you have found this beginner keychain tutorial to be instructive and helpful! We always enjoy finding new DIY projects, and we hope that you will enjoy making it at home as much as we enjoyed creating it. If you haven’t gotten your pattern or template for it yet, you can find the pattern here, or the acrylic (Plexiglas) template here.

Remember that there is also a video for this project that you can watch and follow as you make your own HK Clip Keychain. You can find the video here. We invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel “The Rugged Material Workshop” so you can see all of our helpful tips and receive all of our newest leather craft tutorials as soon as they are released.

If you have enjoyed this project, we would invite you to leave a positive review, and look for other fun DIY leathercrafts on our website.

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