In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a Taco Faux Leather Keychain using faux leather, heat transfer vinyl, and a Cricut! This keychain is an easy and fun summer Cricut craft.
Learn how to make a Taco Faux Leather Keychain with a Cricut
I love using faux leather and heat transfer vinyl to make simple and fun summer faux leather keychains with my Cricut. This Taco Keychain is so easy to make with a Cricut Maker, Maker 3, Explore Air 2 or Explore 3, or even the Cricut Joy.
I have the keychain SVG template for sale in my SVG shop here.
Get the SVG for this project from my SVG Shop
So if you’re ready to try making this Taco Faux Leather Keychain with a Cricut, let’s get started!
Want to watch a video tutorial on YouTube instead? Check it out below!
How to make a Cricut Taco Faux Leather Keychain Video Tutorial
You can watch this video now on my Youtube Channel
Printable Instructions for this Project
For printable instructions for this project, click here.
How to make a Taco Faux Leather Keychain with a Cricut Step by Step
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Materials you’ll need to make a Taco Faux Leather Keychain with a Cricut
Get all 12 Days of Cricut Summer Keychain SVGs!
Love this Cricut Summer Keychain project? It’s one of my 12 days of surprise faux leather keychain designs created just for my Cricut Summer Keychains Event. Get all 17 event keychain SVGs at once by purchasing the Instant Access SVG Bundle below.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Get the keychain SVG template for this keychain project
You can get the Taco Keychain SVG template included in the Cricut Summer Keychains Event Bundle here or individually from my shop here. You’ll receive an order confirmation email with a link to download the SVG after purchasing.
Save the zipped folder that downloads to your computer. You’ll need to unzip or extract the folder FIRST so you can upload the keychain SVG file to Cricut Design Space.
Step 2: Upload the SVG template to Cricut Design Space.
Click on Upload Image, then browse to where your unzipped file SVG is located on your device.
Click on it to upload it to Design Space. You’ll see a preview of the Taco keychain SVG on the screen. Click the UPLOAD button.
Then select the SVGs from your Recent Uploads row and click Add to Canvas. Your Canvas should look like this:
If you are using the Cricut Joy, you may need to resize the keychain layers down a bit to fit on the Joy sized mat. For any other Cricut machine, it isn’t necessary to resize the taco keychain. Click the green “Make It” button.
Step 3: Prepare to Cut the Keychain Shapes in Cricut Design Space
First, select “On Mat” for how you’ll upload your materials to Design Space.
IMPORTANT!!! Normally in these projects I MIRROR every mat because heat transfer vinyl and faux leather cut in reverse.
However in THIS particular project, you will NOT mirror the faux leather mat.
You WILL mirror all of the vinyl mats (if you are using heat transfer vinyl like I am).
After leaving the faux leather mat un-mirrored, click on each VINYL mat in the Mat Preview screen and toggle the MIRROR button to ON (green). If you are using permanent vinyl for this project, then do not mirror the vinyl mats.
Make a note of what size faux leather you need to place on your mat to cut the keychain base shape out completely with a little room to spare. For this project and cutting with a Cricut Maker, I need a piece of faux leather about 3 inches wide and 8 inches tall.
See the Layering Guide graphic below to know which layer will cut from what material and in what order to press the vinyl layers.
Repeat these steps with the vinyl mats.
Then click back on the faux leather mat to select it again. Click the green CONTINUE button to make the first material selection.
Step 4: Make Material Selections
Choose the material selections you’ll use to cut each mat. I always cut the faux leather mat first.
I use the Faux Leather (Paper Thin) setting with “More” pressure for the faux leather mat.
If you don’t have this faux leather material setting as a favorite, click “Browse All Materials” to search for it and select it.
Note for Explore Air 2 users: Cricut Explore Air 2 users will need to turn the dial to “Custom” before choosing Faux Leather (Paper Thin).
Use the material setting recommended by your vinyl manufacturer for your vinyl.
I use the Vinyl or Washi Sheet setting with “Default” pressure for my regular vinyl mats, and the Glitter Vinyl setting with “Default” pressure for my glitter HTV mats.
Step 5: Cut the Faux Leather and Vinyl Mats
Cut a piece of faux leather just slightly larger than the size shown in the mat preview screen.
