Personalized Cricut Faux Leather Key Fob Wristlet using Kerning & Offset
I love making personalized keychains, and you must, too! After my post about how to make DIY Cricut Faux Leather Key Fob Wristlets, I received so many questions about how you can personalize the wristlets with a name or other text. So I've created this tutorial (and a video!) to show you exactly how to do it.
The best part is Cricut Design Space just rolled out two new features that make this process even easier - Kerning and Offset. I'll show you how easy it is to use kerning and offset to create personalized key fob wristlets with a Cricut.
I'll be using the Cricut Maker to cut the faux leather for this key fob wristlet, but you can also use the Explore Air 2, or even the Cricut Joy (using the 12 inch long mat)!
If you'd rather watch a video, you can watch my Personalized Cricut Faux Leather Key Fob Wristlet DIY with Kerning & Offset YouTube video here:
Want to see all of my Cricut earring & jewelry tutorials? CLICK HERE
Ready to make this personalized faux leather wristlet key chain? Let's get started!
This post contains some affiliate links (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure policy here.
Personalized Cricut Key Fob Wristlet - Materials List
- A vinyl cutting machine. I have the Cricut Maker, available at Amazon here. You can also use the Cricut Explore Air 2 or any cutting machine you have that will cut a thicker material like faux leather.
- Cricut Strong Grip (Purple) Cutting Mat. You'll use the purple mat to cut the faux leather. You can buy these on Amazon here, or at Michael's here. They are also available at Hobby Lobby, Joann's, and Walmart - or anywhere Cricut machines are sold.
- A Cricut Easy Press or a Cricut Easy Press Mini (what I use). I bought my Easy Press Mini from Amazon here. You can also use an Easy Press, I recommend the 9×9 size. It’s a great size for making jewelry, keychains, and other small craft items like baby onesies and more. It’s available on Amazon here.
- Blue painters tape. This will help keep your faux leather in place on your mat. I bought this one on Amazon here but you can get it at any hardware store or even some grocery stores!
- If you will be using the Easy Press Mini like I do, you’ll need an EasyPress Mat to safely press your items on. I used the 12×12 size, which you can see on Amazon here.
- Faux Leather of your choice. For this project, I used these floral faux leathers from one of my favorite faux leather suppliers. I also used solid colored faux leather from this assortment pack from Amazon. You can use any faux leather you like (except chunky glitter, which will flake).
- HTV Vinyl in the color of your choice. I used Siser Easyweed Heat Transfer Vinyl in White and Electric Rose Gold. I also used Siser Glitter HTV in Mermaid Blue.
- Key Fob Hardware and Pliers. I used some light gold hardware from this set of 1" hardware and pliers from Amazon here. Look for a set of hardware that includes the rubber tipped pliers if you don't have them already.
- Colored Sharpie markers. These are for coloring the edges of the faux leather (optional). I have a few collections of Sharpie marker sets, but this one is my favorite.
- My free Faux Leather Key Fob Wristlet Keychain SVG file from my Resource Library. It's Design #180 in my library. You can get the password to my library by filling out the form below, or the form at the bottom of this page.
STEP 1 – Download Free SVG
Download the free SVG cutting file for the keyfob wristlet shape from my free Resource Library. It's Design #180. The link to get the password is above and at the bottom of this post.
Save the zipped folder that downloads to your computer. You'll need to locate your zipped file after you save it so remember where you are downloading it to! You'll have to unzip or extract the files FIRST before you can upload the cutting file to Cricut Design Space. Make a note of the file location after you unzip it so you can find it in the next step.
STEP 2 - Upload SVG to Cricut Design Space
When you open Cricut Design Space, click on NEW PROJECT to get started. Then click on UPLOAD from the left hand side menu.
Click on the UPLOAD IMAGE button, then click BROWSE to locate where the unzipped SVG file for this project is saved on your device.
Double click on the SVG file to bring it into the upload screen in Design Space. If you get an error message that says "unsupported file type," you may have clicked on the wrong file, or your SVG file is still zipped.
You'll see a preview of the faux leather wristlet keychain shapes for this project. Hit the green SAVE button.
After you've selected your file to upload, you'll see it as the first item in your "recently uploaded designs" row.
Click on it so it is outlined in green. Then click on the green INSERT IMAGES button in the bottom right corner.
STEP 3 - Prepare SVG for Cutting
This brings the two wristlet rectangles into Cricut Design Space. They are both 1 inch wide. If you want to cut them from the same faux leather, leave them both the same color.
If you want to cut them from different faux leathers like I did, UNGROUP the shapes and then select one and recolor it. That way Cricut Design Space will separate the two different cuts on different mats.
IMPORTANT! Don't resize the rectangles or they won't fit your key fob hardware. If the shapes upload at a strange size, select both shapes and change the height to 11" tall. Be sure the padlock is ON on the size menu so the shapes size proportionately.
Click on the green MAKE IT button in the top right hand corner.
The mat preview will show where your shapes will cut on your purple cutting mat. Drag the shape to a stickier location on your mat if necessary.
Click on the green CONTINUE button.
I always cut faux leather on the Faux Leather (Paper Thin) material selection setting. This setting is an automatic double cut. Choose MORE pressure from the Pressure dropdown menu.
Cricut Explore Air 2 users can turn the Smart Set Dial to Custom and then select Faux Leather (Paper Thin) as the material setting (same as the Maker). You'll also use the Fine Point Blade. Cricut Joy users will need to use the 12 inch long cutting mat. See this tutorial for more information on cutting faux leather with a Cricut Joy.
STEP 4 - Personalize Custom Text in Cricut Design Space
To create custom text using heat transfer vinyl, we will use the new Kerning and Offset features in Cricut Design Space.
Start with a new canvas. Click on the text tool and type your desired text.
Then click on the font selection menu. Click on the checkbox to select "Only Kerned Fonts." This will show you only fonts that have been kerned, or optimally spaced for great looking text.
Choose your desired font. I'll be using a font called MF I Love Glitter which is a free download from dafont.com. This link is here: https://www.dafont.com/mf-i-love-glitter.font
This will change your text into the new font.
Check the sizing of the text box. You'll want to keep the text height smaller than 1 inch so it will fit on the keyfob faux leather.
In the screen shot below you can see that while kerning has put the letters together nicely, there are still lines separating each letter. You don't want the letters to cut like that. Select the entire word and hit "WELD."
Now we will use Offset to create an outline around the letters.
With the text selected, click Offset from the top menu. Then adjust the Distance number to .07.
See how that looks. You want some border, but not too much.
Recolor the offset layer if you'd like so it's easier to see.
One optional step you can take is to remove small cutouts that resulted from the offset, like the one shown below inside the letter O.
You can remove these small cuts with the Contour button. With the offset layer selected, click on the Contour button.
Then click on the small areas you want to hide. You will see them fade on the Contour screen. Then exit out of the Contour panel.
Your cut out shapes should be gone. Confirm your text with the new offset is still shorter than 1 inch. If not, select both layers and resize to .9 inches tall or less.
Your vinyl layers are ready to cut! Click the MAKE IT button.
Your vinyl layers will cut on two separate mats. Be sure to MIRROR both mats since they are text and will cut in reverse.
Cut the vinyl mats according to the manufacturer's directions. I cut regular HTV with the Washi Sheet setting and repeat the cut once. I cut Glitter HTV with the Glitter Vinyl setting and repeat the cut once as well.
Weed both vinyl layers and set aside.
STEP 5 - Glue Faux Leather Layers Together
I like using Art Glitter Glue to glue the faux leather pieces together. The bottle has a precision tip which makes it easy to apply the glue in small areas. You could also use another good fabric glue.
Protect your work surface with a piece of scrap paper. Spread glue all over the back of one piece of faux leather. Line up the other piece on top and press firmly.
Then place the glued pieces of faux leather under something heavy to dry flat for several hours - overnight is best. The glue needs time to dry - don't rush it! This is the KEY to success with this project.
STEP 6 - Press the Vinyl Name on the Key Fob
Choose the placement of the offset vinyl layer by doing a dry fit of the keychain with the hardware. Fold the faux leather in half and insert the end of the faux leather into the hardware.
I centered the vinyl on the faux leather strip.
Unfold the faux leather strip and place on a heat pressing pad.
Cover with a Teflon sheet or parchment paper. Using an Easy Press Mini on the lowest setting (or an Easy Press set to the manufacturer's recommended settings), press the vinyl onto the faux leather for 5-7 seconds. You can use a regular EasyPress or even an iron with low heat and no steam.
Remove the cover sheet and check for adhesion. Repeat with another short burst of pressing if necessary.
Carefully peel away the vinyl's clear cover sheet. If any bubbles appear as you peel, replace the cover sheet and press again.
Then layer on the text and repeat the pressing.
Once the vinyl's clear cover sheet sheet is removed, replace the cover sheet and press again for a few seconds.
If you want to cover the white edges of the faux leather wristlet, you can color them with Sharpie markers. It really adds a nice finished edge to your wristlet.
STEP 7 - Attach the Wristlet Hardware
Fold the wristlet shape in half so the ends meet.
Place the edges of the faux leather inside the jaws of the wristlet hardware. Using the pliers that came with the hardware, securely clamp down on the hardware until the jaws close onto the faux leather edges.
Are you going to make a personalized faux leather key fob wristlet? If you do, I'd love to see them! Tag me on Instagram @amyromeucreative.
Want to see all of my Cricut earring & jewelry tutorials? CLICK HERE
Until next time... and happy creating!