Place the faux leather pretty side down on a purple Cricut Strong Grip mat in the location shown on the mat preview screen.
Press the faux leather down to the mat well with your hands or roll over it with a brayer. Then put blue painter’s tape around on all sides.
Make sure the white “star wheels” on the roller bar are pushed off to the side so the wheels don’t make indentations in your material.
Load the mat into the Cricut and begin the cut.
Once the cut is complete, BEFORE unloading the mat, use a sharp weeding tool to check and see if the cut is complete.
If not, press the C button again to repeat the cut. You can repeat the cut as many times as necessary as long as you haven’t unloaded the mat.
When the cut is complete, unload the mat and remove the keychain shape. You can trim any stray fuzz with small curved scissors.
Repeat the cutting process on the Heat Transfer Vinyl mats using a Standard Grip green cutting mat and the recommended cut settings for your particular vinyl.
Remove the cut vinyl from the mat and weed away the excess vinyl.
Trim apart any shapes for the front and back of each side of the keychain.
When all of your vinyl layers are trimmed apart, it’s time to heat press the vinyl layers of the Taco Faux Leather Keychain.
Step 6: Assemble the Taco Faux Leather Keychain
Remember to refer to the Layering Guide for this project to see which layers to press in what order.
I press vinyl to faux leather using a Cricut EasyPress Mini on the “low” setting (one green bar). You can also use a traditional EasyPress set to 255-265 degrees.
Place the first vinyl layer onto the faux leather layer on a heat pressing pad.
Then cover with a piece of Teflon sheet, parchment paper, or butcher paper.
Press for about 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, remove the cover sheet and carefully try to peel up the clear vinyl cover sheet. If it peels up easily, remove it.
If the vinyl is pulling up, place the clear vinyl cover layer back down and repeat pressing for 5-7 seconds. Repeat this process until the vinyl adheres to the faux leather well.
Once the first taco layer is well pressed onto the faux leather keychain shape, repeat with the other taco layers in order.
PRO TIP: When both sides of the keychain have all the vinyl layers applied, place the warm faux leather keychain under your pressing pad or something flat for a minute or two to help it cool flat.
Thread a 1.25″ keyring onto the center of the connected taco faux leather keychain shape. You can do this step either before you heat press your vinyl, or after.
Now it’s time to glue the faux leather keychain together.
I’m using Fabri-Tac glue, but you can use any good fabric glue or craft glue that spreads easily and in a thin, even layer, like Bearly Art Glue.
Place the connected faux leather keychain shape pretty side down on your work surface. Spread glue evenly onto the back of one taco only, avoiding the center connector shape.
Fold over the top half of the keychain onto the bottom half. Carefully line up the front and back edges and press together. The edges will not stick together right now, and that’s ok!
The next important step will make sure we get a flat keychain with an almost seamless edge.
PRO TIP: Place the glued keychain under something heavy like a book for several hours to let the glue dry well.
After several hours, remove you keychain from the book.
Next, to attach an optional faux suede tassel, use flat nose jewelry making pliers to open a 10mm jump ring. Connect the jump ring to the tassel loop and then attach it to the keyring. Close the jump ring securely.
That’s it! Your Taco Faux Leather Keychain is ready to attach to your keys or hang on a backpack!
I hope you’ll enjoy creating different colors of this Taco Faux Leather Keychain with your Cricut. Let me know in the comments what your Taco keychain will look like!
Will you make this project?
I would love to see what you have created! Please join my free jewelry making & crafting Facebook group and share your creations with me and all of my crafting friends!
For Printable Instructions, click the image below!
- See blog post for materials & links.
- See blog post for tools & links.
- Download and unzip the keychain SVG folder. Upload the SVG file to Cricut Design Space.
- It isn't necessary to resize the keychain SVG unless you are using the Cricut Joy. (For the Joy, use the sizing arrows to make the keychain shapes smaller until it fits on the Joy sized mat.)
- Click the MAKE IT button.
- When Design Space asks how you will load the materials for this project, select ON MAT.
- IMPORTANT: In the mat preview screens, click on every VINYL mat and toggle the mirror button to ON - but DO NOT mirror the faux leather mat. This is a tip for this taco keychain project only and relates to how the fold over keychain is assembled.
- Now return to each mat and drag the shapes apart from the edges and each other slightly. Make a note of what size material you'll need to cut to place on the mat and cut the shape completely.
- When you've done this for each mat, click back on the faux leather mat. Click CONTINUE.
- I like to cut the faux leather mat first. Choose Faux Leather (Paper Thin) as the material setting. If you don't have this setting selected, click "Browse All Materials" and search for it. (On the Explore Air 2, turn your dial to Custom so you can see the Faux Leather material choice.) Then choose "more" from the Pressure drop down menu.
- Trim a piece of faux leather to the size you noted in the mat preview screen. Place it "pretty" side down on a sticky purple strong grip mat. Tape the faux leather down on all sides with blue painter's tape.
- Load the mat into the Cricut and press the C button to begin the cut. When the cut is complete, BEFORE unloading the mat, use a sharp object like a weeding tool to lift up the corner of a cut to see if it went all the way through. If it did, unload the mat. If not, repeat the cut by pressing the C button again. On a Joy, you'll repeat the cut by clicking on "Rerun" on the screen in Design Space.
- Remove the cut shapes from the mat. Trim away any fuzz with small sharp scissors. Color the edges of the faux leather if desired with a color coordinated Sharpie marker.
- Return to Design Space and cut any vinyl mats using a green standard grip cutting mat. Place heat transfer vinyl shiny side down. I use the Vinyl setting or the Washi Sheet setting with "default" pressure for regular heat transfer vinyl. I use the Glitter Vinyl setting with "default" pressure for glitter heat transfer vinyl and I repeat the cut once if the glitter is thick (Siser brand). For permanent vinyl, I use the Vinyl setting with "default" pressure (make sure mats are NOT mirrored).
- Weed away the excess vinyl and cut the vinyl shapes apart.
- Using a Cricut EasyPress Mini set on the "low" setting or an EasyPress set to 265 degrees, press the heat transfer vinyl layers onto the faux leather base shape one at a time. Refer to the Layers Guide in the tutorial for the pressing order. Place the first vinyl layer onto the faux leather and cover with a cover sheet - Teflon sheet, butcher paper or parchment paper. Then press for 5-10 seconds. Remove the cover sheet and try to peel away the clear vinyl carrier sheet. If the vinyl lifts up, replace the clear carrier sheet and cover sheet and press again for 5-7 seconds.
- Repeat with the rest of the vinyl layers.
- Place the pressed faux leather keychain under something like book or your heat pressing pad for a minute or so after pressing to allow the keychain to cool flat.
- Thread a 1.25" key ring onto the middle section of the larger connected faux leather keychain shape.
- Using fabric glue, carefully apply glue all over the back of just one of the connected keychain shapes, being careful to avoid getting glue on the center connecter shape.
- Fold the connected keychain shape over so the keychain shapes are touching and the edges line up neatly.
- Place the glued keychain under something heavy like a book to dry for several hours.
- To attach an optional tassel, use a 10mm jump ring and flat nose pliers to connect the tassel to the key ring.
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Until next time… and happy creating!
Answers to your questions about making a Taco Faux Leather Keychain with a Cricut
Q: How do I get the SVG template for this project?
A: The SVG template for this project is in my SVG shop here. It’s available with a Personal Use and Small Business Commercial Use option.
Q: Can I get all the Summer Keychain Event SVG templates at once?
A: You can purchase all the Cricut Summer Keychain Event SVGs (17 in total) as a Instant Access Bundle in my shop here.
Q: What Cricut is best for cutting faux leather?
A: The good news is there is no “best” Cricut for cutting faux leather. You can cut faux leather with any of the five current Cricut machines – the Cricut Maker, the Cricut Maker 3, the Cricut Explore Air 2, the Cricut Explore 3, and even the Cricut Joy. That’s because you can cut faux leather with a Cricut using the standard Fine Point Blade that comes with each of these machines.
Q: What setting on Cricut do I need to cut faux leather?
A: I use the Faux Leather (Paper Thin) setting with “More” pressure to cut faux leather with any of the five current Cricut machines. I use the standard Fine Point Blade and repeat the cut as needed before unloading the mat. For more of my best Tips, Tricks, and secrets to cutting faux leather with a Cricut, check out my blog post here.
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